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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Renewing Myself: Cultivate Joy

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:9-11

Joy is not just being happy. It is so much more than that. Happiness too often depends upon our circumstances. Joy comes from something much deeper than that. It is not dependent on the world that surrounds us. 

Joy comes from the Lord. It comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is anchored in Him and what He has done for us. We need to regularly recall exactly what Jesus did on the cross and what that means to us: Eternal life instead of eternal damnation; Assurance of who we are: children of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus came to give us a way to God that we could never do on our own. We could never be good enough, or do enough good deeds, to earn our way to Heaven.

Jesus gave up his magnificent position in Heaven to enter our world as a little baby born to a poor family that had no claim to fame or fortune. He grew up as a regular little child, working with His earthly father; learning as all children do. In a miracle that we cannot really understand, He was fully God and at the same time fully a man. He got hungry. He hurt. He suffered. He bled. He died. Just as a regular man.

He took on this humanity so we could identify with Him. After His death he ascended back to Heaven and the Father where He is today, on His throne.

In today’s scripture, He says that His joy can be our joy! How can this be? He wants to share all that He is with us. He wants to fill us completely with His joy!

Are you allowing this to happen to you? Are you obeying the Father’s commands because you love Him just as Jesus obeyed the Father God? All love and all joy can flow to us if we love and obey the Lord! What a Savior! What a Father!

Dear Heavenly Father. I do not understand your kind of love, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. Fill me with your love and your joy. Help me stay in a right relationship with you for this to happen. I long for this, Jesus!!  Amen.

Pat Eppler                                                                                                         

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