They saw ~ Look up Psalm 119:18 and write it out as you use it for a prayer prompt for your study time. ~ Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
They rejoiced ~ Fill in the blanks for the following texts, looking for keys to maintaining joy in the Christian life.
John 16:24 – “… ask and you will receive, and your joy will be full.”
So, we can say that prayer is one key to maintaining joy. Now, go back to the previous chapter in John to look at some guidelines for prayer, to give some context to the promise, and to find another key to maintaining joy.
Verse 7 reveals what should motivate our prayers. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
Verse 8 reveals the intended purpose of our requests. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Verses 9-13 give us yet another key to maintaining joy. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep 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. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Notice that Jesus said we are to love one another as He loves us. The next verse hints as to how Jesus would ultimately show His love. Write verse 13 down. – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
1 John 1:4 – “We write this* to make our joy complete.” * Read 1 John 1:1-3 to see what “this” was. Note that it was in sharing “this” message that John and his fellow Christians found joy. Summarize in your own words what was being shared in John’s writing.
(Answers may vary.) They had witnessed the life of Christ Jesus (the Word of life) and knew Him to be the key to eternal life. The sharing of this good news brings us into fellowship with God and with one another.
To recap these keys to finding/maintaining joy:
- We experience joy when we pray, especially when our prayers are inspired by His word and motivated by a desire to bear fruit which brings glory to God.
- We have joy when we remain in His love and demonstrate that love relationship through obedience to His word and modeling of His sacrificial service to others.
- And finally, we maintain joy when we share what we know about Christ with others.
Psalm 16:11 also says God fills us with joy when we are in his presence, so we must explore how it is that we experience His presence.
They came ~ While we, as Christians, are assured that Christ is with us always, Scripture does indicate that there are means by which we can make ourselves more aware of His presence. We are also told to come to Him to experience the benefits of His presence more fully. Continue reading