Summary: This sermon shows the positive benefits of choosing to abide in Christ.
Nov. 9, 2003 John 15
“Getting connected” (pt. 1)
BY CHOOSING TO ABIDE IN CHRIST...
1. You can be useful to God! (vs. 5, 6)
“...If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5,6 (NIV)
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8 (NIV)
2. You can be answered by God! (vs. 7)
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 15:7 (NIV)
“...I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16 (NLT)
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)
There was an elderly woman, who resided next to an affirmed atheist, in an older suburb. This woman received a meager social security survivor’s benefit. Although, her finances only afforded her not even the most basic meal plans, daily she would open her windows to give thanks & prayer unto GOD. Finally one day, the middle of the month arrived and she had not received her check. Instead of complaining, she opened her windows, fell on her knees and began to thank GOD and pray. The neighbor was sitting on his porch and overheard her praying "Lord although I don’t have any food in my home, I know you will provide!" The neighbor thought to himself, this is a great opportunity to prove to her there is no god. So he hurriedly went to the store, purchased a car load of groceries. Upon arriving home he placed them on her porch, rang her doorbell and hid in the bushes to spring his surprise. Finally, the elderly woman made her way to the door. She opened the door, saw all the groceries and rejoiced in the Lord!!.. about that time the neighbor jumped out from behind the bushes and exclaimed. God is not real, I bought those groceries there. To this the old woman exclaimed, "I knew my God would supply my needs, but I didn’t know he would make the devil pay for them!"
3. You can be surrounded with the love of God! (vs. 9-10)
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:9-10 (NIV)
“...God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)
4. You can be filled with the joy of God! (vs. 11)
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 (NIV)
“...for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17, 18 (NIV)
5. You can be called the friend of God! (vs. 14-15)
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:13, 14 (NIV)
“The LORD would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Exodus 33:11 (NIV)
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (NIV)
A famous New York diamond dealer heard about a wealthy Dutch merchant who was looking for a certain kind of diamond to add to his collection. The dealer called the merchant, told him that he thought he had the perfect stone, and invited the collector to come to New York and examine it.
The collector flew to New York and the dealer assigned a salesman to meet him and show the diamond. When the salesman presented the diamond ot the mrechant he described the expensive stone by pointing out all is fine technical features. The merchant listened and praised the stone but turned away and said, “It’s a wonderful stone but not exactly what I wanted.”