I know the title may sound like I will be teaching on understanding your purpose, but that is not really what I am talking about today.
Jesus said…John 15:9-12
I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
This radical love keeps you in joy!
In this day and age there is such a need for joy….I don’t think anyone would say…”Gee I watched the news today and felt so much joy!”
But our joy isn’t dependent on circumstances and it is infectious….Jeremiah30:19
There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving, and I will multiply my people, not diminish them;
I will honor them, not despise them.
Because the people of God sing songs of joy and thanksgiving, which out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks….they are so full of joy it simply pours out of them.
I am teaching this today because I know most of us are not like that but God has a plan for us to live in his joy…what did Jesus say…John 15:11
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
This is not the first time the Lord has spoken about wanting his people to have joy. The people of Israel were broken as they realized how far away, they were from the Lord. It seemed to them to be impossible to become who God had called them to be but in the midst of their sorrow the Lord spoke through Nehemiah 8:10 to say..
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The joy of the Lord was their strength! They were hurting feeling lost, feeling as if they would never make it because of the condition of their hearts, their nation and the surrounding nations.
I know some of you feel that way. You feel it is never going to get better. Is there any hope? What kind of world will my children, my grandchildren grow up in? Where did common sense go.
The disciples were facing Roman oppression, unfair burdens placed on them by both their Roman overlords and leaders of their faith. They have been under this oppression their entire lives the black cloud of doom and hopelessness was everywhere with no hope of freedom in sight and into this Jesus says, that he was telling them some things that their joy might be full.
What could possibly with all of this going on, give them a heart full of joy?
What things? Earlier in chapter 15… John 15:1-8
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Joy comes from being connected always to Jesus….How do we do that? How does being connected to him fill us with joy?
1) allow yourself to be pruned and purified by the message….what is the message? The message is you are God’s child, you are the one He loves the most.
Your Father is more wise and powerful than Joe Biden or Donald Trump
Your Father is wealthier than Elon Musk
Your Father cares about you more than anyone has ever cared for you and loved you!
Your Father is more protective than all of the military in the world
Your Father has the greatest plans for you that were designed specifically for you and he gave you the ability to fulfill those plans
So let him prune from you, all fear, all doubt, all worry, all anxiety, all wounds, all of your failures of the past, these are things that suck the life out of you and will rob you of His joy. He will encourage you with His life, hope, love, peace and joy!
2) Remain in him – what an odd phrase…Jesus is talking about rest, trust, building relationship. The Greek word Jesus used is one of his favorite words. Jesus is speaking of a profound, intimate, enduring relationship, it is the most trusting and loving relationship a person can have. When we come to fully understand it we get that Jesus is saying, I am in the Father, John 14:10,11) the Father is in me and you are in us (John 17:21) so the life we have is in you, the joy, love and peace that we are is in you. This robs the enemy of all the fear, misunderstanding, division, hopelessness, guilt, fear, anger and so much more he and the world like to throw at us. According to this passage part of the reason Jesus calls us into oneness is so
Paul understood remaining in Christ, during one of his imprisonments, Paul writes an encouraging letter to the Philippians. Paul chained to a wall, dependent completely on others for food, blankets, water, and everything, knows that even in the direst of circumstances, the circumstances should never determine the attitude of a believer only the Holy Spirit because of our remaining in Christ should…. that is why in this stinking situation Paul says this…
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Ladies and Gentlemen Radical love means being who God has called us to be not reacting to the circumstances of life around us but living as if God really is God!
Jesus expects us to live in joy always
We can’t do that on our own, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to prune us of our junk, and remind us every day who God is to us and for us and that we are the ones he loves the most!
We need to learn to remain or abide in Him. Remembering every day that we are His, that Jesus and the Father are one and He calls us to be one with them. Remaining means that we choose to believe Him, His word, His life above all else.
When we do, we can look at our circumstances as inconsequential to God’s plan and purpose. We can trust that in everything we can rejoice, give thanks and live in peace because our joy, our peace, our love doesn’t depend on our the people in our lives, our circumstances nor anything but God…..as a side note the Lord has been emphasizing to me lately a lot about when I am praying and asking to really believe that God heard me the first time and to begin to thank him for the answers rather than continually looking for new ways to ask.
Radical love lives a life of joy, love and peace not dependent on the circumstances but dependent on God so the whole world can see that we truly believe God
Paul’s encouragement to rejoice is not simply that, it is a command to rejoice always.
Please think with me for a moment about how negative and hopeless our world is, we are not ignorant to all of the problems in the world rather as we know and understand who God really is, as we understand His heartbeat, as we understand and trust His plan and purpose we choose joy, we choose peace, we choose love…..I know for some today I know this sounds like an impossible task and it is unless we choose to invite the Holy Spirit whose fruit is love, joy, and peace to come into to us……I know some of you are saying, I have a relationship with Jesus don’t I have the Holy Spirit
The answer would be, “yes” but as Jesus spoke to the disciples, he said now you have the Holy Spirit with you but soon you will have him in you
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
Just as daily you are surrendering to become more like Jesus, we must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us to overflowing. We can work very hard to have this Joy Jesus spoke of and work hard to remain in him or we can simply invite the Holy Spirt to fill you and have it all.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to have a home filled with Joy, love and peace.
Maybe you were filled with the Holy Spirit at one time and no longer sense this joy or peace allow someone to pray for you that you may be filled again.
Don’t waste another moment without the power to overcome, stress worry, fear, don’t waste another moment without the joy and brings life and hope to others
Circumstances do not determine God’s will only His Spirit does, let His Spirit fill you again!