“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11, KJV).
Jesus describes our relationship with Him as branches connected to the true Vine (Christ). We have only one function: to bear fruit, and the only one way to do this is by abiding in the Vine. As His life-giving Spirit flows through us, luscious spiritual fruit will develop.
This gift—this fruit—is produced within every believer and exists independently of our circumstances. It is found in the unchanging character and promises of Jesus. We may find happiness in “happenings,” but joy comes only through Jesus!
The Gardener prunes the branches so that they will bear even more fruit. Each branch is cleansed by the Word and bears fruit simply by abiding in the Vine. Christ tells us to remain in Him (to abide, dwell) so that His joy may be in us and that our joy may be full (v. 11).
The key to abiding (remaining, dwelling) in Christ is God’s Word which propels us. His Word is our Cling Wrap, adhering us to His presence. We “glorify” the Father by bearing much fruit, thus proving to be His disciples. And we abide in Christ’s love by keeping His commandments (v. 8).
Whatever we enjoy doing— a day at the beach, a bike ride, gardening, golf, baking cookies—is usually more enjoyable to have the companionship of a friend or loved one alongside us. He or she can share our moments of joy and comfort us in times of pain and sorrow.
Yet the joy that Jesus gives is even deeper. In His presence is FULLNESS OF JOY (Psalm 16:11).
Paul tells us that God gives us richly all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17). In addition, He wants us to experience joy in its fullest measure (John 15:11). To have the blessings given by God brings enjoyment, but to have God Himself, brings more than enjoyment, it brings fullness of joy.
What do our daily choices say about how we want God to produce joy and Christ-likeness in us? His joy brings us joy and makes us joyful. Drink deep from His fountain; delight in His presence (Psalm 36:8-9).
Joy comes from the joyous One!
And this we need to know—
If we drank of the Spirit’s fullness,
Would not our cups overflow? –Ruby Morris