Most people are searching for joy. That is, to have a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. To experience delight, gladness, exhilaration, elation, bliss, and ecstasy.
Jesus said some pretty amazing things, and one of them is found in John 15:10-11. He said, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
Jesus consistently promised that if we seek Him first, if we abide, settle down and dwell in the place of knowing Him, that we will have an overflowing abundant, joy filled, rich, satisfying life. (John 10:10; Matthew 6:33; John 15:4)
That’s because when we put Him first in our life and choose to make our lives align with what He says, we are no longer doing life alone or in our own wisdom. He knows how our lives work best and how we can live in joy. He promises He will help us, for He is with us.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)
There is an acronym that serves as a good reminder on how to live our lives with Jesus. It’s J.O.Y – “Jesus, Others, You.” When we put Jesus and what He says first in our lives, we stay connected to Him. He asks us to love Him, and to love others as ourselves. What would we like done for us? How do we want to be spoken to? How do we love ourselves? Then Jesus says translate that over into how we can love and treat others. He guides us to prefer others, so that we spend more time and effort looking to see where we can be a blessing in other people’s lives; to ask ourselves how can we encourage and make someone else’s day a little brighter? We then spend more time seeking to help and encourage other people, and no longer have so much time to wallow in our own self-pity or self-concern. We become others focused, instead of self focused.
When we prefer others to our own preferences all the time it changes the dynamic in how we see and respond to everything around us. Imagine if we preferred one another to ourselves in our homes or workplaces more often. Where we didn’t take the last chocolate in the box, but left it for someone else, or offered to make dinner, clean up, or paid for the coffee’s. Where we gave the best place or seat to another, or gave up our parking spot to someone else.
When we choose to meet the needs or concerns of others, we automatically become less self-centered. It actually feels good, and blesses both us and the other person/s. As we help people spiritually, emotionally, or materially, we experience a joy unknown to self-centered people.
Jesus said it this way, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39)
Practice putting Jesus and Others first, and just as Jesus promises, YOU will have joy!
Today who or what are you putting first in your life? Are you experiencing JOY, and if not do you need to look and see if you may have your preferences the right way around.
Is there someone you could be a blessing today, and can prefer before yourself? Jesus says that is the way to true JOY!
Prayer: Lord, thank you that You have given us a simple way to experience joy in our lives. It is in putting You and others first in our lives. Forgive me for all the times when I have been self-self-centered, and for the times when my self-focus crowded You and others out. Lead me today to someone I can be a blessing to; that my joy would be complete in you. In Jesus’ name pray, Amen.