Summary: God wants you to experience the fullness of a life that is pleasing to Him by knowing who you are in Christ and abiding In Him.
October 10, 2010
Text: Colossians 1:10; John 15:1-8
Subject: What God Wants
Title: Living a Life that Pleases God
We continue this morning with our series, “What God Wants”. As I told you last week that this is not about what God wants from you, but what He wants for you, even though the two are closely related.
What is it that God wants for you? Whatever it is we know that it will be what is best for you. Last week we learned that God wants you to know that you can know His will for your life. Today we want to show you that God desires that you live a life that is pleasing to Him. I want you to keep an open mind in this because there may be something said today that will open your eyes to see a different plan for your life than what you have always thought.
When I say that God wants you to live a life that pleases Him what is the first thought that comes to mind? I’m sure that most would say that God wants us to live a life of holiness – following the commandments – just being a good person. And that is true. God expects that from the life of a Christian. But that is what you think that He wants from you. How does living a life that is pleasing to Him relate to what He wants for you?
Going back to our original text from the first message in this series, let’s look at Colossians 1:10, 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…
The first thing that we see in that passage is that in order to live a life that pleases Him we must be fruit bearers. The second thing is that we must grow in the knowledge of God. Tonight we will focus on knowledge. For today we want to share with you the concept of bearing fruit.
There was a pastor in a small town who was asked to preach the funeral of one of his church members. He was an older pastor of an older congregation and as he began to preach he had one of those senior moments and he forgot the name of the man who had passed on. But undaunted by his failing memory he moved to the front of the casket, looked down and said, “This corpse has been a member of this church for 25 years.”
That is a funny but sad tribute to what the church or individuals can become if they do not become fruit bearers.
I want you to think about that as we study today. Read John 15:1-8
Lord, I pray today for Your anointing to speak the words You desire and also that the anointing of the Holy Spirit would be the teacher for this congregation that Your word says He will be.
I. THE PROCESS OF BECOMING FRUITFUL… 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes… what does God want for your life? He wants you to be fruitful. He wants you to bear fruit and in order for you to do so He is willing to take the time to do whatever it takes to enable you to be the best branch that you can be. Becoming fruitful is not an automatic when you accept Jesus into your life. Now when we talk about bearing fruit what does that mean to you? When I think about it I see two different things. 1) The idea of becoming an active participant in the fruit of the Spirit. These are the things that are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 and it is what every Christian can experience. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now, can you see that in this passage we see what God expects from us as well as what He wants for us. The fruit of the Spirit is not for His benefit, but for ours. Did you ever notice that the scripture says that collectively these are known as the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruits of the Spirit? That’s because once you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you through faith in Christ these character traits should be seen in everyone. So God, by His Spirit, will enable you to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind… I know many of you can look at one of those and say, I really need to work in that area”. The truth is that we should never focus on just one but on all the character traits that are mentioned. We have the Spirit of the Living God in us. Should we be lacking in any of these areas? Never! 2) Bearing fruit means seeing the result of your personal faith come to pass. If you are a Christian then the seed of your life that is planted should result in producing more Christians. The seed of the faith you plant in ministry should result in the promises of God becoming reality in the lives of those around you. That is what God wants for you. He wants you to be an effective branch. That is why…2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes… The branches that bear no fruit may remain a branch but it is cut away from the vine. But every branch that does bear fruit will be pruned so it comes back healthier and stronger in every season. Jesus said in Luke 19:26, “I tell you that to everyone who has more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing even what he has will be taken away.” That constant pruning is the working of the Holy Spirit in your life that changes you so that you are being transformed into His image from glory to glory. I want you to look at fruit this way. Nothing grows unless there has been a seed planted. God has given you a measure of faith. His promises are seeds. What you choose to do with that seed will determine whether you bear fruit or not. You can allow the seed to be planted in the fertile fields of faith in your spirit man, and then cultivate it with the word of God, prayer, and listening to the Rhema (spoken word) of the Holy Spirit within you. Or, you can cultivate that same seed in the natural man by confessing doubt and negative thoughts, thereby hindering the work of God that He wants for your life. If you will allow Him to God will, by His Spirit, continue to teach, guide, enlighten and convict (that’s pruning) and, He will nurture, and water and strengthen that seed by the same Spirit so that you can become fruit bearers.