John 15: 9-11
The Joy Of Christ
The Joy Of Christ
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”- Jesus
The question for today is, why does Jesus say that we are to keep His commandments in order to abide in His love? What is the love He is talking about? Jesus gives us a point of reference when He says, “I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” This love that Jesus is telling us to abide in is our source for being alive. It is the kind of life, bubbling up inside, that causes us to be excited to be alive. Jesus says that if we keep His commandments our joy is going to be made full. He equates keeping His commandments with abiding in His love.
We have a funny teaching in our churches called – “God knows we will never be perfect in this life.” Yes it is true that we stumble and sin all the time but it is not an excuse to not commit ourselves to trying. Jesus says to resist the Devil’s temptations and he will flee from us. All besetting sins are temptations and within our power to resist by God’s help. God doesn’t want us to use the excuse that we will never be perfect. He is pleased with us when we resist, and the harder it is to resist the more pleased He is when we overcome it. It delights His heart to see the faithfulness of His child to persevere under such challenges.
When we resist the temptation to break the commandments there is a purity that comes into our lives, and with each passing day that we hold fast, our lives start to get more exciting. Think of an alcoholic. Everyday that he doesn’t drink he is able to think and work and get his life back together. Everyday builds on the last and his life becomes exciting. But if he is constantly falling back into drinking he is always starting from square one with nothing to build on. So our lives become more exciting the more we build them on keeping the commandments. God has built a great reward into each of His commandments if we keep them, an eternal reward with promises like He gave to Abraham that will last forever. We serve a God Who has great wisdom which He desires to pass on to us, but it is a wisdom that can only build off of obedience. I used to pray for wisdom all the time (I still do) and God would teach me many things, but His wisdom always affected my life, causing me to have to change the way I lived and I used to think – wisdom is only as good as it is made use of. If God teaches you something and you don’t use it, it does you no good and He is not going to give you more until you use what He has given you already. Keeping the commandments is the foundation stone to all wisdom. If we keep them our joy will be made full because we won’t always be starting from square one but will be building on those principles that bring peace and order in our lives so that we can learn new things.
There is no fun in learning the same lessons over and over again and as we keep the commandments we will abide closer with Jesus, ever growing in His character and love. The Ten Commandments are like sight to the blind, they give understanding as to why our lives keep falling into trouble and they show us the path we should walk on in order to keep from doing it again. The commandments were given for our blessing, so let us meditate upon them and live in the fullness of joy that Jesus has promised for all those who would walk in them. God bless!