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TT Peru on the boat, edited

That Your Joy May Be Full by Rev. Casey Southerland (March 2020 Banner)

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).   Have you ever considered what “these things” are and what is the key to full joy that will remain in us? If not, why not? Don’t you want to be happy? Of course you do; we all do. And yet, very often, we overlook those things that bring deep and abiding joy from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The things that Jesus had just spoken to his disciples about in John 15 included the importance of abiding in Him and bearing fruit for Him, the necessity of His word abiding in them, and the correspondence between obedience and abiding in His love. This passage concludes with the command to love one another “as I have loved you” (John 15:12), which Jesus demonstrated by laying down His life.

It should come as no surprise to us, then, that a group of God’s children enjoy a time of ministry uniquely characterized by joy in the Lord when they have invested months prayerfully devoting themselves to obedience and abiding in God’s word. This is what Team Timothy experienced as we extended ourselves to serve the Lord in Peru in January.   The team rose early and worked late to make the most of the opportunity given us to serve the Lord in Peru. We found more mosquitos and humidity than any of us had likely ever encountered in the US, but even in the midst of these sorts of trials, it was a time filled with joy in serving the Lord.

The Team engaged in many types of ministry aimed at bringing the Father glory were well-received and showed indications of fruitfulness. In addition to the joy of serving the Lord, there were also beautiful demonstrations of love from the brothers and sisters we met in Peru who opened their hearts and homes to us. They lovingly served us in the name of Christ as we sought to serve them with the word of Christ, and the joy of our Lord flowed freely among us. How gracious of our Lord to teach us how to experience His full and abiding joy!  May the Lord grant that we would continually abide in Him, and that this joy we have in Him would abide in us.

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