FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


“ABIDING IN CHRIST”

“ABIDING IN CHRIST”

John 15:1-5

Webster defines the word “abide”:  – “To remain or settle down.” In the Greek: “To continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.”

We live in a very mobile society – always on the go – on the move: relationship to relationship – state to state – company to company – spouse to spouse – church to church.

Fewer people seem to find God and abide in a close-knit relationship with Him.

T.V. has us trained – about every 6 minutes we want to go to fridge for a snack.  Culture conditions us to be on the go.

 

Here, Jesus tells disciples to “Abide.” – To stay awhile – settle down with me –remain with me.

This is for day by day and moment by moment.

In John 15 – Jesus invited them to “remain with Him.”

 Vs 1 – I am the True Vine

           I am = powerful words

           John 10:9 I am the door – John 10:11  I am the good Shepherd –  

           John 6:35 I am the bread  of life – John 8:12 I am the light of the world –

           John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life –

          Jesus gave definitive statements – powerful and exclusive. When you and I enter into His presence, we enter into the most powerful presence in the entire universe.

Vs 1 – True vine – True not in error. Jesus is not JUST another WAY – NOT just another Religion – NOT just another vine. Many religions today – BUT Jesus is the TRUTH.

Vs 1 – We are the branches – a limb or a shoot. If we are going to gain sustenance and life, we MUST abide in the TRUE Vine.

       Branches represent Christians = believers

       We share “Life” from the Vine.

       We draw “strength” from the Vine – Phil 4:13

       His presence is supreme – To abide with Jesus is to abide with God Himself

       No other religion can offer such kind of blessing and such a wonderful relationship

Vs 4 – “Abide in me and I in you”  Jesus invites us into His presence

           EXAMPLE: Before you can abide in your home – you MUST FIRST enter into that home.

          Abiding in Christ begins with salvation – trusting in His death – burial & resurrection as payment for your sins. You invite Him into YOUR heart.

          NOW – after saved – He invites you to “abide” with Him

          He invites you to come along aside Him – Draw substance from Him – cling to Him

          Just as the branch “clings” to the Vine.

          This is NOT temporary but a lifelong journey.

               How do we continue to abide in Jesus Christ?

 1. Consistent time spent in the Bible – John 1:1 – when you spend time in God’s Word, you spend time in God’s presence = you are abiding with Him.

    His Word is powerful and alive and His Word will change your life.

2. Prayer – James 4:8 ( Draw nigh to God …) God invites you to come “boldly” into His presence – Hebrews 4:16

    “Draw nigh” = “to come near”  “approach” “to be at hand”

3. Through trials – I Peter 1:7 – trials can draw us closer to God

    Folks without the Lord often turn to drugs – alcohol – vice etc. to try and cope with hardships

    But Christians can turn to a more intimate, close walk with the Lord.

    We can know He is our “comforter” – He understands our burdens and our trials.

EXAMPLE:  Man carrying bag of feed – offer him a ride – he gets in with bag of feed still on his shoulders. “Why don’t you put bag of feed down and relax?” He replied “I thank you for the ride, but I can’t expect you to carry my load too.”

Many Christians: “Lord, thank you for saving me and forgiving me of my sins and giving me a home in Heaven, but I can’t ask you to carry my load too.”

 John 15:4 “and I in you …” He abides in you through His Holy Spirit

Galatians 2:20 “…Christ liveth in me …”  I John 2:27 “…abideth in you …”  “ye shall abide in Him.”

This is FOREVER … that’s why Jesus said – Heb. 13:5 (never leave thee nor forsake thee)

 John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love”.

We live in a world starving for love – here – Jesus invites you to abide invites us to abide in Him so that we can experience His love.

The love of Jesus is eternal – Romans 8:35-39

John 4:10 – I John 4:8 – God’s love will go on forever

You may do some bad things – have some bad times – since you got saved – You have problems

You made mistakes … God still loves you – I John 4:10.

God’s love is unchanging and when you do bad things – He waits for you, with open – nail scarred hands – to welcome you back and to forgive you as you repent of your sins.

