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spark joy

By Jon Mar
May 26, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

2 Samuel 9:1-11:27
John 15:1-27
Psalm 119:49-64
Proverbs 16:1-3

"Does this spark joy?" is the famous question Marie Kondo has inspired millions of people to ask while tidying up their houses. She encourages people to discard items that do not spark joy and have a designated place for each item they keep.

"Treasuring what you have; treating the objects you own as disposable, but valuable, no matter their actual monetary worth; and creating displays so you can value each individual object are all essentially Shinto ways of living." – Marie Kondo in Huffington Post by Margaret Dilloway

This neatly sums up Marie Kondo’s method.

Strangely, this idea of tidying up or discarding is not a foreign idea in the Bible. In John 15, Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches. If we do not remain in Him, we are like a branch that is thrown away and withers (John 15:6a). Jesus’ concept is not to prevent ourselves from being cut off, but encouraging us to bear fruit. Those of us that bear fruit go through pruning from God, but that is to allow us to be even more fruitful.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” – John 15:8

Naturally, the question is: how do we remain in Jesus? In His love? How do we have His joy in us and that our joy may be complete? He says it plainly, “keep my commands”. (John 15:9-11) In the very next verses, He makes those commands clear:

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12-13

Laying down your life for your friend is often thought of as sacrificing or dying for your friend. Although that is strongly shown in Christ’s sacrifice for us, Jesus also laid down His life for us through His ministry. The teachings, miracles, compassion, example of how He lived is also an expression of the greatest love He gave us.

We would likely “spark joy” in God’s heart if we remain in Jesus by loving each other and bearing fruit for God’s glory, showing that we are His disciples. As God is tidying up His house, let’s be worth keeping on the vine of Jesus as He has a designated place for each of us. He values each of us individually and wants us to remain in His love, with complete joy.

Remaining on the vine,


To memorize:

This is my command: Love each other.

— John 15: 17

Prayer to start with: Lord, I find joy in you. Continue to prune me and make me more like you daily. I want to love like you do. Help me see the good in everyone and be a good neighbor. Amen.