I have death on my mind. No, I'm not suicidal, but thanks for your concern. Over the past weeks I have attended two funerals. One individual was a believer, the other a member of the Sikh faith. One a celebration of life and a graduation ceremony, the other filled with mourning, sorrow, and rituals based on the lies of the Deceiver.
Solomon, the wisest of men, wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:2, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart." The point he makes is that we all will die (unless the Lord returns soon). For this reason I have death on my mind.
As I contemplate death the question arose, "If I knew I was to die soon, what would I want to say to those I love?" I would want my wife to know how much I love her and appreciate her, how I am who I am today because of her love and support. I would want my children to know how proud I am of their desire to love and serve the Lord. I would want all of them to know how sorry I am for my failures and thankful for their forgiveness. Above all, I would want them to continue to serve the Lord with all their heart.
As I read John 15, Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem (to die), and some of His final words to those He loved included this:
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." [vv. 9-10].
The evidence that we are 'abiding in Christ's love' is that we keep His commandments. When we consider all that God commands we are reminded of Christ's summary; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength; this is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the WHOLE law and the prophets." [Matthew 22:37-39 (Emphasis mine)]
Jesus instructs His disciples to live responsibly before God and with their fellow man right before hHe leaves this world. Apparently this was some of His final instructions and therefore quite important. Our vertical relationship with God is vital as is our horizontal relationship with others!! If we love God it will show in how we relate to others. Abiding in Christ's love is evident in our obedience to His commands, and He commands that we love one another.