That Your Joy May Be Full

That Your Joy May Be Full

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent.

Read: John 15:1-11
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. [2] Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. [3] Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. [4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. [6] If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. [7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. [9] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. [10] 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. [11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (ESV)

Why do we obey God? Sure, it’s the right thing to do. Of course, it is the best way to live. Yes, if we don’t we will face judgment. But even though these things are true, they are not the reason Jesus gives here. Why obey God? So that your joy may be full.

What is the fullness of joy? All over the Bible God promises to give his people joy that surpasses anything the world can give:

  • “In your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
  • “You have put more joy in my heart than when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:7 
  • “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22

Here, he says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Obeying God brings joy. Though it may be temporarily painful, though other people might not understand, though you may not see a path to joy, obeying God and doing things his way always ends in the fullness of joy.

Lord, you could have made our obedience neutral, or even painful, but you designed us in such a way that obeying you is the pathway to all the joy our hearts can handle. Open my eyes to see the ways I’m holding back from you or the areas I have not surrendered. Bring me joy today in following you. Amen. 

Are you ever tempted to believe there is more joy in disobedience than obedience? Which part of your life is the sticking point? 

How do you remind yourself of the joys of being with God and obeying him? Could you start something to remind yourself in the future? 
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