I John 1:4-9
When you woke up this morning, what were the first thoughts that filled your head? Did you climb out of bed with a heart filled with praise and thanksgiving for God and His great eternal grace that He has given to you? When I look at the people in the world around me, and very often when I look at myself too, I find that we humans are so focused on ourselves, so worried about the things of tomorrow, and so forgetful if not completely hardened to the great miracles that God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:4 says, “These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” The question you must ask yourself today is this: is your joy full? If it is not then you certainly need to take heed to these Words that God has written unto you. And there are only 3 simple steps to making your joy full day by day: The Who, The What, and The way.
The Bible says in I John 1:4-5, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”
First, we must know who is the source of our joy. There is really only one source of true joy and it is found in Jesus Christ. But there are two basic ways that our joy can be continually renewed and increased: The Word of God and understanding the Character of God.
I John 1:4 says, “These things write we unto you that you’re joy might be full.” And I John 1:5 says, “This then is the message.” The Word Gospel means “good news”. God’s Word is His message. And it is filled with good and wonderful truths; truths that will convict of sin, comfort, and encourage us and make us more aware of the presence of God and the leading of God’s Spirit. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” If you read the book of Jonah you will find that the barbaric pagan Assyrians repented when they heard the Word of God. And then they found true joy, the joy of forgiveness. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, ”It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” In the beginning God spoke and there was light. God divided the light from the darkness with His Word. And it is with His Word that your joy can be full. Is there a lack of joy in your life? Then perhaps you’re not thinking about the promises of God in you’re daily circumstances. Don’t underestimate the power of the Word of God. After all, the power’s all in God’s Word: not in man.
And then, to know whom the source of our joy is: we must understand the character of God. I John 1:5 says, “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” That God is light and in Him is know darkness at all. In other words God is Holy. Understanding the Character of God simply means knowing who God is. What does it mean to be Holy? It means to be perfect, to be without sin; to be light and no darkness at all. In The Greek, the word Holy comes form the same root as the word for Love. Holiness means that God is perfect in all of His attributes: His justice, and judgment, His love, and mercy, and grace. God keeps His promises. Everything that God does and everything that God allows to happen is for the best. God promises in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Are there fears, and disappointments, sufferings, trials, temptations and even failures in your life? Well God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. And in His great light He has offered you eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. “These things write we unto you that your joy may be full.” Who is the source of our joy? God is.
Now that we know who is the source of our joy; secondly we must know what is joy. The Bible says in I John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
What is Joy? Joy is fellowship with our Father. Fellowship with God comes from turning from your sins and turning to Jesus. Joy is fellowship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son, by walking in the Spirit. After all what are Christians? They sinners who have accepted God’s grace which is revealed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Christians are wicked sinners that serve God because of what He has done for them not because of how good they are. Fellowship is such a wonderful word if you understand what it truly means. If you have ever fallen in love, and if you have ever spent time with someone who means the world to you, then you know that there is no greater joy that fellowship with that special person. There is no one in this world that loves you more than Jesus Christ. And if by the grace of God your eyes are opened so that you can see the abundant riches of God’s grace and the holiness of His character then there is nothing in the world you will desire more than to have fellowship with God the Father.
The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, no forsake thee.” Having joy, being satisfied, living a content and fulfilled live is not based on your physical possessions, circumstances or accomplishments but it is found in fellowship with God the Father. Jesus promises He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” It is through fellowship with God that you become capable of enjoying everything else in life. God is a Spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Because God is everywhere, He can promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. You see; fellowship with God is not keeping religious rituals. And fellowship with God is even much more than just spending an hour or two reading His Word and praying. But fellowship with God is going through life day by day and in everything that you do being aware of His presence, His promises, and then enjoying His grace through both the physical and the spiritual blessings He has given you. This is why Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” The greatest blessings of life are your relationship with God and then your relationship with other people. Have you ever met someone that no matter what you did or how hard you tried you just couldn’t have fellowship with them? Perhaps its because they don’t have fellowship with God, or perhaps you are distant from those that love you because you do not have the fellowship with God that you should. I John 1:7, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Truth brings fellowship and fellowship brings joy.
And thirdly, not only must we know that joy comes from fellowship with God, but we must know that the way to keep fellowship is by having our sins confessed. The Bible says in I John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Just how important is it to confess your sins to Jesus? Well, those who don’t will spend eternity burning in the lake of fire. Because salvation is based on the grace of God and not on our works, once saved always saved. You can’t lose your salvation. But practically speaking in the Christian life, to maintain fellowship with God and with your heavenly brethren you must keep your sins confessed. A very good example of how important this truth is; is to examine the lives of King Saul and King David. When we look at the lives of both men when they were kings over Israel we see that both men stared off on a good foot, in fellowship with God. But all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But both were big sinners. Both kings were murders, both had times when they sought and did their own will instead of the will of God. And King David even murdered a man to steal that man’s wife. The difference is David consistently confessed His sins and stayed in fellowship with God. King David applied the principle taught in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” King David even wrote in Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid, I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” It is always better to do what is right and never need forgiveness. But because of our depravity we will fail from time to time. Just remember if you sin Christ will forgive you if you only ask. Christ will always forgive. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Now that you know the who, the what, and the way; what brings you joy? Is it money, food, material possessions, other people or a sunny day? The things of this world might give you joy, but it’s a temporary joy, and a shallow joy that cannot reach into the deepest parts of your soul. But these things God has written unto you that your joy might be full. There is a joy that last forever. There is a joy, the depth of which is deeper than the deepest sea. There is a joy vaster than the heavens above, and it’s a joy that’s not based on physical circumstances. It is the joy of having your sins forgiven and having sweet fellowship with God the Father, the Creator of the universe. There is no greater source of joy than the love of God and the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. If this joy is not in your life and you’re a child of God then you are blind to your own sinfulness and so unthankful to the great price that Jesus paid for you. You need to ask God to remove the self-righteousness and the pride out of your life. And if you’ve never had the joy of God in your heart, then you can have it right now. Simply turn from your sins and turn to Jesus. Ask Him right now to save you. And then you’re joy too can be full.
The Bible says in I John 1:4-9, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Copyright; 2003 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved