“As the Father loved Me, I also have 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 remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
I was recently on a plane where a girl seated nearby had a really cute, french bulldog sitting on her lap. This was one of those super photogenic, cuddly dogs that made you think he was on his way to add some character to a fashion photoshoot. When the owner was asked by another passenger how she was able to have the dog on the plane, she responded that he was her emotional support. There are a lot of people in this world who have an emptiness, need emotional support, and are missing out on the joy Jesus provides, but as Christians, we really have no excuse. Christmas is that time where our joy should be really evident, but I know that it may not be in many christian lives. Jesus gives us the simple solution to having a joy that overflows from our lives like soda would overflow from your cup at the fountain machine if you kept pushing the lever to make sure you got the best bang for your buck. What’s the answer? Obedience. We abide in Jesus’ love by keeping His commands and His joy will not only remain, but overflow from our lives. If you haven’t felt the love of Jesus and the fullness of His joy lately maybe its because you have taken your relationship with Jesus for granted. We know what He wants us to do because we have The Holy Spirit convicting us of those areas in our lives. But If you have been a christian for a while, you may feel that you are mature enough to handle things that are potentially compromising back into your life. ‘Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall’ (1Corinthians 10:12). Things which we once cut out of our life are now back because we think we can handle it. Our relationship with Jesus should really only grow stronger as we abide in His love because of our obedience to Him. Maybe you don’t feel as loved or as joy filled because you are not really obeying Him as you once did. But you may feel that you are in surrender to Jesus, but yet, you still don’t know that joy. Perhaps you are missing that important commandment of Jesus, that we Love one another. If we can’t forgive and love our brothers and sisters, then our joy wont be full. If your cup is not running over with joy, then it may be time to ask Jesus to reveal what areas of your life need to be His again. When we make the necessary corrections, then we know we are abiding in His love and our joy will be overflowing.