Thoughts to Live By

Maintaining the Joy of Christ

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”  John 15:11

We who are Christians should be the happiest people on earth. When we accept Christ into our heart by faith, He then comes into us and brings peace and joy with Him. According to our text (John 15:11) we are to be full of His joy and that joy is to remain in us.

But just like David (Psalm 51:12) some of us as Christians have lost our joy.

We sometimes lose our joy by failing to count our blessings.  (II Corinthians 9:8)

We also can lose that joy by allowing bad behavior (sin) in our lives.  (Romans 6:12)

The third way to lose joy is by harboring bitterness in your heart because of something that was done to you in a hurtful way.  (Hebrews 12:15)

We have the responsibility to maintain that joy level in our heart.  Here are some ways to maintain the joy of Christ as a believer.

  • By abiding in Christ (John 15:4)
  • By bearing fruit (winning others to Christ) (John 15:8)
  • By the fruits of the Spirit being in our life daily (Galatians 5:22)
  • By obeying God’s commands (Psalm 19:8
  • By prayer and answer to prayer in our life (John 16:24)
  • By serving the Lord with passion (Psalm 100:2)
  • By doing God’s will (Psalm 40:8)

Let’s apply these simple principles to our lives daily and allow the joy of Christ to be seen by others around us.

Thoughts to Live By

What Kind of Friend Are You?

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.”  John 15:13

What kind of friend are you?

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus is the best friend than any human being could ever have.  He laid down his own life for each of us, and became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.  I Peter 2:24.  When we turn from our sins, place our faith in Christ and receive Him into our heart and life, we are saved!  Ephesians 2:8,9.  Once we are saved, what kind of a friend are we to others in and around our life?

What does it mean to be a real friend to someone else?  Most of us have friends and we are a friend to someone.  But what kind of a friend are we?  Can our friends really depend upon us when they are in need of a really true Christian friend?

The following are characteristics that are found in the life of a true Christian friend.

  1. A really true friend is loving.  Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times,” in good times, in bad times – practicing daily kindness and understanding.
  2. A really true friend is loyal.  Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” When you are loyal you stand with your friends, you also stand up for your friends and pray for your friends.
  3. A really true friend is friendly.  Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.” This does mean that are we friendly only to a select group, but rather we are friendly to everyone we come in contact with.  We will never lack for friends when we are friendly.
  4. A really true friend is caring.  I Corinthians 12:25, “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

By God’s grace let us strive to be this kind of friend and allow the Lord to use us to be a godly influence on others.