Can I and those around me say that my joy is truly complete?
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 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. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. - John 15:9-11
INSIGHT: We hear people say that God’s love is unconditional, but does that mean what we think it does? I see in Scripture that God’s love, as far as it relates to our benefitting from it, is conditional on the basis of his election (Rom 9:13) and on the basis of our obedience. God’s offer for love, to those of us that choose to receive it, may in fact be unconditional, but our remaining in His love and thus benefitting from it, is absolutely conditional according to Jesus. What good is it if God loves me unconditionally, but I don’t benefit from it? Think of the prodigal son. He was still unconditionally loved by his father when He ran off, but he was no longer remaining in his love, or benefitting from it. In order to benefit from his father’s love, he chose to return to him in repentance and humility.
We must obey His teachings to remain in His love. The Bible is crystal clear; God’s love language is obedience to His commands. We can only expect to attain God’s very best presence and blessings for us, when we obey Him. This is how our joy is made complete.
A friend of mine admitted to me, one time when we were studying the Bible, that he didn’t have real joy and didn’t perceive God’s love for Him like I did. The reason was that he was keeping a pornography habit on the side. Often, it is God’s mercy to us when we don’t feel his love and things feel dark. Like a check engine light on our dash, He is trying to let us know that something is wrong and needs to be fixed before it is too late. Are you remaining in His love? He has all the grace you need to remain, so ask.