Love One Another part 3


‘These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 15:11)

Hear Jesus’ words loud and clear. Jesus aims for your life to be filled with joy. He means for you to be overflowingly happy. But don’t misunderstand Him. Very often our ideas of joy and Jesus’ are very different.

Jesus is not after any old joy for you. The kind of joy Jesus wants you to possess is His kind of joy. ‘These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you.’ What kind of joy is Jesus joy? From the context I take it to mean the joy Jesus has in abiding in His Father’s love and in obeying His Father’s commands.

This means the kind of joy Jesus wants you to experience is the joy of abiding in His love, and of obeying His commandments. As we saw from the previous devotion, this kind of joy happens when we love one another.

There is a certain paradox here. It is true that loving one another entails the denial of joy. Love is always costly, requiring your time, energy, money etc. These are things that could be used to further the pursuit of your own personal pleasures. So in one sense, the command to love can seem like a threat to happiness. But these words from Jesus help us realize that when Jesus commands us to love one another, He doesn’t have the lessening of our joy in mind. He is really calling us to exchange the pursuit of inferior pleasures for that of superior ones. ‘These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.’

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:10-11)

Yes, your own private pursuits do bring you joy. But you know from experience that your kind of joy never really satisfies. Only Jesus’ kind of joy in you will make your joy full. Jesus is calling you to the pursuit of a different kind of joy; a joy that will fill you to overflowing. The pathway for this different kind of joy is mapped out in the ‘things [Jesus] has spoken to you.’

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”

Part 4

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