Summary: God promised fruitfulness, but this fruitfulness comes from our respond to His call
TOPIC: FRUITFULNESS COMES FROM THE HEART
Text: John 15:1-17
Do we want to become fruitful in our life? Do we want to see God’s promises happen in our life? Probably your answer is a big, “YES!” But do you know that in every blessing that we receive from God, there is always a responsibility that we need to do. We want to receive blessings but we normally don’t want responsibility. In our today’s text in John 15:1-17, God gave us two promises: “…so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (v. 11) and “...the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (v. 16b). Both of this promises is a sign of a fruitful and healthy Christian life. And both come from the heart. Isn’t this the blessing we would like to receive from God? That we would have a fruitful, healthy life just as John 10:10b, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Now what is the responsibility that goes with it? At least from this text we will see two things we need to do: (LL. A Generation of Mules - "The church today is raising a whole generation of mules. They know how to sweat and to work hard but they don't know how to reproduce themselves." it’s not known who said that, but it is a statement of incredible insight. Mules are hard workers. They have carried supplies, plowed fields, pulled wagons and transported people. The only problem is that they are almost always sterile and thus cannot reproduce. They are hard workers, but they are the ends of the line. They do not produce more like themselves. The church is full of hard workers. They teach classes, serve the physical needs of others, clean up and mow the grass, cook, move tables, organize social activities, visit and even write letters and cards, and do a host of other things. There is just one problem. They don't "reproduce." They don't teach the gospel to the lost so others can become hard workers. They are the ends of the line. The real job the Lord gave us is to go into the world and "reproduce ourselves" by making disciples of others (Mat_28:18-20). It is a tough lesson to realize that you may have worked hard and yet still haven't gotten the job done. Let us say it plainly. If we are not evangelizing, we are not doing the job completely. If we are nothing more than a generation of mules, we are on the road to extinction. Hup, Mule! Gee-Haw!!!)
I. THE CALL: TO REMAIN (vv. 1-9) To remain – the idea of calling here to remain means that someone being called, has a previous relationships with the one calling. – As in the case of I John 4:15. The calling to remain is a calling to become faithful. Calling to remain to what? Become faithful to what?
1. To remain in HIS PRESENCE (vv. 1-7)
Even in time of pruning, in time of testing and trials. Staying and remaining in His presence is the best place to be. David in Psalm 23 discovered it, “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord (in His presence) forever.”
2. To remain in HIS WORD (vv. 7-8) I John 4:24
(ILL. You Gotta Look at It! A man was seated on a park bench when a little chap of about five sat down beside him and started winding what appeared to be a most prized possession-a watch. "My, what a pretty watch," remarked the man. "Does it tell you the time?" "No sir," replied the boy; "you gotta look at it.") God's Truth is everywhere, but you must look for it and at it to see it. By reading, studying, meditating, memorizing and by applying His word in our life.
3. To remain in HIS LOVE (v. 9)
The only motive that can keep us from remaining in Him is His love. Apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ constraints us…” 2 Cor. 5:14
THE PROMISE: “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” v. 11
You cannot see a sick or a person with problem happy. It is only the healthy that joy is evident in his or her life. And a healthy person is a fruitful one. Without God’s joy in our life living is difficult and our effort in reaching others for Christ will be difficult. And we can only have it if we remain in His presence, in His word and in His love.
Now the question to each one of us is, are we remaining in Him? What we need to do is to listen to HIS CALL. Heed His call in your life, REMAIN IN HIM!