Joy to the World

“With Jesus it is all about Joy”

Want to sing along? Here are the Lyrics:

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

We chose to include the third verse in this version because it often gets neglected. I didn’t know there even was a third verse until just recently. How profound to think that Jesus has undone the curse and now he wants to apply the cure into our lives. He has come to bless us and make his blessings and Joy flow as far as the curse is found in us.

 

Do we think of Jesus as “full of Joy”? I think that all too often we remember him as a man well acquainted with sorrow and grief. This is true, but I will postulate that there is also no one who could ever hold a candle to the kind of Joy Jesus knew and displayed as well. This is part of why he was SO attractive to the innumerable crowds that walked for miles to see Jesus and encounter his love.

Scripture tells us that in the Lord’s Presence there is fullness of joy and at his right hand, pleasures evermore. Do we believe this? If we truly did we wouldn’t turn to a drink or ______ (fill in the blank) to make us happy, we’d come to hang out with him. I mean, the reason any of us “sin” is because we don’t believe this. Joy is the evidence of his presence in our lives (“fruit of the Holy Spirit”).

But I believe that part of why we are here on earth is to experience pain and sorrow and a sense of separation so that we can come to understand joy. The greater the suffering, the more joy you can appreciate. This is why Job may have been given a great gift in disguise through all he suffered. Hey, it’s a working theory that makes a lot of sense to me.

In my mind this joy/suffering thing works like a pendulum. The farther you swing into the suffering side, the farther you can then swing into the joy side. So let me ask you, who has ever suffered greater than Jesus?

No one. No one knew pain and sorrow greater than Jesus.

Jesus man of JoySo who has ever had a greater experience of Joy than Jesus?

No one.

And here is the really amazing thing. Jesus said in John 15:11:

“…These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you and your joy may be full…”

Amazing, right?

Jesus is simply just giving you His joy. Only he knows and experiences the greatest joy there is, and he wants to share it… with you.

Interested? Me too!

But, of course, the verse above didn’t happen in isolation. It was part of a conversation. What is the context? How can we “get in” on the Joy of Jesus?

Well, he tells us. Here it is:

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

14You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 17This is My command to you: Love one another.” John 15:9-17

So what do you think of that?

He is saying that we must love like he does. Who else is struggling with that right now? How do we love like Jesus does? Are we willing to lay down our life for our friends like he did?

This reminds me of a talk I did awhile back called “A K-19 kind of Love“. Deep.

So, how do we love like that?

On our own. Impossible. “But with God all things are possible”, Jesus says.

Romans 5 says this:

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

“Christ in you the hope of glory” the Bible says.

I wonder if is as simple as surrender.

“Jesus will you love others through me sacrificially with your Agape Love? Will you pour it out and in and fill me with your love? Teach us how to remain in and operate out of your perfect Love! Amen”

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