He waits to welcome you back into fellowship with Him.

John 15:4   

 God has a purpose for your life – for your existence.

A Christian can abide in Christ and know God’s leading in your life every day – day by day.

*  At work … He is with you

*  At the store … He is with you

*  In the emergency room … He is with you

* Even while you’re doing laundry – cooking meals – taking care of the kids –

 He promises to be  with you. Hebrews 13:5 (never leave or forsake thee).

 The more you abide in Christ, the greater your desire will be to grow in Faith and to fulfill God’s purpose in your life.

The more you abide in Christ – the more you will learn of Him.

When you receive Christ as Saviour – you then have a purpose in life – as you grow spiritually, you will be completely transformed.

Romans 6:13, 16, 19

A Christian – by yielding to Christ – we should come to the place in our lives where we would say: “Lord, I want to live for you; to have your purpose flowing through me. I want you to live your life through me – to have your purpose flowing through me.” Galatians 2:20

 

The Purpose Of The Christian Who Abides In Christ

John 15:2 – Here is our purpose – bear fruit through an abiding relationship with Christ.

John 15:16 – The Christian’s purpose for our lives is to bear fruit that remains.

Titus 3:14 – Paul teaches Christian’s that we are NOT to be unfruitful – but that our responsibility is to bear fruit.

 Notice Psalm 1:1-3 – Jesus is the Living Water. A saved person is to live next to the Waters of Jesus Christ. John 4 – He is the Living Water.

Jesus is the Word – John 1:1; Rev. 19:13 – We are to be in God’s Word.

 How often? Psalm 1 – the tree is PLANTED by the Waters. The tree remains there.

In the dessert, to grow plants, trees etc. there must be a daily watering.

If not, with the heat and wind etc. – the green turns brown.

There MUST be a method of watering = irrigation.

Same with the Christian, there MUST be a method of daily getting into God’s Word.  John 7:38

 John 15:1-5

 Here, Jesus tells disciples to “Abide.” – To stay awhile – settle down with me –remain with me.

This is for day by day and moment by moment.

In John 15 – Jesus invited them to “remain with Him.”

 

The Product Of An Abiding Life

The Fruit Of The Spirit

 The Bible talks of “fruit bearing.”  There are two types of this found in the Bible.

1. Proverbs 11:30 – winning souls – Hebrew word = “reward.”

2. Galatians 5:22 – 23 “fruit” = “to pluck” – “Pull” – “take”

    The Holy Spirit produces this in those who follow his guidance.

    Fruit bearing is more than leading people to Christ

    Fruit bearing – in all reality – is “Christ-likeness”

    Since Christ is the Vine and Christians are the branches … then our fruit is like Christ = Christ likeness.

In the “Fruit of the Spirit” – God’s spirit flows through you like the “sap” flowing from the vine into the branches. This allows you to “bear fruit” in your Christian character.

                         Some Evidences of a “Fruitful life”

 

It is NOT getting excited in a church service – It is NOT all about an emotional display,  It deals with the way you live your everyday life.

 

1. One evidence = a God-like love – only God can grow this in your life.

It is a love of the kind we read about in I Cor. 13 = the kind that endures all things.

    Christians easily offended are not filled with the Holy Spirit of God – Why?  Love ENDURES ALL things.

 2. Another evidence is Joy – NOT the world’s happiness but an inner spiritual joy bubbling up within you from Jesus Christ – the living water – John 4

3. Peace – a tranquility of mind that comes from God – not pills. The peace of God that brings stability and inner strength into our lives – no matter what our circumstances may be like.

4. Longsuffering – forbearance; patience; fortitude, steadfastness under pressure Example: two  people may be going through a similar experience:  unemployment; family problems etc.

    One continues to go to church and remains faithful to his family and to God.

    They have a sweet spirit and don’t gripe and complain nor blame god or others.

    The next: similar trials – becomes disgusted, gripes, lays out of church, blames God & others for his problems. He gets bitter against God and with others.

