May your joy be complete

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Laugh Again”
Our Bible verse for today: “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “May your joy be complete”
Each year around Easter we remember that on Friday Jesus died a terrible death on a cross. That was Friday, but Sunday was coming. On Saturday Jesus was in the grave and His followers were in mourning. That was Saturday, but Sunday was coming. On Sunday Jesus arose from the grave – and nothing has been the same since!
The resurrection changed everything, and that’s what we celebrate on Easter. But not just on Easter. The resurrection is a reality that we should remember and celebrate every day of the year. Death was defeated, and the promise of a glorious eternal life in heaven now belongs to all those who place their faith in the Resurrected Savior.
That in itself is reason enough for Christians to be overflowing with great joy. But that’s not the complete story, there’s more to it, and that was Jesus’ point in John 15:11. Eternal joy, as great as it will be, is only part of the story. The complete story must include the joy of Jesus in the life of the believer right now, in this life.
Are you experiencing the joy of Jesus in your life? All this month in our devotional series we’ve been exploring the concept of “Laugh Again”. The idea is that most of us don’t laugh enough and we don’t experience enough joy in life. Many of us have resigned ourselves to simply trudging through our days, wearing our circumstances like a heavy old coat, putting one foot in front of the other and simply getting through life. That shouldn’t be, and it’s not the life the Lord intends for us to experience. 
In John 15:11 Jesus said that one of the purposes of His ministry was so that we might have His joy in our hearts, now and forever. That makes our joy complete. In Galatians 5:22-23 the Apostle Paul described for us what a life like that might look like. As the follower of Jesus embraces Him and learns to be more like Him, this is a picture of what it will look like: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” This is the “completion” Jesus was talking about. It’s about eternal life, that’s true, but it is also about fullness of life now.
Most devotionals in this series have ended with a joke or a whimsical thought, but no jokes this morning. Instead, I encourage you to simply spend a few moments thinking about the joy of Jesus in your life. I hope you are experiencing it in ever-increasing measure.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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