Joy Complete in Love (Lent 4, 2016)

Thought 4 JoyTomorrow is Valentine’s Day in the US.  Retailers hope to sell jewelry, flowers, chocolates, and enormous teddy bears destined for tomorrow’s closet.  And they will sell because on Valentine’s Day all of these are supposed to show love in a big way.

But frankly, that’s not the kind of love God talks about. Nor the kind that brings true joy.

Even if diamonds, roses, and chocolate-covered cherries might–for a moment–make someone feel loved and happy, it isn’t the kind of complete and eternal joy that God talks about.

John15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

The love God talks about is key to having a rekindled and complete joy:
The joy of Christ. Joy made complete.

What does mean? What does that even look like?

Jesus’ joy came from His sure knowledge of the Father’s love. His joy came from loving others the way God loved Him. His joy came from obedience to the Father. Obedience that was the result and continuance of remaining in God’s love.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Not as an ultimatum, but as a demonstration of fact. There is an inseparable bond between love, obedience, and joy. Do you want a rekindled joy? Love God and obey Him. Your life’s circumstances may still not be happy per se, but your heart will know the joy of Christ in you and your joy will be complete.

Give it up for Lent: Thinking that you can have joy without loving God or obeying Him.

Questions for rekindling based on John 15:9-11

  1. How is rekindling of joy a deep matter of the heart? (vv.9-10)
  2. What does this say about all the superficial things we pursue in order to feel happy?
  3. What is really needed?
  4. Read verse 11. Jesus speaks of “my joy” and “your joy” with His joy in us. He doesn’t say “our joy” may be complete, lumping us in with Him. Why might that be?

Joy Complete John 15:10-11ReKindle is the 2016 Lenten devotional series from Seminary Gal.

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Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular, Be Still and Know that I AM God can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014 and With Christ in the Upper Room  is archived beginning February 18, 2015.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 13, 2016

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