“Your joy in God will expand the more you joy in the joy of others.” --John Piper
I would like to prove this statement true with one main Scripture and several others supporting.
READ John 15:9-12 – This is the Word of God
(9) Jesus loved us the way the Father loved Him.
We know that “God is love…” (1 John 4:8).
Between the Father, Son, and Spirit there is perfect love (full, mutual, unending).
Jesus says that He loved us in that same way – the cross! Now, He commands all His
disciples, “Abide in My love.” We may think that is a difficult thing to do. How do we abide
in Christ’s love? He tells us in the next verse how to abide in His love –
keep His commandments.
(10) Jesus gave several commandments during His earthly ministry –
Matt 5:17-20 – “These commandments” what He was about to say
Hate/Murder – Lust/Adultery – Marriage/Divorce – Loving Enemies – ETC.
This explanation of how to abide in His love is no simple matter. In fact, this is difficult.
We are Christians, we know that we can’t keep His commandments perfectly. Honestly, I
have come to the point that I believe that the Sermon on the Mount was just another example,
basically the final straw, to demonstrate to mankind that we have fallen short of the glory of
God. I think it is a punch in the nose that says in big bold letters that we
“ARE ALL UNDER SIN.”
That is why He began the sermon with the beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”
Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly. Heb 4:15; Jn 8:29; Isa 53:9
(11) If we abide in His love, His joy will abide in us and it will be FULL! This kind of joy is caused by loving a fully fruitful life. This is the life that Jesus lives. The Christian life “is no cheerless, barren existence” This joy comes from a wholehearted dedication to obeying the commands of Jesus. The note of joy in the disciples has only been mentioned once so far in the Gospel of John and then it is used SEVEN times in the upper room! As Jesus is about to be betrayed, as He is about to go to the cross, as He is about to bear the burden of the world’s sins on His sinless soul, as He is about to leave in just a short amount of time He wants to leave His disciples with JOY! The Christian life is not about some kind of mundane, boring, lazy, go through the motions, obedience. It is about creativity. It is not the obedience of a slave that we are talking about. It is the obedience of a son/daughter! The obedient child shares in all things with his father. So do the children of God.
(12) See the link from v11 to v12? He has said all these things that His joy may be in us. We have already learned that we must abide in His love by keeping His commandments and then His joy will remain in us. Now He sums His commandments into one- love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. So our joy is linked to loving others! No verse explains this love issue better than First John 3:16. We love like Christ by living sacrificially for others. Romans 12:1 says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice…” Love one another by laying down your soul. This is your reasonable service, Paul says.
The fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22
You may still be worried about remaining in His love – Romans 8:31-39
“Your joy in Christ will expand the more you joy in the joy of others.”