Being in relationship with Jesus changes us. As we read his words, let the Spirit work on our hearts and increase our understanding of what it means to grow by grace into his image, our rough edges are smoothed down and our attitude changes. The fruit of the Spirit manifests itself more and more, with each passing day in his presence.
I’ve focused for over a year at least in this Friday Focus post on the words Jesus spoke. Whether to the crowds in the Sermon on the Mount or alone with his disciples just prior to his death, his words changed lives then as they do today. For this reason, I’m going to start with a disciple who saw himself as one of those in the Master’s inner circle–John, the Beloved. What is the impact of that relationship on John’s life? Now, on this side of Pentecost and after many years of service, John writes his heart letter to believers.
What stands out in John’s writing: Love
Let’s get started:
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.1 John 1:1-4 CSB
One of the blessings of the gospels, the letters of Peter, and of course the book of Revelation is that the Spirit inspired those who walked with Jesus on this earth to write! John’s letters are no less significant because they give testimony from a direct witness to the person and work of Christ, who he describes as “the word of life.” What a treasure we hold in our hands! A letter from one of the original Twelve—so much better than Ocean’s Eleven!
You can almost hear John shout as he declares about the one he has seen, known as eternal, and one with the Father. He saw the Incarnated Christ, heard his voice, and is given the desire to share his experience with others, who haven’t received that personal blessing.
He shares for a purpose—That we might be united, not only with those first disciples in faith but directly with God the Father and Christ.
When he is able to share this written testimony and know that others receive it with glad and open hearts, John’s joy is complete. Does that sound familiar? It should. We heard almost those same words come out of the mouth of Jesus when he was describing that intimate relationship with us as a vine and branches.
I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.John 15:11
Jesus had joy by being at one with the Father, and in sharing that relationship with his disciples, he was enabling them to know the same joy of relationship and eternal peace. While the joy of Jesus could not be more complete, since his joy was perfect in union with God, our joy can increase when we share and see others come to know Christ as Savior. This is the joy John had the privilege of experiencing by writing to others about Jesus.
Have you come to experience joy in Christ? It has nothing to do with what’s happening in this world or in your life’s circumstances, but everything to do with faith followed by the indwelling of his Spirit. I pray today that you know that joy. If you do have that joy and peace, have you shared it with others? Want to know what bursting with joy really feels like? Share Christ with another person and as they believe, your own joy meter will shoot to the sky!
May you know complete joy by his
Grace and Peace