    Both claim to be Christians. What’s the difference? The joyful one is abiding in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit. He is bearing fruit; he is longsuffering.

    The other person, has not yielded to the Holy Spirit’s leading and has not allowed Him to  produce “fruit” in his life.

5. Gentleness – Kindness that expresses compassion & care to others.

6. Goodness – the opposite of evil. The desire for what is good by God’s standard and to love the things of God more than the ‘things” and evil of this world.

7. Faith – Ever wonder how to Grow in faith? As you abide in Christ, He will produce more faith in your life.  He will develop, build and strengthen your faith.

8. Meekness – Meekness is power under control. Giving Christ 1st place in your life – The preeminence in your life & your relationships. Death to self & the flesh

9. Temperance = self control = strength to control your emotions, desires and  your spirit.

  

The Fruit Of Soul Winning

                                                   John 15:1-5

Webster defines the word “abide”:  – “To remain or settle down.” In the Greek: “To continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.”

This is for day by day and moment by moment.

The Bible talks of “fruit bearing.”  There are two types of this found in the Bible.

1. Proverbs 11:30 – winning souls – Hebrew word = “reward.”

2. Galatians 5:22 – 23 “fruit” = “to pluck” – “Pull” – “take”

    The Holy Spirit produces this in those who follow his guidance.

Fruit bearing is more than leading people to Christ

Fruit bearing – in all reality – is “Christ-likeness”

Since Christ is the Vine and Christians are the branches … then our fruit is like Christ = Christ likeness.

In the “Fruit of the Spirit” – God’s spirit flows through you like the “sap” flowing from the vine into the branches. This allows you to “bear fruit” in your Christian character.

                                  Proverbs 11:30

Soul winning is reproducing other Christians. Abiding in Christ is also having a desire to see other people saved. This is a part of Spiritual growth.

Psalm 126:5-6 (sow tears – reap joy)

The fruit of the Spirit will affect your temperament, your personality, your response to everyday situations. You will see others as souls in need of a Saviour & you will have a burden to tell them of the love of Christ.

The purpose of the abiding Christian is to bear fruit. The product of the abiding Christian is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the salvation of lost souls.

                 The Praise Of The Abiding Christian

 This is found in John 15:8 (Father glorified)

The Christian who abides in Christ will bring glory to God. Our praise will be toward our Heavenly Father – (herein is our Father glorified).

The chief end of man is to glorify God.

We are to bear fruit to glorify God

A soul saved bring glory to God

A church built is to be for the glory of God.

Whenever something good happens – it is to be to the glory of God for what He has done.

For the abiding Christian – The praise and the credit for what happens – always goes to our Heavenly Father and NOT to self.

 John 15:1-5

Webster defines the word “abide”:  – “To remain or settle down.” In the Greek: “To continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.”

Purging Of The Abiding Christian

For a child of God to “bear much fruit,” we must be willing to accept God’s purging or pruning.

No one really likes pruning but everyone wants fruit.  But before you can bear fruit, there must be a process of purging or pruning. Pruning is a necessary part of fruit bearing.

 The “husbandman” is God.  He prunes and removes every thing that might hinder your increasing fruitfulness.

1st. By the discipline of the church. 

2nd. By suffering them to fall into temptation. 

3rd. By persecution and tribulation, by the deceitfulness of riches, and by the cares of the world

Matthew 13:21-22

4th. By death, for God has power thus at any moment to remove unprofitable branches from the church.

 Furit just doesn’t appear. There is a process of planting, watering, cultivating, growing, fertilizing (food), harvesting, and transporting. The food needs to get from the orchard to the store.

It is similar to the Christian, it is a process.

Vs 2 – “that beareth fruit” it MUST be purged to bring forth ….(next pt)

Vs 2 – “bring forth more fruit”

Vs 5 – “much fruit”

To purge in the life of a Christian, is to make us free of anything that is not pure or impurities; to get rid of anything that would hinder us from bearing fruit.

