John 15:9-27

John 15:9-27

John 15:11Vintage message from our 2002-2003 radio program called “Perspective” aired July 27, 2003.

Have you ever felt like there was no joy in your life? The one thing Jesus hoped to accomplish in His disciples by encouraging them to remain in Him is that His joy may be in them and that His joy may be in you. “I have told you this.” The whole reason He just laid out this vine and branch and fruit scenario is so that you and I and His disciples would understand what it means to be filled with joy. You can not have joy outside of Jesus. Not real joy.

And isn’t it amazing that one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. It comes as a byproduct of knowing and dwelling in and remaining in Jesus. It doesn’t happen because you read your Bible. It doesn’t happen because you go to church. It doesn’t happen because you raise your hand in church. It doesn’t happen because you do “things.” It happens because you’re dwelling in the Person, the relationship of Jesus Christ.

You may be home on your sickbed, you may be away from your friends, your brothers and sisters in Christ, you may be forced into separation for some reason or other, but it doesn’t mean you’re separated from the vine and it means, then, that your joy does not have to die. That if you’re truly a part of the vine, there will be joy…

He desires for us to have completeness when it comes to joy. Joy isn’t giddiness. Joy isn’t being happy and smiling all the time. Joy is an inward feeling that we have knowing that we are fulfilled in Christ Jesus, even in our hard circumstances. Even in those times when the Father prunes us to get rid of the dead weight. There’s joy there still, and that joy is what causes that real fruit to be produced…

This is His command. Do you want to prove that you love Jesus? Do you want to have your joy complete? And do you want to be filled with fruit and displaying fruit? Then obey His command, “Love each other as I have loved you…”

What is the criteria for asking for whatever we want? That it involves loving others! Not involves loving me and my household and my car that I want to drive and my bank account. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with how I interact with you, how you interact with me, how we present ourselves to the rest of the world as part of the body of Christ. Do you want God to give you what you ask for? Then ask for what Jesus would ask for. If you’re asking for things of the flesh, if you’re asking for things in selfishness, if you’re asking for things to make you look good and to add to your bank account, guess what? The Father does not have to give you those things because you’re not truly asking in Jesus’s name. The name of Jesus is not a magic formula. It’s not just a word that we throw out there. But Jesus, the Person, lived a life, and He displayed within His like how He would have us to live and interact with Him and each other. And when we ask for those things in His name, we’re not using a name. We are using an entire life…

Do you want to be successful in ministry? Do you want to be successful in life? Do you want to be successful in all that you do and with all of those that you encounter? Step out and love. Don’t step out to display your gold necklaces and your thousand dollar suits, because you’re not displaying the love of God when you’re displaying those things…

Pastor Dave Elkins