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Complete Joy

 By Richard Grant 


We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:3-4


He knocked on my door with his book bag across his shoulder. Tall and lanky, a university student down in the city and a noted soccer player up here in the mountains, he emailed that he had some questions.


“WN” and I met through a mutual friend. He knew that I taught English, but that I was also a Bible teacher. Around the world people see English as a tool to access information, connections, opportunity and success. I last talked to WN months earlier, and I now had a hunch that our meeting would involve deeper questions than those of English grammar and vocabulary.


It was a Tuesday in September. The lesson went long, but this is Latin America - there is always time! WN pulled out his tablet and cued up a Ravi Zacharias video he had downloaded. “What’s Ravi trying to say about God?” he asked. WN was reading the poor Spanish subtitling. My Spanish is not so wonderful – but today it was good enough to help WN better understand. He was pleased and was encouraged by my answer, seemed excited to continue talking at our next lesson.


On Friday morning we talked about how our communion with the Father and His Son has been broken by sin and can be restored by Jesus’ Invitation to participate in the Cross. We read 1 John then looked at a tract called “Life” that had three circles: God’s Creation, Our Brokenness, and The Gospel. I asked WN if he was already “in” the Gospel circle and was surprised when he said no. I asked if he was ready to move. His eyes resting on the circle of the Gospel, he answered yes. It was then my  pleasure, to introduce WN to my best friend, my Savior and my God. The Apostle John, the one loved by Jesus, who was there at the crucifixion and quick to the empty tomb, this same John proclaims, “Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” I have to tell you, for WN and myself, we were glad to enter together into that JOY!


On Sunday we talked more about John’s first letter – how God is perfectly moral, and does not allow us to walk in darkness. As new people, by His power, we walk in the light. But were not home yet, and God knows it. Temptation and sin are still prominent in this corrupt world, but Jesus is still our Savior. We do not always walk in the darkness, but we do not say we are without sin either. Our sins have been anticipated and remedied. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And so we can “walk in the light, as He is in the light” and “we have fellowship with one another” and “the blood (sacrifice on the cross) of His Son, purifies us from all sin.”


Monday came and WN knocked on my door again. He had his book bag and he brought his best friend BL for an English lesson. Then Tuesday morning we looked at 1 John and three circles again. “BL, are you ready to accept the invitation to enter into fellowship with the Father and the Son?”


“Yes,” he replied. Joy!


As they got ready to go I asked WN, “You planned this, didn’t you?”


He grinned, “Yes.”


On Wednesday WN came with BL again, and this time he brought his cousin JC. The glances around the table told me these guys were close and had come prepared. Back to 1 John and the three circles. Another pivotal question and another affirmative answer. In fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ – WN, his best friend BL, his cousin JC, and me. Joy!


As we got ready to eat lunch, I asked WN if he was happy. He gave me a bear hug, lifting me off the ground, and grinned, “Very.”


People are always searching for joy. But joy, true joy, is only found through fellowship with the Father, the Son and making him known throughout the world. What circle are you in? Who could you share this joy with today? 




About the Author 

Richard Grant prepared for denominational ministry, but was captivated by the Lord's good news for the peoples of the world. After seminary he went on to earn a Masters of teaching English as a second language as a vocational tool to serve others and engage them in the message of a Jesus. Richard has served as a “missionary teacher” for decades in Asia and Latin America. His passion is to see friends transformed by knowing Jesus and loving the Scriptures.


A Word From James

In a real sense, the Gospel is contagious. If you get close to someone that is “infected”, you may well become one with them in the JOY of following Jesus. Richard loves well and shares Jesus’ friendship in profound yet simple ways in daily life. May God help us all to live in such a way that joy is multiplied!


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