by Terry J. Hallock

How to Have Joy
Terry J. Hallock
John 15:1-17
February 24, 2002

Jesus wants us to know joy. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). He wants us to know what the dictionary calls "a very glad feeling; happiness and delight". And He wants us to know an extraordinary kind of joy. He wants us to know His joy. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you." Jesus' kind of joy is so strong and resilient that even when Jesus was nailed to the cross it did not desert Him. "Who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame" (Hebrews 12:2). That is the kind of joy Jesus wants us to know and the power He wants us to experience.

The pattern for having Jesus' kind of joy begins with our submission to a descending order of relationships that He outlined in John 15:1-8 where He painted a word portrait of a grapevine.

1. JESUS IS THE VINE. He is the one out of which every branch grows and every grape develops. He is the one and only source of the spiritual nourishment that will allow the Christian life to blossom and bear fruit. Because Jesus is the vine He holds within the vine all of His eternal powers and authority that He manifested in His life on earth. It is those cross-enduring, shame-scorning, death-defying, devil-defeating powers that He can now flood into the branches that grow out of the vine.

2. WE ARE THE BRANCHES. Just as the branches on a grapevine fulfill their purpose and reap their blessing only when they're attached to the vine, so we fulfill our purpose and reap our blessing only when we're attached to Christ. Further, when we are attached to the vine we are connected to all that the vine holds. We can be all that Jesus is because we can receive all that Jesus holds.

3. GOD THE FATHER IS THE GARDNER. He moves through the vineyard and determines which branches are fruitful and which are not. Those He finds producing the fruit He desires will be lovingly pru ...

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