Sunday, February 5, 2012

Complete Joy

"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
John 15:11

For the Christian, joy is not dependent upon happenings, but rather on the ongoing relationship he or she has with Christ. Jesus explained to His disciples that joy comes to those who abide -- or remain -- in Him. In John 15:1-8 Jesus says repeatedly "Abide in Me." Abide in Me to bear fruit and glorify the Father. Abide in Me so that your prayers will be in line with My will and, therefore, will be answered. Then in v. 9 Jesus says, "Abide in my love." He likened His love for His disciples and us to the love the Father has for Him (that love is rendered "dearly loved").  In v. 10 He says, "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." What commandments is He talking about? "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you" (John 15:12). And how has Christ loved us? So much that He gave His life for us (v 13).  Jesus says to us, "I dearly love you. I gave my life for you. Remain in Me, stay close to Me, let me show you how to love others as I love you, and your joy -- not matter what the circumstances -- will be made full." This is complete joy.

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