S41P3 – The joy of the Lord: overflowing

Jn. 15:9-11

I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love.  If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.   I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.

Jesus never spoke just for the sake of speaking.  His words had not only power but also intent.  When we look at the instructions He gave to his disciples and the arguments He made before the religious leaders of his time, we see that there is a great spiritual purpose behind his speech.  In this passage to his disciples, Jesus was talking about the unity that we are to have with the Son and the Father.  One characteristic of this unity is the completion of joy.  Within ourselves and without God, we would feel only a shadow of the joy that is available from the Lord, if even that.  We do not serve a God, however, who desires that we experience anything less than all He has to give us.  His desire is for our joy to be complete.

If we look at the words of Jesus here, we see a road map.  The beginning of this chapter speaks about being grafted into the vine of Jesus Christ.  Jesus then speaks of obedience bringing us into unity with God.  If we love him, then we will obey him.  If we obey him, then we will remain in his love.  If we remain in his love, then He will impart his joy and delight to us.  If we have his joy and delight, then our joy will be complete.  This is a progression of sorts.  It begins with trusting in the Lord’s love and ends with receiving his joy, causing our joy to increase evermore.  It is not the Father’s desire that his children be a little happy or mostly content.  It is his desire that our joy would actually be complete and lack nothing.  In fact, our joy is to be overflowing, which means that we actually possess more than we are able to contain.

When God makes our joy perfect, it is a cup that is always full to overflowing.  Our complete joy is the result of God’s joy filling us.  We cannot, however, think that we have the option to choose our own way to the Lord’s joy.  Jesus tells us that this journey begins with trust and obedience born out of love.  That is the beauty here.  It is the exchange of love first that brings the filling of joy.  Take a step in faith today, and profess your unending love for your Creator.  Ask him to pour his unending joy into you, and watch your cup overflow.  Father, thank You for imparting your joy and your delight to us, and fill us today to overflowing.