God wants to “prune” the pride out of our hearts

He wants to heal our hurt

He wants to bear our burdens

In His purging of things from your life, He is preparing you fro greater blessings and victories

The growth process is rigorous. Christians must be willing to endure it. We must look at every obstacle as an opportunity to reach your full potential as a Christian.

To grow as a Christian ….

1. Water = Word of God. Psalm 1:3

    Trees need water. Jesus is the “living water” (John 4:10)

    Rev. 22:1 & 19:13 Jesus is the  “Word”

    Just as a tree needs water, the Christian needs to be in the Word of God; planted in a local N.T. Church where the Word of God is taught. This is spiritual nourishment

 

2. You MUST be receptive to the Word of God. Matthew 13:23

    (heard Word, understands it, bears fruit)

    Their minds were receptive; their hearts were open to the Word.

    Just like a farmer preparing the soil for his crops,  the Christian must prepare your heart by choosing to be tender to God’s word.

    Luke 6:38 (read- give and shall be given) (next page)

When some folks leave a church, they often use the excuse; “I wasn’t getting anything out of it”

There is a reason why …. They weren’t putting anything into it

The Bible principle – “GIVE and it shall be GIVEN – is true.

You receive, in proportion, what you put into it.

Don’t plow, plant, fertilize, etc. How much will you harvest?

How much time do you prepare your heart before church service?

How do you receive the Word of God? What kind of ‘ground” does it fall upon?

Hosea 10:12 (927)

 For you and I to bear fruit, there must be, from time to time, a purging by the Heavenly Father = God = a process of pruning.

It’s not always pleasant, fun, or timely as to our choosing.

There MUST be a trimming, shaping, chastening by a loving God before we can experience fruit from an abiding relationship.

Has a couple peach trees in back yard in Wisconsin. Grew very little peaches. Nice tree, lots of branches & leaves, but very little peaches.

Wife’s uncle was visiting. (he was  looking around & saw tree etc.)

He told me how to prune it to grow a lot of peaches.

I did and next season, limbs were full of nice, juicy peaches.

Dead wood is worthless – so is spiritual dead wood in the life of a Christian, worthless.

The Father cleanses, purifies, frees from sin

It may be “dead wood” of pride; gossip; bad attitude; unforgiveness; sowing discord; wrong priorities; worldliness; little to no prayer life; etc.

To purge – prune is to “cut” and that hurts.

Maybe like cutting a cancer or a disease out – afterwards, a healing process.

But afterwards, in season, God can now produce fruit in our lives.

                       Purging Signifies God’s Providence

                                                    John 15:1-5

Webster defines the word “abide”:  – “To remain or settle down.” In the Greek: “To continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.”

For a child of God to “bear much fruit,” we must be willing to accept God’s purging or pruning.

No one really likes pruning but everyone wants fruit.  But before you can bear fruit, there must be a process of purging or pruning. Pruning is a necessary part of fruit bearing.

 The “husbandman” is God.  He prunes and removes every thing that might hinder your increasing fruitfulness.

 God is sovereign. He has a plan for our lives and He is in control.

John 15:1 “… and my Father is the husbandman.”

The husbandman works the land; He is a “vine dresser.” He has full authority over the land and the vines, trees etc.  He has the authority.

Just like a father who knows what is best for his child, God, our Heavenly Father, knows what is best for us.

A little child darts out into or towards the street … this is against the father’s will.

The father goes and gets the child. He may call for him 1st, but, if no response, he goes and gets him, brings him back and disciplines him because he loves him. The father wants no harm to come to his child.

God, our Heavenly father, is the same. He loves us to much and He will go after us when we stray. He wants to bring us back to the safety of an abiding relationship with Christ.

Hebrews 12:6

A Christian who resists the Holy Spirit is saying “no” to God and is refusing to yield to God.

This forces God to do some purging in his life. He may take the unyielding branch away from the local church, if He chooses. He may remove them from this earth.

John 15:2  the branch that does not bear fruit – he removes.

Also, the fruit bearing branch is also purged.

This refers to the faithful Christian who serves, invites, prayes etc.

This purging may not be chastisement, but it is God’s way of shaping us to do His will.

