June 16, 2016
READ: John 15:9-16
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (v.11).
In his classic book Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton writes: “[Children] want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.”
Chesterton captures this truth well: Our God is full of joy—playful even. He must be, what with all the fascinating, fun and joy-inducing things He’s created! Our God certainly appears to treasure ordinary, yet beautiful things. But, in His creativity, the ordinary is extraordinary. God continues to delight each of us in the panorama of His creation. Moreover, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share love and joy together.
In Romans 14:17, Paul wrote, “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And in 15:13, he declared, “ I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.” Joy is a hallmark of kingdom life made possible by the Spirit as we place our trust in God.
Jesus says, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love. ...I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:10-11). Even in the ordinary and what some might think of as monotonous, we can experience the joy He exudes!
365-day plan: John 1:19-34
Read 1 Peter 1:6-8 and consider what the apostle says about the joy that can come after trials and testing in life.
What might have to change in your life for you to experience kingdom joy? How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?