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If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

I can think of no better joy verse to share today than this one, in John 15:7-11. This comes in the midst of Jesus’ conversation with His disciples on the very day we celebrate today: Maundy Thursday. For years as a kid (and I know I’m not alone here) I thought it was Monday Thursday. Didn’t really know why, didn’t particularly care, but that’s what I assumed it was called. But it’s actually Maundy, coming from the word mandate. And the mandate that we remember on this day comes in the very next verse in John 15:

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Jesus is asking His disciples to love the way He loves. He is offering them joy as He experiences joy (and what amazing joy that is!). In an age where we are often confronted with those who despise our faith because they believe it’s all about rules, I find the mandate offered here by Christ to be a blessing: to love! He asks His disciples to love, and to abide in His love. After all, if we aren’t plugged into the source of love, how can we share it with others?

Abide in Him, today and always. Love, as He loved (even if it means laying down your life). And He promises that your joy will be complete!

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