It’s audio devo day! Want to become more acquainted with a Savior who has a joyful smile? Get comfy, relax, and listen in here:
(Blessed by this? Know someone else that needs to hear about Jesus’ gift of joy? You can either share today’s blog link with them, or look up my Feeding on Jesus podcast for sharing and subscribing. You’ll find it on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and most other podcast platforms, with episodes identical to these!)
Last week, we ended our audio devo with this verse. This week, I’d like to start with it, as we continue meditating on the subject of supernatural joy that is our strength in hard times.
“So that you can have the same joy I have.” These are Jesus’ words. How much joy does Jesus have? In His presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). I believe that, just as His presence is currently brimming over with joy, that He also was a wonderfully joyful person during His years in a human body on earth. Yes, He was a Man of Sorrows, but the Scriptures clearly teach us that sorrow and joy can and do coexist in remarkable ways.
The Jesus that I know laughs frequently. He has laugh lines at the corners of His eyes. He is a cheerful, welcoming Friend. Why else would the little children have wanted to come unto Him? Kids well know to stay away from grumpy people. Jesus was quite the opposite. I know in my knower that He was easily amused (but never at anyone’s expense)… that He took pleasure in the Father’s rich gifts of beauty all around us… and that He enjoyed them on purpose, as He went about His Abba’s business.
Here’s what else I know about Him. He was gentle and fierce, full of both astounding authority and indescribably tender compassion. He was an approachable companion whose company was a remarkably refreshing pleasure. Being around Him was an immersion in joy. His genuine and frequent laughter was full of grace and truth.
This lifestyle of contagious, abounding contentment is what He meant when He made reference to “My joy.” This is what He is promising us that we can have too. How? The key is in the first words of the verse: “I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy…” But what things? Let’s look at the preceding verses to find out.
“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” (John 15:9-10, NKJV).
Looks like this supernatural joy He is offering us is all about His love for us, and His invitation for us to abide in it. He wants us to make His love our very home. Our dwelling place. How much love does He have for us, though? The answer is astonishing. He loves us the same amount that His Abba loves Him. That’s where He wants us to live. That’s where we are going to find the joy that His Word describes as “inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
One more thing about that. Jesus also reveals to us in this Scripture the key to abiding in His love. It’s this: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide…” If you obey Him, you will live in His love. Honestly, these words of His used to puzzle me somewhat. They almost seemed like a statement of needing to earn the right to hang out with Him.
However, He gently set me straight about that. He lovingly reminded me that our obedience is only successful when empowered by His Spirit. Obedience is actually His work in and through you and me. All He asks of us is our yes and our yielding. The moment we point our hearts in the direction of doing His will, He provides the power that fuels the obeying. We lean into that power and let it flow through us in accomplishing what He is showing us to do.
So again: If you obey, you will abide. That is, if you adopt a posture of constant yielding and complete dependence on Holy Spirit, you will abide. If you adopt a lifestyle of leaning in perpetually to His intimate presence and unending guidance, you will abide.
From the magnificent liberty of being intertwined as one with Him… from the supreme safety of utmost love… you will obey… you will abide… and your joy will be full!
Do you think of Jesus as a happy personality?