Summary: Friends Jesus does not want to see you end up on the burn pile of unfruitful unjoyful human beings. Jesus wants you and I to remain in Him for only in Him will we find the kind of Joy to sustain us through this life which can sometimes be a vale of tears.
Jesus the Joy in You
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 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. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
As we close out the summer we will be looking at a few of the virtues that we as Christians should be building into our character. Stuff that should remain in us even when we are not attending church.
Last week we looked at the importance of loving God and loving others or as some remember it “The Golden Rule” or the “Shema prayer of the Jews”.
Today we take a look at a virtue that keep us motivated to walk with Jesus through every step of our life in this world.
Today we look at how Jesus is meant to be the Joy in you.
We should look at the JOY that Jesus feeds into our hearts as that which gives us the euphoria that is our life. It comes from loving and obeying what Jesus taught us.
You see for Joy to truly be a part of who we are as a Christian we have to have Jesus put it inside of us as we allow Him to live in us. He is the main vine. As Jesus puts it we must “remain in the vine”. Only then can we be transformed from the inside out as we receive the kind of Joy that can only come from knowing Jesus.
Why do some of us as Christians lack a real sense of Joy in our lives?
Often we can be people who are reluctant to express the emotion of Joy. This can causes others to think we were baptized in lemon juice instead of water.
The scriptures clearly show us that this was not the case with Jesus as He enjoyed people, He enjoyed celebrating with them at weddings and dinner parties and Jesus had a very obvious sense of humor. Jesus would use exaggeration to get His audience's attention. Not unlike some of the jokes comedians use today. Jesus did this time and time again when He shared parables.
Matthew 7:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Most of us have heard this comparison so many times that the exaggeration has lost its power of humor on us. It’s not unlike hearing someone tell the same knock – knock joke one too many times. Little kids get this exaggeration right away the first time they hear it they giggle but we forget its power to attract our attention.
Jesus was all about spreading Joy among a people who were oppressed and defeated. Rome was a foreign power and was dictating the limits of daily living for the Jews. Jesus knew this and so He did a lot of funny things including paying His taxes and Peter’s taxes by instructing Peter to go fishing. Peter caught a fish with a coin in its mouth right in front of the tax collector that was the exact amount necessary to pay both Jesus and Peter’s taxes. Now tell me that’s not funny. Matthew 17:24-26
“When a retired missionary was asked what he would pack in his suitcase if he were ever to return to his overseas mission ministry, he quickly responded by saying…”A sense of humor.” Another missionary said “You need two things if you want to be happy in God’s work overseas, “A good sense of humor and no sense of smell.” Source: Jokes Quotes & Anecdotes by A. Daniel Goldsmith www.xulonpress.com 2010.