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Your Joy May Be Complete

Image of a Bible overlooking a lake with a mug next to it with the words "Your joy may be complete, December 7, 2022, John 15:11"

December 7, 2022

John 15:11 - I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

We like to be part of something, to be included and to feel important. This is true even in the workplace - they say that people will stay at a crummy job if they feel wanted and necessary and encouraged.  The opposite will drive them away, no matter how good a position it is. 

Jesus had just told them, "I am the vine and you are the branches" - He was indicating that they were a single entity. Verse 4 says, "Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me."

Jesus often used common images to teach - his disciples would be familiar with workings of a vineyard - they would know that the branches that bear the grapes would be useless without the central vine.  Even though Jesus was directing these words to His current audience, warning them of the coming horror of 70 AD, these same words are as meaningful today for us. Without Jesus, our life lacks meaning and direction - we can muddle through it, but it would be without hope. Look at verse 11 again - remain in me "so your joy may be full".  FULL.  The Greek word indicates that it cannot be more full - brimming, about to overflow.  Keep that image in your mind during difficult times.  Joy cannot be contained - it is like light - it will overtake the darkness and swallow up sadness. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." 

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