Maybe you are doing your best, but you will face hardship. Remember … God only prunes for your profit; He prunes to make you a better Christian; to make you better; to increase your productivity. God purges so that you will bear more fruit.

Remember .. when you abide when you are being purged, you are acknowledging that God is in control and you are allowing Him to do what he needs to do in your life.

God is the Husbandman, He is in charge.

 

Purging Increases Your Productivity

 John 15:2 – “…he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

The Christian that is serious about bearing fruit, will be purged.

If there is anything that draws your affection away from God;  anything that comes between you and God, He needs to purges it out of your life.

When He does this, God can now produce more fruit in your life.

 When a Christian turns their back on God when God is purging them, they will face another trial and more lessons to be learned.

Deut. 4:30-31 – Eph 3:13 – Romans 5:3-5 – here, Paul could rejoice in tribulations.

God was placing patience, experience and hope (what Paul needed) in Paul. God was in control.

God was pruning Paul in order to produce more fruit in Paul.

God will strengthen you as you are willing to endure His present purging so that you can fulfill a greater purpose for God in your life.

 Purging Brings About The Purification Of God’s Children

 John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the Word …”

Jesus spoke to His 11 disciples

In view is a vineyard.

Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, burial and resurrection

He wanted them to be clean or “set apart” for serving Him

We can look at two different applications:

1. Jesus was speaking to the group of 11 disciples

2. Jesus was also speaking to the disciples as individuals

 They had been cleansed as a group by His spoken Words and also by the removing of Judas from their group.

Judas had an outward appearance of belief, but he never had put his faith and trust in Jesus as Savior. He was removed from their group = the local New testament Church.

 God  sometimes a church by removing or purging someone so that He can produce more fruit.

God also purges the individual. He is concerned with our individual purity or Holiness.

He wants us to keep “short” accounts of our sin = to confess and forsake sin in our lives.

Purging is a part of the purification process. God’s Word is an agent for cleansing. His Word is used to prune us into the image of Christ. Hebrews 4:12 (Word quick & powerful).

QUICK = alive. It enters our lives to cleanse and purify us before God.

Why? So He can produce more fruit.

 Always remember – God has a purpose for purging. His desire is for us to be pure vessels bearing fruit that will please God.

You may have a great burden or having a great trial. Some folks run from God. He prunes and chastens to try to get us to turn back to Him.

God is trying to touch your life to bring you closer to Him = the vine of John 15.

Realize that you are just the branch God is the Husbandman; Jesus is the Vine

 Look for and claim His Grace when you are going through a trial – testing – or burdens. I Peter 1:7  (trial of faith)

 When you abide in Christ when purged, later, you will be able to praise His name and thank God for His goodness.

James 1:1-5 Some turn from God in trials & go back to old friends and old habits & life styles.

This limits God & keeps Him from developing your full potential & restricts fruit bearing that He wants to produce in your life.

 Life’s tragedies and trials are never a reason to “bail out” or run from God. They are reasons to abide and wait for greater fruit to be produced.

Always abide and trust in Him.

                               Abiding And Prayer

                                  John 15:7 –“…ask what ye will …”

The context is Abiding in Christ and Christ’s Words abiding in you and me.

Abiding in Christ brings forth fruit vs 2 & 5

It brings forth cleansing  vs 3

It brings purging or pruning so that we will bring forth more fruit and much fruit

Now … Vs 7 – Abiding is a KEY to having our prayers answered by God.

 In the Bible, we find that God wants us to communicate with Him in prayer and He is willing to help us when we have needs and problems.

We need a personal, private time alone with God in prayer – more than just a prayer at meal time.

To have a truly abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, you must learn to abide with Him in prayer.

Prayer is asking – pleading and interceding for others as well as for self.

