Tis the season to be joyful right? But no matter how festive the traditions, or fluffy the snow, or twinkly the lights, Christians sentiments just won’t get us there. Today we are going to talk about where to find complete joy and how to make our home in Christ.
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Life Hack - Bless the Delivery Folks!
Free Shipping is everywhere! That means the delivery folks are working extra hard this holiday season. There’s an easy way to bless them by putting out some snacks and water bottles.
JOY. Complete Joy!
Joy is something at Christmas time that many people think can be attend by the sentiments of the season. But the sentiments will never lead to complete Joy.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Joy is not found in sentiment. It is not found in traditions. It is not found under a tree.
True joy is found in Jesus Christ - and how do we partake of this true joy?
Like a branch abiding in a vine, we abide in Christ.
Abide In Christ
Abide means to remain, to dwell - so much so that we make our home there. jesus tells us to abide in Him, to make our home in Him. Remain there. Live there. Why? Because apart from Him we can do nothing! Apart from him there is not complete joy. Apart from Him the Father is not glorified.
Abidingit is only made possible by Jesus Christ himself! Abiding in Christ is made possible through regeneration. When we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ we can now abide in Him. vs 3 tells us that we are already clean; we were once so dirty from sin and unattached to Christ, that it was impossible to bear fruit; but we have been cleansed by the Blood of Christ, we are now in Him and we are now fitted and ready to bear fruit.
But there are concrete realities to abiding in Christ which is where there is complete joy.
One of the ways we continue in Christ is in verse 7 which is letting His words abide in us. the word of Christ should dwell in us richly like it says in Colossians 3:16.
Jesus tells us to abide in His love - we are to rest our lives on the love Christ has for us
Another way to abide in Christ is to obey Him. Vs 10 says IF You keep my commands you will abide in my love.
The complete joy of Jesus Christ is found in abiding in HIm.
We first get it at our regeneration in Christ.
And then it is maintained through abiding in Christ daily.
Maybe you can think through this list and try one this week:
Read the Word and let it dwell in you richly - read, study, sing it, memorize it
Obey the Lord - know His commands and walk in them faithfully - by His grace we obey - He is at work in us as we are humble
Fellowship with one another - Scripture is clear that we are to not give up meeting together; be with other believers in church and in fellowship
Grow in the knowledge of God’s love for you.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
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I highly recommend listening to this sermon by Pastor Douglas Wilson about Joy and trials. It goes deeper into the sentiment thing and what God is doing in our lives for our JOY in trials:
(Side note - play the audio only - below the video - the video tends to freeze and then the sound is muted.)