“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11 NKJV).
What things was Jesus referencing? In verse 10, He tells us that, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” The key word here is “if” we keep His commandments. What commandments are the key to all obedience? Loving God and loving others are the commandments that encompass all the rest.
We often confuse keeping the ten commandments and the “laws and ordinances” concerning our behavior and treatment of others (found throughout the books of Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers as well as parts of Exodus). Love really is the key–to our obedience to God. If we love Him, we will obey Him and if we love others as ourselves, we won’t commit crimes or sins against them–unless we abuse and misuse ourselves.
He’s telling us how to keep His love and “the joy of the Lord” is our strength and helps us to keep going and going–like the Ever-ready bunny. With His joy motivating us and spurring us forward, we can be ready for anything at any time.
If we have lost our joy in Him–we have lost our strength and motivation to keep moving forward. If we cannot keep His commandments, we miss out on His love, and His joy and the love of others. For if we do not have love, we cannot give love–to anyone.
For those who abuse their children–they have no love.
For those who abuse their spouses–they have no love.
For those who misuse and abuse their positions of authority–they have no love.
For those who commit crimes against others–they have no love.
For those who cannot care about the needs of the poor and defenseless–they have no love.
Love corrects as well as caresses. Love directs and guides into all things godly. Love forgives and desists in doing ungodly things. Love always wants the best for its objects of love. Love covers a multitude of sins within the context of forgiveness--not hiding it because sin cannot be hidden from God.
If we have not love or joy–we need to think about keeping His commandments and know the joy of His love, always abiding within and always available for pouring out in abundance towards others. To maintain His Joy within, do periodic check-ups (on self) to see where you are and what you might have to change.