The Joy of Love: Living in Oneness with the Creator and Creation

I have studied body chemistry for some time and learned about the four hormones that make us happy. Here’s the list, from the worst to the best. They all make you happy, but their long-term effects differ; some can hurt you, and others can help you. If you know how they work, you can deploy them for your benefit.

1) Dopamine

2) Endorphin

3) Serotonin

4) Oxytocin

Dopamine is released when you accomplish something, making you feel happy. It’s known as the success hormone. For example, you feel happy when you achieve a goal or finish a task because your brain secretes dopamine. The problem is dopamine can be addictive.

Addictive drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, induce dopamine to make you happy like a highly successful person. Maybe that’s why they call them “dope.” Some companies reward their employees for achieving escalating goals to make them addicted to success so that they would slave for the company. So, when you are happy, make sure what’s causing it. You don’t want to become a dopamine addict because you will keep asking for more.

Endorphin is released when we engage in physical activities—walking, running, swimming, etc. Endorphin makes you happy and numbs the pain during workouts so you can push your limits and feel the pain later. It makes you happy first; cry later! But not as harmful as dopamine, but if you achieve goals for your activities, then you are motivated by both endorphins and dopamine.

Serotonin is released during a social gathering. You are happy when you are with people because your brain releases serotonin. Social connection is vital for your happiness because we are social creatures. Have a community you trust, such as a church or small group, and meet regularly to enjoy the happy serotonin boost. Serotonin also helps increase your melatonin and enables you to sleep well.

The fourth hormone, oxytocin, is the most potent happy hormone. Oxytocin is not addictive. Instead, it can heal addiction and emotional wounds. Many of you know my father used to run a rehab center in Burma for drug addicts using spirituality. It was exceptionally successful because the addicts could replace their happiness from the drug-induced dopamine with non-addictive healing oxytocin.

Out of these four happy hormones, oxytocin is preferable because it’s healthy, healing, and holistic. The question is, how do we get it? Unlike dopamine, which comes from achievements, endorphins from activities, and serotonin from social gatherings, oxytocin comes from love. It’s a spiritual hormone.

That’s why oxytocin is known as the love hormone. For example, when a mother gives birth to a child, she releases a great deal of oxytocin. The moment she holds the newborn baby in her arm, she forgets all her birth pain, and her emotional and physical wounds heal quickly. Jesus said,

When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:21-22).

Jesus is comparing the chemistry of childbearing with the chemistry of seeing his resurrection. He implies that the disciples must suffer the pain of seeing his crucifixion like a mother in labor, but they will be filled with joy like a mother after the delivery when they see the risen Lord. The kind of joy that no one can take from them.

Can anyone take away the joy of a mother? Our kids are grown up now. Sophie, my wife, can never forget the joy and satisfaction of bringing them into this world, no matter how much suffering she went through or whatever they may become.

A mother’s love is spiritual, beyond human reasoning and rationality. So oxytocin is not just a love hormone but a spiritual hormone.

A group of researchers at Harvard University conducted an extensive study on why some people could handle highly stressful situations and live long and healthy while others die sooner. They held the same high-stress jobs without developing stress-related diseases like cardiovascular problems.

To make the long story short, they discovered those who live longer had a high level of oxytocin, which came from their belief system. It reinforces the statistics that show people who attend church live much longer comparatively.

Based on what Jesus said above, your belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ lets you experience the love that secretes oxytocin and gives you the kind of joy and happiness that no one can steal from you. So, based on today’s scripture lesson, let us look at what Jesus taught us about this love that keeps us thriving in this stressful and fallen world. Let’s begin!

[Hi, in case we haven’t met yet, I am Sam Stone, the Lightkeeper—you are the light of the world, and I am the keeper! (No pun intended). It’s my calling to help you shine your brightest so that God is glorified in you and you are satisfied in God.]

The Scripture lesson for today, on this Sixth Sunday of Easter, is from the Gospel According to John 14:15-21. [Listen to the Word of the Lord!]

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” (Jn 14:15–21).

[Blessed are those who delight in God’s word. Thanks be to God!]

The first two verses cover the theme of this passage:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” (John 14:15-16).

It includes three elements: motivation, action, and reward. Loving Jesus is motivation, keeping his commands is the action, and receiving the Holy Spirit is the reward. Recent psychological studies concluded that love is not an emotion but a motivation. Emotion is a feeling, but love is not a feeling. The misunderstanding could cause us trouble and make us irresponsible.

If love is a feeling, Jesus would not have commanded to love God and love people. He even commands us to love our enemies. If love is an emotion, how can anyone ever love their enemies? First, we must change our understanding of love. It’s a motivation that we have control over. So it’s our own intention and decision to love or not. In other words, we are responsible for our love and hate.

Once we settle that love is a motive, we must differentiate different kinds of love. When I say, “I love my wife,” it’s totally different from “I love pizza” or “I love reading.” The Greeks have six different words for love, “érōs, philía, agápē, storgē, philautía, and xenía.”

