23. Joy

‘Last Supper Lessons’ Meditations: 23. Joy

Jn 15:11“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

I wanted to add to that ‘vision’ I painted of the Church as we finished yesterday, ‘and when this happens one of the greatest things that will characterize this community of God’s people will be joy’. When the seventy-two returned from their ministry trip, we read, The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (Lk 10:17) seeing the power and presence of the Lord moving through them – being fruitful – brought them great joy.  Immediately afterwards we read of Jesus, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” (v.21) The Father had enabled the disciples to be administrators of the kingdom of God and their joy in that brought joy to Jesus and the Spirit.  Jesus has joy when we are fruitful and are revealing the outworking of his calling and work on the Cross in our lives. We too share in such joy.

Anyone who says God is a killjoy has seriously missed the point. This ‘being fruitful’ is wonderful. Some prophets once prophesied over me, “The Lord will take you and use you in such a way, you’ll say ‘surely it can’t be this good.” Within a year I was ministering in a small group in America and prophecy was flowing and some way into this incredible evening, I found myself thinking, “Surely, I shouldn’t be feeling this, it can’t be this good.”  Incredible joy, that’s what you experience when his Spirit is flowing in and through you, heart knit together, oneness with the One, joy in abundance. Sense it in Jesus at Creation (Prov 8:30,31) and rejoice (have much joy) with him.

I sometimes think I need to preach a sermon entitled, “Have you allowed the enemy to rob you?” How many of us, I wonder, are happy with a religion that requires us to turn up at Sunday services, Bible Studies or Prayer Meetings (all good in themselves) but that is as far as it goes. As a member of the body of Christ, you are plugged into the greatest power source in the world who has the greatest plans for your blessing if you will believe them. Pray, Lord, set your church free, release us from our blind religiosity and transform us into the living body of Christ you have designed us to be – so that you will be glorified, not only in heaven but also here on earth, and as that happens, your joy will fill heaven – and us. Be honoured, be glorified through our fruitfulness and may we and you know the incredible joy that goes with that. Amen.  

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