Does “complete” accurately portray the extent of joy you experience in your everyday life?
Complete: having all parts or elements; fully carried out; to make whole or perfect. -The Merriam Webster Dictionary
If I’m to be honest, my answer would be no too often! And yet we learn in John 15:11 this need not be:
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
But what’s the “this” we’re being told here? To see more clearly, let’s back up a bit …
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:9-11
Ahhhh, in reading these verses together I am reminded that it’s not because there is a lack of joy to be had that causes our joy to be incomplete, but rather the heart of the issue is in a different word altogether – remain.
Check out this eye opening definition of “remain”:
Remain: to be left after others have been removed, subtracted, or destroyed; to stay after others have gone. -The Merriam Webster Dictionary
Friends, the enemy would love nothing more than to REMOVE us from God’s love, so he can SUBTRACT God’s joy from our hearts and thus easier DESTROY our lives!
CALL TO ACTION:
To Remain or Be Removed – it’s our choice! Will you decide with me today to not be found among the “others” but to instead be intentional about remaining in God’s love?! Perhaps we can begin with these questions:
- What’s keeping you from remaining in God’s love?
- What’s one thing you will commit to doing/changing to help you remain in God’s love in your busy days ahead?
I’d love to hear from you! …
For more on the topic of remaining in God’s love, see this past post: But You Would Have None of It