Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
In order to access the four things that only Jesus can give, I’m convinced that you must link up with Jesus as your best friend. First, peace, now, joy.
The experience of joy is different from happiness. Joy is deeper than that. Happiness depends upon the happenings that are going on right now. Joy is an inner quality of seeing things with a positive perspective. Joy is the ability enjoy the scenery, when you are on a detour!
Most popularly, we have heard and sung in Christmas carols, that there is a great connection between Jesus and joy, beginning with his birth. For many reasons, there was a lot of anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Matthew records this with, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (Matthew 2:10)
Much later, at that special final gathering with his disciples Jesus makes an amazing statement about joy. Jesus says,“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He lifts up; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:1-11)
Jesus was teaching them about their relationship with him, that it is as vital as a branch connected to the vine. As a follower (a branch) remains connected to Jesus (the Vine), he will be inextricably linked to a life flow of energy. And, if the follower of Jesus (the branch) remains or abides in the vine, he will naturally become fruitful. No action of the branch apart from the vine can bring about fruitfulness. Every level of fruitfulness is created and nurtured by the vine through the abiding-connected-branch.
NOTE how Jesus summarizes this relationship: “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you.”So, if you as a branch remain connected in the vine, you will experience the same joy Jesus possessed-the authentic joy of Jesus. Think of it! You can have Jesus’ joy in you in all its brimming fullness, spilling over into every area of your life and into the lives of others! Jesus even goes a little deeper and more personal here. He says:“And that your joy may be made full.”Jesus insures that you will have his joy in you. And as if that isn’t enough, Jesus desires that your personal joy may be made full in the process.
Do you get the picture that Jesus is bent on his followers experiencing joy? Through Jesus, joy is available to anyone who wants it. Do you want it?