Summary: It is important that we foster an intimate relationship with Jesus
• SLIDE #1
• Intimacy. The dictionary defines is as follows: a close personal relationship, a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association or study.
• Casual. The dictionary defines this word as follows: known only slightly or involving only slight knowledge of somebody or something, superficial- not involving emotional commitment or loyalty, or lacking in seriousness.
• If you were to choose what kind of relationship you would receive from someone important to you, which would you rather have?
• What kind of relationship do you think Jesus wants to have with you?
• What do we long for in life? Do we want to have empty relationships with people?
• Do you really want to go through life without having close relationships with people?
• Jesus does not want us to live our lives experiencing only a casual relationship with Him!
God doesn’t want that for any of us. He desires an intimate relationship with each of us that will give meaning and hope to our lives.
Does intimacy just happen on its’ own or does it take effort? Developing a truly intimate relationship with God takes a lot of effort and it is well worth it.
Today we are going to examine the nuts and bolts of intimacy with God.
Turn with me to John 15, we will begin with verses 1-4.
John 15:1-4 ( ESV ) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
Let begin by seeing:
I. THE PRODUCT OF INTIMACY WITH GOD IS FRUITFULNESS
• One of the ways we can tell if we are in an intimate relationship with God is by examining the fruit of our life.
• SLIDE #4
A. The mark of intimacy is the fruit we produce.
Verse one reminds us of an important fact!
One of the reasons producing fruit is a product of intimacy with God is if we belong to Jesus, we are a branch on the vine. Since we are a branch on the vine, we receive our nourishment from the vine.
If we are truly a part of the vine, then our fruit will reflect it.
In verse 4 we see that a branch cannot bear fruit if it is not a part of the vine.
Conversely one would think that because they are a part of the vine, they would just produce fruit, but that is not true.
According to verse two there will be some branches that do not produce fruit. We will look at those branches in a moment.
Many people feel they can produce fruit outside of a relationship with Jesus, but this is not true. Remember in verse 4 we are told of you are not a part the vine, you cannot produce fruit.
What kind of Fruit are we to produce?
Fruit of the Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23 ( ESV ) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Another fruit we will see is a changes life.
A changed life that results from belonging to Jesus?
2 Corinthians 5:17 ( ESV ) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Another fruit is Winning people to Jesus! The fruit God expects is all of the above!
Who determines if I am fruitful or not?
B. God judges if we are fruitful or not
I am good enough to go to heaven! I give to the poor, I help people, I would not hurt anyone, and I am a good father, husband. I am a good person!
This where many people are in their thinking concerning self.
Who judges whether or not we are producing fruit? It is God!
I do not get to decide how good I am or how fruitful I am. God does that. Verse 2 tells us this.
It took a lot of care from the vinedresser to get a good crop of grapes from the vine. The vinedresser had to constantly be watching the vine to make sure that no disease was overtaking it.