“We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:4)
“What we have heard…seen…observed…touched…we declare to you.” That’s how John began this letter of First John.
John was one of the original 12 disciples, an eyewitness. It wasn’t a story passed on to him but one he personally lived, and after the resurrection of Jesus from the Day of Pentecost forward, John gave the rest of his life to proclaiming the story, the message of the gospel. The completion of joy was his purpose and his objective.
Joy is completed when two things happen: 1) when people heard the story of Jesus and enter into fellowship with God through a personal faith decision, and 2) when people consequently enter into fellowship with other believers linked by a common faith in Jesus. The establishment of both the vertical and the horizontal relationship of faith completes joy. No doubt John remembered the prayer of Jesus which he recorded in John 17 in which Jesus prayed that His joy would be completed in His disciples. This is that same joy, and it is the same joy which defines our purpose and objective today as well. Nothing brings a more complete sense of joy in us that seeing someone enter into a faith relationship with Jesus and into a spiritual fellowship with us.
Lord, We pray that we will experience more and more of this joy. Amen.