Summary: The world offers such temptation and many Christians are walking away from Jesus and toward the world, will you take a ride o ABIDE?
(All my sermons use illustrations found at www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.)
TO RIDE OR ABIDE?
I am afraid that many people who have sometime in their lives made a promise to God and to Christ, have been taken for a ride. I am certain that many Christians have been offered the ride the world has to offer and have decided that its okay to go for a little trip as long as they are belted in with the safety net of Jesus, and a promise they made to Him many years ago. We must ALL understand that temptation is not from GOD, but from Satan and our own evil desires that attempt to drag us away from the promise we make to Jesus to abide in Him. The lure of the world and the temporary satisfaction it might offer us is sometimes very difficult to resist. Some will rationalize, “Well just this one time won’t hurt anything!” BUT, I am here to tell you folks, it is the start of something that could end up with dire ramifications.
The story is told of a native from a remote mountain village who had the opportunity to visit a large modern city for the first time. He could not bring much home with him, and he had little money. But he was amazed at the
electric lights which he saw everywhere. So he bought a sack full of electric lights bulbs and sockets with switches so he could turn them off and on. Arriving home he hung the light bulbs in front of his home and on his and his neighbor’s trees. Everyone watched him with curiosity and asked him what he was doing, but he just smiled and said, "Just wait until dark--you’ll see." When night came he turned on the switches, but nothing happened. No one had told him about electricity. He did not know the light bulbs were useless unless connected to the source of their power. Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do nothing." There are many people who do not know that the way they are living their lives is useless. They got the education; they got the job; they made the family; and bought the home but when the sunsets and night comes and they reach for the switch nothing happens. They do not know that there is a source, which makes all these things light up.
If you have your Bible with you this morning, please turn with me to the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John, and read along with me this morning.
John 15:5-8 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 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. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
TAKE A RIDE OR ABIDE?
I. STAYED PLUGGED IN!
So many times people get caught up in the excitement of what Jesus can do in their lives and they make a promise to give their lives to Him, and then they forget that part of that promise is to STAY CONNECTED.
I think that one of the first things I learned about repairing household appliances is to always check and see if it is still plugged in. Now, I know that this may sound simplistic, but I bet that many people have made this same mistake. They go to use the washing machine one morning and find that it is not working. The first thing to do is to check and see if the power source is working, if it is not plugged in it won’t work, and then to check and see if the fuse box has tripped. If there is no power going to the washer it won’t work. I no for a fact that many people have called the repair man only to have him make a house call and plug the machine back in.
Perhaps we as Christians should see this as the simplistic lesson of why our walk with Jesus is not working as well. Have we unplugged? Have we walked away from the power source of our Christian walk. Jesus makes it simple for us to understand when He says; “APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING”
How we stay connected to God is simply done through prayer and study of His Word. F. Andresh Czonka, an immigrant from Hungary now a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Illinois: Americans are afraid. I see the fear in their eyes; I hear it in their voices. They lock their doors. They lie to protect themselves. I feel so bad for the country. But I feel so bad for the individual people; they seem to hurt so much, to be so alone. My country had problems. But we had an inner strength that is missing here. We had a different group of things we wanted to achieve, different things that we considered important and valuable. I wish this for Americans, to have the inner strength that God can give. When I came to this country, I was excited to be an American and to be with Americans. I looked at your country and felt it was the best in the world. And since my childhood I have believed that your country was blessed because of your faith in God and you’re chasing for the right things in life. But now I think differently. Americans don’t have much real faith in God. This surprised me. I thought when the tough times come; Americans make it okay by praying to God and being connected with Him. But this is not the case. Not many people pray. People here think they can do it by themselves. This saddens me, because I am a man of faith. I know I cannot do it except by the grace and power of God. (If Things Are So Good, Why Do I Feel So Bad? pg. 27, 31 by George Barna)