 I. Prepare for prayer

    A. Scripture

         1. I Thessalonians 5:17

         2. James 5:16 & James 4:2

         3. Psalm 34:17

         4. God wants us to abide with Him in prayer and He wants us to bear fruit of answered Prayer

    B. Praise the Lord

         1. Realize you have a righteous and a Holy God Matt. 6:9 (hallowed  be thy Name)

         2. Praise Him even in times of distress Acts 16:25 (Paul & Silas in prison)

         3. Hebrews 13:15 – praise is giving thanks to Him – telling others of the goodness of  God

    C. Confess our sin

         1. Psalm 66:18

         2. to have a successful prayer life, we must come clean with God

             a. anything less than that is just a mere show

             b. God already knows what our sins are, so we can’t “put up a front” with Him

             c. when you pray, you enter His presence; admit your sins and ask His forgiveness

    D. Exercise your faith

         1. Matthew 21:22 – put TOTAL confidence in the Lord.

         2. God’s  Word gives a promise that when we pray, believing, God will bless you

         3. Realize – faith is NOT demanding things from God.  Faith is Not telling God what to do

         4. Faith is believing God will & can do what He desires to do

         5. faith is putting TOTAL confidence in God

                           Abiding And Prayer

John 15:7 –“…ask what ye will …”

In the Bible, we find that God wants us to communicate with Him in prayer and He is willing to help us when we have needs and problems.

We need a personal, private time alone with God in prayer – more than just a prayer at meal time.   To have a truly abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, you must learn to abide with Him in prayer. Prayer is asking – pleading and interceding for others as well as for self.

  E. Pray in Jesus Name

      1. John 14:13

      2. Praying in Jesus Name is in the authority of God

      3. We are asking for His will to be done

      4. We go to God in Jesus Name = this is on Jesus account

      5. We are permitted to go to God by Jesus. The Son says, “tell my Father that I sent you”

 F.  Abide in His Word – John 15:7

      1. “IF” = First, we MUST do something if we want something

      2. God’s Word should be our guide as we pray

      3. As we grow in Christ = mature – the more we will understand the Bible, and the more your prayer life will be in line with God’s will and His Word.

      4. Proverbs 28:9 (read). If you do not obey God’s Word – apply it to your daily life, then your prayers will be (Hebrew) disgusting to God.

      EXAMPLE: In school, you didn’t like a subject, the teacher etc. and didn’t pay attention in Class. The day of the test (or night before) you beg God to let you or help you pass the test.      You don’t do so well.

      In the same manner, God says: “You didn’t listen” “You didn’t pay attention” “You didn’t study”  “You rejected my Word and I just don’t want to hear it, it’s disgusting.”

      5. We need God everyday not just in an emergency

      6. Psalm 37:4 – Our part = delight in God’s Word. God’s part = GIVE you ….

 Prepare your heart for prayer. Ask yourself: Am I abiding in His Word?

Do I acknowledge His power and His presence? Am I praising His Name?

Did I confess all my sins? Do I believe He will answer my prayer?

Do I pray in Jesus name? Am I faithfully reading the Word of God?

Remember … God love you and He wants to bless you and answer your prayer.

He lays down some instructions for us to follow in order to achieve this. God has the power and the desire to answer your prayers.

 

John 15:7

Defining Prayer: Simply put – Talking to God.  We ask for others, for self, confess sin, praising God for who He is. Prayer MUST have believing = FAITH. Prayer MUST have obedience to God’s Word; abiding in Him and His Words abiding is us.

Matthew 7:7-8 (read)

Bible Principals To Get Your Prayers Answered

 1. Prayer must be according to God’s will

    When you get away from God’s will; or when you show dishonor to God and disobey Him, then you most likely will ask for things that would not be good for you.

 2. God may not give you what you want, but will give you His grace to get through it

    II Cor. 12:8 – it was Not God’s will to heal Paul. God may choose not to lift your burden or choose not to give healing to you –

    But His will may be to give you His grace to get through it.

    God’s grace and His strength will carry you through your trial

 3. Prayer is NOT an opportunity to tell God what to do

 4. Faith does not bind God to your whims

 5. Prayer is seeking His will and asking for God’s help in accomplishing His will.

 6. James 4:3 – asking amiss – you pray and ask God for a nice summer home to vacation home.

 You tell God “I’ll only miss church a couple Sunday’s a month in the summer.”

