Why so Sad?
REFLECTION: Jesus clearly claimed that one purpose of His coming was to bring a fulfilling and abundant life to His disciples (John 10:10) ye most of us stumble along the narrow road too often defeated and dejected. We often excuse such attitudes by citing our circumstances, whether physical, economical, or relational. The people of Nehemiah’s day faced problems far worse that we face and most had surrendered to the same attitudes of despondency that threaten to defeat us. Nehemiah, under the inspiration of God told them that the source of their “joy” was not their city or their circumstances, but rather “The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Ne. 8:10
The New Testament speaks of God wanting our “Joy to be full”
John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you,and that your joy might be full.”
1 John 1:3,4 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
DIRECTION: Each of these passages have similarities that reveal the source and condition of our Joy. (The “These things”) Ultimately the source of our Joy is our Fellowship with Christ. The “things” of which John (under the guidance of the Spirit of God) revealed are all prerequisites of experiencing God’s “Full Joy”.
1. COMMUNION. (Connectedness) This is the heart of fellowship
A. WITH GOD. “Abide in me” Jn 15:4 “Without me ye can do nothing.” Jn 15:5
“If we say we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie.” 1 Jn 1:6,7
1) God Is The Source Of Our Joy.
John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
John 17:13 “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
2) IF “the Joy of the LORD” is our strength, then we must stay “plugged in” to experience His power.
“ The intensity of pressure doesn't matter as much as its location.
Does it come between you and God, or does it press you closer to him?”
Just as husband and wife live out their lives against the backdrop of being married, so do we live out the entirety of our lives against the backdrop of a constant relationship with God. He is always there, always loving us, always ready to listen to us. As we recognize his unwavering commitment to us, we are able to live in the day to day adventure and challenge of his presence. We enjoy the dialogue. It's as if we say, "Oh, I must talk to him about this!"
-- John Guest in Only a Prayer Away.
B. WITH ONE ANOTHER.
“This is my commandment, that ye love one another.” Jn 15:12
“That ye also may have fellowship with us…” 1 Jn 1:3 (See also 2:9,10)
It shouldn’t be like pulling teeth to get people to fellowship together!!!!
Be united with other Christians. A wall with loose bricks is not good.
The bricks must be cemented together. Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)
A. TOWARD GOD.
“Ye are clean through the word…” Jn 15:3
“The blood of Jesus…cleanseth us.” 1 Jn 1:7,9
A soap manufacturer and a pastor were walking together down a street in a large city. The soap manufacturer casually said, "The gospel you preach hasn't done much good, has it? Just observe. There is still a lot of wickedness in the world, and a lot of wicked people, too!" The pastor made no reply until they passed a dirty little child making mud pies in the gutter. Seizing the opportunity, the pastor said, "I see that soap hasn't done much good in the world; for there is much dirt, and many dirty people around." The soap manufacturer replied, "Oh, well, soap is only useful when it is applied." And the pastor said, "Exactly, so it is with the gospel."
B. TOWARD EACH OTHER.
1 Jn 2:9 “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
Mt. 5:23,24 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
A. WITH GOD (By keeping His commandments)
John 15:10,11 “if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love…these things have I spoken…that your joy might be full.”
1 John 2:3,4 “hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar.”
B. WITH EACH OTHER.
John 15:12,13 “this is my commandment that ye love one another…greater love hath no man that this…”
1 Jn 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
James 4:1-2 “From whence come wars and fightings among you?”
> John 16:24 “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Most people are willing to meet each other halfway; trouble is,
most people are pretty poor judges of distance.
We must be in tune with Christ to be in harmony with one another.
If you don't believe in cooperation, look what happens when a car loses one of its wheels.
A river is powerful because many drops of water have learned the secret of cooperation.
As spokes get nearer to the hub of the wheel, they become closer together.