To remain in God’s love is a twofold process: we are his beloved, and we are called to love others as he loves us.
It is crucial that we make an effort to remain in his love. When we are in union with Jesus, all our thoughts, emotions, intentions and actions are directed to him. His love is there, giving us the source of strength we need as we sustain and build relationships with those around us — family, friends, colleagues at work, our community. In psychological developmental stages, there is a stage of crisis between intimacy and isolation. Jesus’ call to love is manifest when we are able to nurture healthy, loving relationships. When we are able to draw others (and sometimes even ourselves) out of isolation, out of our loneliness — we see the power of Jesus’ love at work.
Oftentimes we have a lot of requirements when it comes to accepting
God’s love for us and sharing it with others. We would rather stay within the comfort zone of doing the minimum requirements as followers of Christ — loving only when it is easy and convenient to do so. But God’s love cannot be contained within the parameters we set around it — his love calls us to complete obedience to his will. The obedience that Jesus asks of us is not obedience to worldly rules, but to the Father who is pure, total love. Obedience means following his commandment to love others with our whole heart, mind, soul and self. A love that brings out the best in people, for God’s love is perfect.
With Jesus dwelling in us, we, too, must dwell in him. Dwelling in Jesus means that we are steadfast in our promise to walk with him, to journey with him. When we dwell in his love, there is no room for selfishness and pride, but there are wide-open spaces where faith, happiness, harmony, goodness, truth and grace can reside. Our union with him is intimate — we are embraced in his loving arms, we are invited to dance with him, to share in his joy for which we were created and which brings the deepest fulfillment to our lives. “To live in Jesus” is to live in Jesus’ love.