John 15:11–These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
I invite you to turn into your Bibles to the complete guide for joy! Please turn to John 15:7-11. ” If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full ” (John 15:7-11 KJV).
Abiding in the Father. Wow, what glorious peace just the mention of this creates. Abiding in the Father. To abide in the Father means to envelop ourselves in Him. To abide in the Father is to have Him be first and foremost in our thoughts and hearts. There is peace in His presence, protection in His arms, glory in His Kingdom, strength in His will, resources at His command, authority in being His, love in Him, and joy unspeakable and full of glory walking with Him. Abiding in the Father brings so much richness to our lives, goodness to our days, structure to our ways, and joy to our lives. Why then, do we choose to live otherwise?
Each and every day we have the choice of walking with the Father or walking on our own. Each day we have the choice of following after His commandments or going the way of the world. So often we make the choice to live without the Father by taking our eyes off of Him and placing them upon ourselves. We make choices in our own strength following after our own desires and wants. We make the choice to live without the Father when we cease to have Him as Lord of our life and we take control becoming our own authority. We choose to live without the Father when we focus on being in control of our own lives ignoring the richness, goodness, and joy of being His child.
But Jesus says that His joy will remain in us that our joy might be full if we but heed His word. This passage in John 15 clearly explains what we need to do to live a life filled with joy. We need to first abide in Jesus. This will give us access to the Father and He will deliver our requests as we petition Him. Abiding in Jesus will not only give us access to the Father but it will also cause us to bear much fruit. The fruit we bear brings glory to God because it is a testimony of our love for Him and His life changing power in us. Secondly, we must continue in His love. Now let’s stop on this one for a minute. Continuing in His love will bring us joy but just exactly what does this mean? The preface to the command to continue in Christ’s love is this: ” As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). Christ loved in the same way that His Father loved Him. His Father loved Him unconditionally, sacrificially, and completely. This is how Christ loved us, and how we are to love each other. To continue in His love is to love in the same manner that Christ loved us. Christ loved us by coming to this earth as a humble man, spending His time on earth meeting the needs, wants and desires of those around Him as a servant, and then in His sacrificial death, giving us the gift of eternal life. In the same manner, we are to continue in His love by loving those around us in humility, putting their needs, wants and desire ahead of our own, and as we are told in John 15:13, laying down our very lives for the lives of our friends.
Finally, in Christ’s recipe for joy, He says to keep His commandments. It is when we are keeping His commandments that we can realize the fullness of His love. By keeping His commandments we are able to stay in His will keeping us on the path of blessings that He intended for us and keeping us away from His chastisement and from being a pawn in the hands of the devil. Keeping His commandments brings us joy as it brings glory to the Father and blessings to our lives.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full ” (John 15:11). Jesus has spoken to us with clarity and power. His desire for us is to live an abundant life (John 10:10) and to have His joy remain in us and fill us to overflowing. He has formed us (Genesis 1:27), equipped us (Philippians 4:19), and strengthened (Philippians 4:13) us to live a life of joy. No foe is a match for us and the devil can only steal our joy if we let him because ” Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world ” (I John 4:4).