Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus shares his joy with us! – 26 April 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

13And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they might have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. 14I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:13-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus came to this world to bring us life in abundance (John 10:10). He never said it would be an easy journey to follow him as his disciples. He has warned us that the way to heaven would be narrow (Matthew 7:14). In today’s verses, we read that the world will hate the children of God, because we differ from them. In this context, the “world” is the part of the planet that is not yet part of God’s kingdom, where his kingship is not accepted yet. The history of the church shows that these words became true over the centuries. Christians have endured extreme persecution in the years since Christ died and rose again.

The children of God differ from the world in the sense that we were sanctified by Jesus’ words. We are the property of God in this world. We are being transformed by the Holy Spirit. Our values and principles have changed ever since we came under the new management of Christ. We still live in a dark world that hates us, however, we are still in this world to be bearers of God’s light and love. We are here to show the alternative that God offers to the darkness and brokenness of this world. We have a mission to fulfill; we are not taken to heaven the moment we come to believe in Christ.

By his Spirit, Christ walks the way of life with us. He prays that we will be protected from the evil one. He prays that the words of truth that he has given us, will keep on transforming us in his image.

Jesus prays for every believer of all time, that we will endure and even in the face of suffering and persecution, we will still know his joy in our lives. We are living in a dangerous world, but we belong to God. We are saved by grace. We are being renewed in his image. Our joy is found in our relationship with Jesus. We know him. We live from the abundance of his grace. His love compels us, it is the driving force in our lives (2 Corinthians 5:14). It is his power that drives us to endure and thrive, when we are walking the path of life with him. Every one of us has a deep desire to be happy in life. The joy of Christ makes my life worth living.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that I may be your child. Thank you for filling my life with your joy. Please strengthen me by the power of the Spirit to endure and to thrive, even in difficult times. Help me to shine your light of love in the darkness of this world around me. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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