 “God, I will pray and have devotions in my new summer home.”

 People like to “make deals” with God; it don’t work.

 When you pray against Bible principals, you cannot expect God to bless.

 Asking amiss is praying out of the will of God

 7.  God’s Word abiding in you: Not only are remembered, but are suffered to remain in you as a living principle, to regulate your affections and life.

 8.  John 15:7 – “and it shall be done unto you.”  IF we meet God’s requirements, He simply says “it shall be done unto you.” 

     What would happen if God’s people began praying more than we presently pray?

 9. William Carey – Missionary to India “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.”   God specializes in impossible situations and He can answer prayer in a mighty  way.

 

 

10.  John 14:13 – God wants to bless us so that we can, and will, glorify His Name. He wants us to tell others of His goodness.      God wants you to tell someone else about His blessings in your life.

 1.  The Christian who abides with Christ is a Christian who pray’s.

       When you got saved, you “:prayed” to receive Christ as savior.

       Prayer is a key to maintaining your good relationship with Christ.

 12. Come to the Lord, several times a day, ask His help in every aspect of your life. God wants to hear from you.

                              Some quotes on prayer

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of His highest willingness

Prayer is the ascent of the mind to God.

 If Christ Himself needed to retire from time to time to the mountain-top to pray, lesser men need not be ashamed to acknowledge that necessity.

Prayer is the breath of faith.  Prayer meetings are the lungs of the church. –Spurgeon

Neglect of private prayer is the locust that devours the strength of the church. –Spurgeon

I am sure we cannot expect our children to grow up a godly seed if there is no family prayer. –Spurgeon

All our strength lies in prayer! –Spurgeon

Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended upon man.

Prayer is the Godward reach of a man’s soul.

Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. –Mueller

Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking.  The only way to trouble God is not to come at all. –Moody

Sometimes a few minutes in prayer have done more for a man than two hours in talk. -D.L. Moody

We are not told that Jesus ever taught His disciple how to preach, but He taught them how to pray.  He wanted them to have power with God; then He knew they would have power with man. – D.L. Moody

We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another

Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God.

Prayer is the voice of faith.

Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.

The Completeness Of His Joy

                   John 15:11 ……. that your joy may be full.”

 

Our joy can be constant and also be full.

It is great to be full. Leaving  a  restaurant … a gas station. You would like to be full … to get your monies worth.

The same with the life of a Christian.  It is God’s will, Jesus says, for our lives to be full of joy.

When the devil brings temptation you way, you can say, with all confidence, “No way.”

“I am so full of God’s love, His Word and His joy, I don’t want what you’re offering me.”

That’s why we can say with Nehemiah 8:10 (549) “the joy of the Lord  is your strength.”

(Strength = fortification; strong hold; Rock; defense)

 

The Joy the Lord offers is vastly different than the joy that this world offers to us.

The world offers ballgames, amusement parks, as well as drugs, getting rich, alcohol, immorality, popularity etc.  These things only offer  temporary satisfaction.

When the fun is over, a feeling of emptiness remains.

The promise of Jesus is that we can have joy that remains and a joy that satisfies.

Psalm 16:11 (fullness = satisfying / joy = pleasure)

When you get in the presence of the Lord, gathered around His Word, you will have fullness of joy.

If you let yourself get filled with the philosophies of the world, you do not have the fullness of the Joy of the Lord.  One displaces the other.

If you are not experiencing God’s joy, then you are not abiding in Him.

When you are abiding in Jesus, remaining in Him (John 15:11), and letting Him live His life through you; then you can experience the full and abundant joy of the Lord.

Again, we are to have the Joy of Jesus in us … it is to remain in you & me … it is to be FULL.

The Christian life is to be one of joy & delight, not of drudgery.

Matt 11:29 – “take my yoke upon you …learn of me).

Our daily walk with Christ is to bring pleasure in your life & rejoicing despite the fact that we have hard ships, and unforeseen circumstances.

 

Abiding in the Lord is abundant and eternal. The happiness of this world is temporary and shallow.

