Filled with joy
We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 1 John 1:3-6
Life is full of choices. But once you become a child of God, your choices are God-directed. As John claimed from the text, a Christian will always pursue a life of fellowship with God. This meant that the new life in Christ is lived in dependence to God and the reception of His Word. So an unchanged life yet claiming to be a Christian is a contradiction. The use of the term “fellowship is with the Father and with His Son” means that there is oneness in community as a result of placing one’s faith to Christ. The term “fellowship” also includes the shared eternal life with the Father that was revealed by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 1:2). “Fellowship” further denotes the belongingness with other believers because they share the common life with God including the eternal life that they will receive because of their relationship with God. Once a person claims to be a child of God and yet not willing to persevere in their faith is difficult to understand for such claim is not consistent with the life that God provides. We cannot walk in the darkness and have fellowship with the One who is Light. God wants us to be the real deal. It is true we are saved by God’s grace apart from our good works but authentic faith produces Christlike behaviors. We can’t help but manifest a change in our lives. As John says, we share in the joy that Christians experience when we live in accordance with His Word and His will. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for the disciples to experience. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy” (John 17:13). This joy is dependent on us abiding in Christ (John 15:4) and in His Word (John 15:7). God’s goal for our lives as His children is for us to be filled by the joy that comes only by having a relationship with Him. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:13). When you are not experiencing the joy of the Lord, could it be that you stopped abiding in Him and in His Word? If this is the case, we do not need to put up a mask but instead take the responsibility and admit to Him the presence of sin in our lives. “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:8). Once we recognize the presence of sin in our lives and believe that God is just and will not tolerate sin, confess to God and He promised that because He is faithful to the relationship we have with Him, He will forgive. “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9).