John 15.9-10 warns us to remain in Jesus’ love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
It seems odd to hear God command us to remain in His love. We presume that we just always remain in His love without effort or thought on our part. After all, God so loved the world He gave Himself in His Son to reconcile us to Himself.
Why then would I need to remain in His love since He already loves me? Indeed God loves everyone but the experience of His love occurs only in a relationship with Him through Jesus.
We cannot and do not receive God’s love apart from receiving Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. The generic love of God for everyone is expressed in His sending rain and sun to everyone, giving life and breath to all without regard to our acknowledgement of Him.
But the personal love of God, the love of a Father for His children is experienced only in relationship. Until we have a personal relationship with God we cannot experience the love of God He wishes to give us through Jesus the Savior. This relationship must be maintained like any relationship that lasts.
We are told by God we must remain in His love and we are told by God how to do it: obey His commands. Obedience to Jesus is necessary for maintaining our relationship to the Father.
We are to obey the Father in the same way the Firstborn Son obeyed the Father: absolutely, unequivocally and sacrificially. We chaff at such words for our flesh wants nothing to do with absolute surrender to the will of God or complete allegiance to His demands.
Like Jesus, we too must deny ourselves, and take up our cross if we are to faithfully submit to His will being done and not our own.
This relationship with God is not one way, it is two way; He has demonstrated His love for us in His coming, dying, resurrecting and eventually returning for those who are His while we must simply respond to His love by obeying His commands.