 

 

 

 

 

Salvation

Romans 8:28-30

 We have studied in the past few weeks – John 15 = Vine and Branches – that  God has a purpose for Christians – that we bear fruit: A. The Fruit of the Spirit;  B. The Fruit of winning souls

 This leads us to study God’s purpose in transforming our lives.

Conformity To The Image Of Christ

 1. When a person receives Christ as savior, most folks do not realize or think about God’s long term plan for your life. Romans 8:28

2. In Christian growth, there should come a time when we turn our focus on fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives and our future. We should be grateful for salvation – forgiveness of sins – a home in Heaven. But there is MORE.

3. Romans 8:29 – Conformity to the image of Christ

    a. You were saved so God’s will could be accomplished through your life. I Thess. 5:24

    b. You & I will never be perfect like Christ.

    c. It is God’s will that we grow in His Word and conform to the image of  His Son, Jesus, while we live on this earth.

    d. God’s plan for your life was predetermined by God. Romans 8:29

        In God’s fore knowledge, He knew if you would be saved or not; the choice was / is yours. The predestinate part is this: God predetermined a plan for your life after you got saved.

        God has a predetermined plan for your life.

        The focus of a Christian should be on His purpose of your conforming your life to the image of Christ

    e. This is for NOW – in this life. In Heaven, our sin nature will not hinder hinder us – it will be erased in Heaven. There, the saved will live in perfect obedience and comply to God’s Righteousness.

        In Heaven, Christian’s will be like Christ: John 3:2

        In this life on earth, God has a plan for your life and He prepares us, in this life, for Heaven.

 Making Christ Preeminent = 1st Place In Your Life

 1. God saved your soul so that you would bring glory to Him and magnify Him; NOT to bring glory to yourself. Romans 8:29

2. Firstborn: term used in Jewish culture that speaks of a privileged status. The eldest son had preeminence.  Colossians 1:18

                    Fulfilling God’s Will In Your Life

Ephesians 1:11

1. God knows your destiny, therefore, we can have assurance that: (Romans 8:28)

    Always remember … God makes no mistakes.

2. God has predetermined your destiny and He calls you to fulfill His will in your life.

    a. the 1st thing a person can do in beginning to fulfill God’s will is: II peter 3:9

        God never limited His atonement – man limits it by rejecting Christ as Saviour – John 3:18

    b. the next thing is found in II Timothy1:9 (His purpose)

        God calls – indicating that He wants your answer.

        God has His perfect will for your life and you have a free will. You obey and fulfill His will

        for your life OR do your own thing = to disobey God’s will

        We have a responsibility to respond to His call.

        God predetermined your destiny – He called you to fulfill it and He paid for your destiny

        with His shed blood on the Cross for your sins.

    c. God’s view and perspective is not limited. He knows it from beginning to end.

        He saves us – keeps us saved – He has a perfect will and a perfect plan for your life.

 

Sanctification

 

1. God’s purpose is for Christian’s to conform to His image – becoming more like Christ

    Does this mean now? Or in Heaven?

2. Do I respond to life’s problems like everyone else Or does God have a better plan?

    Romans 8”9-12 & 14-15

3. God is interested in sanctification for us now, in this life.

    a. This is an ongoing process or work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer.

    b. He leads us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

    c. Remember … Holy Spirit took up residence in the saved person, the moment you received

        Christ as Savior. Ephesians 1:13

    d. the Holy Spirit guides you in the process of becoming more like Christ

4. A person does not become Godly the day they received Christ as Saviour

    It is a growth process. II Thessalonians 1:3; II Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:11-15;

    Ephesians 2:19-22

5. Your fulfilling God’s plan for your life is a matter of the heart

    a. Romans 8:13 – Holy Spirit desires change to change your life & do a work from the inside to the outside

    b. Romans 12:2 – This is accomplished by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit working in your heart

    c. God is working in the life ( and heart) of the Christians to make us mature. I Peter 5:10  Hebrews 13:21

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment so far
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very informative post! Thank you for sharing with us.

Comment by Disciple




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