Joy Abundant and Overflowing

“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” (Jn 15:8-11).

Again we see the vital link between loving Jesus and keeping His commandments.  Just look at all the love in this passage.  “The Father has loved Me.”  “I have also loved you.”  “Abide in My love.”  “You will abide in My love.”  “I abide in His [the Father’s] love.”

All this love and abiding is only made possible by our connection to the Vine; our union with Jesus.  And by the Vine living His life through the branches, we experience the same quality of love that exists between the Father and the Son.  This exact love is now living in us.  Are we going to cooperate with His love?

It is this deep love filling our new hearts that will energize us to obey His commandments.  His ways (written upon our hearts; Heb 10:16) will become our new normal (See Love, Obedience, and Our New Normal).  His commandments will not be burdensome (I Jn 5:3), and we will find rest (Matt 11:28) even as we enter the yoke with Jesus and obey His instruction.

What is new in this passage is the “where” that all this love, abiding, and obeying is leading to.  It is taking us to a life of joy; joy that is abundant and overflowing.  Jesus is saying that everything He has told the disciples up to this point …

  • about loving one another,
  • about preparing a place for them in heaven,
  • about being the way, the truth, and the life,
  • about knowing the Father,
  • about doing “greater works”,
  • about asking in the name of Jesus,
  • about love and obedience,
  • about the promise and coming of the Helper [Paracletos],
  • about Christ in you,
  • about His promise of peace,
  • about the True Vine and the branches,
  • about abiding in, loving, and obeying Him,

… have all been pointing to joy.  How do we capture this joy?  How do we participate in its overflowing abundance?  What is required from us?

What is required of us is very simple.  We have to believe.  Every one of these bullet points is a true promise from Christ.  And if we believe His words, if we believe in Jesus, if we believe all that He said is true – no matter what circumstance we face – we will truly tap into a joy that is abundant and overflowing!