By Ryan Shaw
Ryan is the international lead facilitator for SVM2.
Abiding in Christ
The second foundational verse is 1 John 2:6 where the apostle writes,
“He who says He abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
This is a massive statement with many significant implications. First, if we are true believers we will embrace the abiding lifestyle.
We will purposefully spend increasing amounts of time simply being with Jesus and sitting at His feet as Mary did in Luke 10:42. Knowing Him and gazing at His beauty will become our top priorities (Phil. 3:10; Psalms 27:4). This happens, however, in small steps and not all in one moment. We make a choice of the will that we want to know Him more.
We don’t necessarily feel like we want to know Him more, yet we pursue it anyway. The next day we affirm that choice and give ourselves to activity which promotes such a lifestyle. The next week, month and year we do the same thing. Over time our hearts are saturated and transformed and we feel something missing when we don’t get to spend adequate time in His presence in prayer, worship or Bible study.
Walking like Christ
A second main point in this verse is the call to walk just as Jesus walked. This is a jam-packed reality that I don’t have space to adequately go into now. In some measure we are tempted to ask John if he really meant what he wrote or if it was a mistake. Yet, the call is plain that one of the ways we walk as Jesus walked is to love the Father in the same way Jesus showed us by example.
Jesus taught us what this means in Matthew 22:37-38; “Jesus said to Him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Mark adds in Mark 12:30 “with your strength” to the list.
We know that Jesus loved the Father in all four of these distinct categories. And equally as important, the Father loves Jesus, and every human being, in this same way.
We respond to the fact that God loves us with all His heart, soul, mind and strength with a wholehearted desire to return the favor of a life poured out with the same manner of focused love. As we posture our lives to grow in intentionally loving Him in each of these four distinct categories we are moving toward walking just as Jesus walked. This is pursuing abandoned devotion for God.