When Jesus says, “If you love me,” he uses the Greek word “agápē.” Scholars have struggled to define “agápē,” and many say it’s “sacrificial love” because Jesus exemplifies that love with his sacrifice. But, based on Jesus’ own teachings in the Bible, we can conclude that it’s harmonious love or “oneness” love, as Jesus talks extensively about the oneness in these chapters.

He says that he and the Father are one; he also wants us to be one with one another, with him, and with God.

When a mother gives birth to a child, the child has been with her for nine months as one flesh. Now they become two separate human beings, but they are still one in spirit. It will never change, even though there are exceptions in this fallen world. That “oneness love” produces indescribable joy and happiness that we now discover as the effect of oxytocin.

So, if you want your brain to secrete oxytocin, practice this love beginning with loving Jesus because he has proven that he is God in human form—to love him is equal to loving the Father.

Today, using the word ONE as an acrostic, let’s learn what he has taught us about this love in this passage that gives us eternal joy that no one can steal from us. That is the love that provides us with health, healing, and holiness.

Obey His Commandments

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (v. 15).

The word “love” Jesus used here is “agápē,” so, as explained above, Jesus is talking about “harmonious love” or “oneness love.” Jesus wants us to prove our oneness love by keeping his commandments, and he will prove his oneness love by giving us the Holy Spirit.

His commandments are very simple: love God and love people, nothing more and nothing less. Again, not any kind of love, but the oneness love. So, Jesus is saying, “If you love me, be harmonious with God and people as if all are of one body.” It’s simple but not easy because we live in a fallen world and deal with fallen people. However, if you do it, you will have healthy joy from oxytocin. He said,

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15:10–11).

Here he says that the outcome of keeping his commandments is for you to have complete joy, the kind of joy that is in him. He is giving us these commandments for our own joy and happiness.

The word “keep” is translated from Greek, τηρέω (téreó), which has complex meanings, including “to pay attention,” “to observe,” “to obey,” “to value,” and “to embrace.”

Most people don’t like the term “obey” because it sounds restrictive, but Jesus wants us to obey him because He created us that way and knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants us to obey him for our own benefit because, without him, we are like sheep without a shepherd. Without him, we live in anxiety because all other grounds are sinking sand.

Since love is a motivation but not an emotion, decide to obey the commandments by loving God and people and experience the healthy happiness that comes with it.

Notice His Presence

Jesus said,

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” (John 14:16).

The word “Advocate” is translated from Greek, παράκλητος (paráklētos), meaning “advocate,” “counselor,” “assistance,” or “comforter.” Literally, it means “someone who walks alongside you”—your companion.

He says he will give you “another” Advocate, implying he was our Advocate when he was on earth, but now he sends another One—the Holy Spirit—as our Advocate. He says,

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” (Jn 14:18).

That is important to remember because, even though we say we believe in God, we often live like an orphan without noticing his presence—the One walking alongside us. He also says, “to be with you forever.” The Holy Spirit is with us, not temporarily, but forever. Jesus could only be with us temporarily in human form, but the Holy Spirit is not confined by time and space.

So He is with us everywhere and every moment and forever. How do we know His presence? Jesus said,

“You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you … On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (Jn 14:17b, 20).

“Abides with you” indicates the Holy Spirit is by your side, and “he will be in you” means he is inside your heart. That is similar to what Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas, “The kingdom is within you and without you.” Jesus doesn’t want us to limit the Holy Spirit to the inside of our hearts and outside of our bodies. He is everywhere.

It’s like a little fish asking his mother, “Mom, you keep talking about water. Where is the water?” The mother fish replies, “The water is all around us and inside us.” As Paul said, “For ‘In him, we live and move and have our being.’” (Ac 17:28).

Let’s notice his presence and live and move and have our being in him. That’s absolute happiness!

Enjoy His Truth

“This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” (Jn 14:17).

Life can be confusing in this fallen world, and confusion generates anxiety. Jesus said he came into the world to testify to the truth, and now the Holy Spirit continues that mission to provide us with the truth. What is the truth Jesus came to testify? The truth is summarized in John 3:16,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16).

The truth is God loves you. He loves you so much that he would give his Son to you. That’s significant because it means God is willing to sacrifice everything to redeem you. Paul put it this way,

“He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” (Ro 8:32).

How do we know he is God’s Son? Resurrection! His resurrection proves he is the Son of God, and his death proves God loves us so much. The Holy Spirit continues to testify to you this truth. Like a mother, Jesus forgot about his pain upon his resurrection because he had given birth to a new creation. The truth is centered on his resurrection. Meditate on his resurrection to understand the truth of his love.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—free from anxiety; free from addictions; free from the enslavement of this fallen world; and free from anything you want to be set free from.

There we have it, the joy of “agápē” love—the harmonious love or oneness love. Let the eternal joy of love infuse your body, mind, and spirit, and let happiness permeate the world. Let’s become ONE with the Creator and Creation, beginning with three steps:

  • Obey His Commandments
  • Notice His Presence
  • Enjoy His Truth

That’s it for today. I hope you find this message illuminating as much as I enjoy receiving it from the Head Office. Until we meet again, keep your light shining brighter and broader, and harvest the fruit of profound freedom, purpose, and happiness.


Bye now!

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