I needed to repent of my bad behavior and forgive others of theirs.
Although I thought of myself as a good Christian, I yelled, scolded, and grumbled at my children—and made some bad choices in life. Those barriers kept me from God’s love. Others also hurt me by making promises they didn’t keep, speaking crossly, and not giving me the credit I deserved. No matter how I rationalized, I still hurt.
If you love me, you will obey my commands just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. After reading this verse, I turned to the Ten Commandments God gave Moses. I went to church regularly and was not a murder, adulterer, thief, or gossip. I felt confident I was obeying God’s command to remain in His love.
The Father did not give Jesus a to-do or not-to-do list. Obedience was a day by day, moment by moment existence. Jesus gave us the instructions for remaining in God’s love. The first command of His ministry was “repent” and the last was “forgive.”
Repenting is more than feeling sorry. It is an intentional decision to bring behavior, thinking, and feelings into alignment with the Father’s commands. Jesus could be obedient because His hands, head, and heart reflected the Father’s will. Many people offended Jesus, but He forgave them. He allowed people to make their own life choices while He chose to obey the Father. To forgive, I too must choose to let go of offenses made against me. Offending and being offended are definite barriers to remaining in God’s love.
Remaining in God’s love is different from a short visit or having a revolving-door relationship. To remain means to be engaged in His love 24/7, which requires continual obedience. When we choose to do this, we will always be in God’s love.
Choose to remain in God’s love, and enjoy awesome living with an awesome God.
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Marcia Vogl is the founder and director of Bethany Projects and is the author of The Path Forward. She is an ordained minister who partners with Hidden with Christ Ministries of Tustin, CA. She also ministers through personal prayer sessions, mentoring workshops, and retreats. She holds a B.A. and an M.S. in music education and has trained at Elijah House. Marcia has completed both a Master and a Doctorate of Practical Ministry degree at Wagner Leadership Institute, with a specialty in women's ministry, deliverance, and workplace ministries. Other career experiences include being a music teacher for grades K-8, a college instructor for teacher credentials candidates, a full time mom, and a document supervisor in the mortgage industry. You can follow her at http://bethanyprojects.org and https://www.facebook.com/bethanyprojects.