Got Fruit: Joy

summer series got fruitJohn 15:10-12
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept 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. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

What does it look like to live a life filled with complete joy?  Jesus reminded us to keep the commandment of love, so that His joy would be in us and our joy would be complete.  To be complete is having every necessary part or everything that is wanted; it is having all the necessary qualities or abilities for a particular role. I believe that living a life where joy is complete is living a life where strength is present. No matter what is going on, your trust and faith is in Him…

Today, we are taking a look at the characteristic of joy as we continue in our summer series.  Joy can be defined as feelings of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind; a pleasurable aspect of something or source of happiness. The focus of joy can become the object of what makes one feel good. But feelings are subject to change and many times we allow our feelings to be controlled by external stimuli rather than the internal workings of the Spirit.

Natural joy and spiritual joy are different. 

Natural joy fluctuates based on the situation, while spiritual joy is constant no matter the circumstances.  Since Jesus said that it is possible for your joy to be complete, then He must have been talking about spiritual joy rather than natural joy.  Donald Gee in The Fruit of the Spirit says, “Spiritual joy is different in that it rises from a source that is pure.  The heart that is right with God logically becomes capable of pure and eternal joy.”  I believe that what Mr. Gee was saying is that spiritual joy rises from the Holy Spirit within. Joy is one of His many characteristics.

The ability for complete joy is within you.  So why is it that many people do not experience this strengthening joy?  I believe the answer is in obedience to the love command. When one lives life mostly focused on self, then it is inevitable that at some point this person will violate the commandment of love.  Love is not selfish.  On the contrary love is selfless.  When you remain in love, then you remain in a yielded place which allows you to experience spiritual joy.

Take a moment to examine your life.  Are you violating the love command in any way?  If so make a commitment to yield to love rather than yielding to self…

Remember to be REAL…