by TJ Bates
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. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
When I sing one of the many hymns or praise songs that have been written about God’s joy and love, I can’t help but feel joyful. But how do I capture his true joy and love after the song is over? In this passage, Jesus tells me how—by obeying his commands. So what does that mean?
“Jesus doesn’t leave us on our own to figure out how to please and serve him and God the Father. He gives us the game plan to move forward successfully. Just as he obeyed on earth the directions of his Father, so we are to follow his lead as well. It’s our obedience to him that keeps us dwelling in his love and on track toward the kingdom, and he leads us by his Spirit into right living one day at a time.
What’s the end result of this kind of life in love? Joy! Where the Spirit of Jesus is, there’s joy. It is the most visible token of Jesus’ presence! This joy manifests itself in loving and practical ways. When we reach out and place others before us, then we live in joy.
It’s in this joy that we remain positive and work confidently toward the gleaming brightness of his coming kingdom, knowing that he will bless, rescue, and save us when the time is right.
Equally important is this key point: it’s only the joy people see in us that will make a lasting impression. True joy is a very rare commodity in this world, and people will sit up and take notice when they see it. Do you want to reflect the kingdom of God? Then let Jesus’ joy reign in your life.”
TODAY’S PRAYER: As you pray, ask God to grant you the joy that only he can bring, no matter how bleak things may look at the moment.
Photo by mhobl via Flickr