“I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. When you obey my commandments, you abide in my love, just as I obey my Father and abide in his love. And this is the commandment: Love each other as I have loved you. Living in my love will fill you to overflowing with my joy” (John 15:9-12, paraphrase).

God’s presence isn’t transient, something we invoke when the music is right at church, then lose when we go for lunch. His highest priority is that we would accept his invitation to continuously abide in his presence, and in his love.

Think of it—the one thing that God himself, the creator of the universe, wants us to obey is simply to stay open to his love. Abiding is living in awareness of his love for you and everyone around you. It’s receiving God for who wants to be for you right now, choosing to live in agreement with who he says you are, and loving others for who he shows you they can be. This is what transforms people and nations and really difficult years.

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