The purpose of this letter from the beloved disciple and friend of Jesus is so our “joy may be full” (1John 1:4), and it is no coincidence that John starts off by talking about where we can find that JOY- in a relationship with his friend and Savior, Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Let me just pause here and say how radical this would have sounded to those who would have first read this letter from John because a real relationship with a HOLY, perfect God was unheard of!
But John writes, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life; the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.(1 John 1:1-2)
John had seen the God-Man with his very own eyes, he had touched Him, heard Him, walked with Him, and surely laughed with Him; and John wants to tell us about the only One who can both save us and satisfy us.
John goes on to say, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write you that your joy may be full.” (1 John 1:3-4)
There it is -“that your joy may be full!”
John is talking about FULL JOY that comes only from real, daily fellowship with the God of the Universe through His Son, Jesus Christ.
This real relationship, of which John writes, is so much better than any other relationship because it is there that our joy may be finally and forever FULL!
Think about it, God has put in each of us a fundamental desire for relationship.
While we all strive to be perfectly satisfied via our human relationships (friends, family, spouses) and (if we are honest) we all know not one of those relationships is perfect!
Only one relationship can save us AND cause our joy to be full. Only Jesus.
And here’s something else…not to be missed—as we learn to expect perfection and satisfaction from Christ alone, we will have the best possible human relationships as well.
This is why it’s so important to love Jesus first. Everything else is better when we do. (Those aren’t just words, it’s the absolute truth!)
Friend, we have to train our hearts to look to Jesus first, often, and always. Cause our flesh-filled selves are all quick to look every other place. I feel it, don’t you?
We need to daily drink from the Living Water that always satisfies (and not just on Sundays!).
We need to remind ourselves that Jesus alone can fill us up and stop putting this pressure on others in our lives to satisfy us.
Because, here’s the deal, if we put these God-size expectations for satisfaction on others (our husbands, our kids,or our friends) we will drive them away from us instead of toward us.
“For God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5)
We will find every other relationship less than perfect and less than satisfying —but we can be fine with that when our relationship with God is what truly fills us up! And it’s there, that all the other relationships are just sweet icing on the cake!
Oh friend, God came to us. He came to make Himself known to us!! He alone can satisfy. May our hearts run to Him first and our JOY BE FULL!