Are you living a joyful life?
The Beloved of Jesus, the Apostle John, wrote that the purpose of writing this letter was to make our joy complete (1 John 1:4). This was his bottom line up front.
And then he finishes with a climatic six-word conclusion, “Little children [that’s all of us readers], keep yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21).
Don’t miss the point! In these final words, that seem to be off subject in a first read, John sums up the five chapters of his letter in six words. As a loving father he exhorts us, as you go about your day to day life please protect yourselves from anything that would take you away from living your life whole-heartedly for Jesus. Don’t get caught up by the false advertising of the world that anything else can make your joy complete.
There is much noise out there in the world that markets happiness and fulfillment, but there is only One who delivers on the promise to complete your joy in the life and in the life that is to come.
Idols are anything that draws our loyalties, investments, or time commitments away from the purposes of God for our lives. Simply put, an idol is something we put in the place of God to complete our joy. An idol, in the eyes of God, is akin to adultery. It is when a person breaks his vow to be loyal and faithful to the one whom he has committed his life.
Jesus gives us a simple lens to know how to live a life free from idolatry: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). In what are you investing the precious resources of your life? What are you treasuring? Your heart loyalties and mind commitments will follow the answers to these questions.
We are called to a life of abundant love, extravagant grace, and scandalous forgiveness. Living this love, this grace, and this forgiveness cultivates the completion of joy found in the well spring of life called Jesus Christ.
- In this life, your enemies are no longer your enemies.
- In this life, your poverty is transformed into riches.
- In this life, your weaknesses become your greatest opportunities for strength.
- In this life, your suffering becomes His glory.
- And in this life, your dying is swallowed by a life that knows no end.
May Joy find its completion in you—live for Jesus!
As Jesus promised, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.