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The Life of Chosen People
John 15:9 - 16
We are in the harvest season. The crops the farmer has planted has borne fruit. The seeds must be planted in the dark damp ground if they are to grow and product a bountiful harvest. I can remember when I was a small child that my parents planted some seeds in the garden and nothing seemed to be growing so I began to dig up the bean seeds to see if they were growing yet. That did not help them to grow but my curiosity was satisfied that in fact they had sprouted.
Some Christians are just package seeds. They never get planted where they can grow and develop a harvest. They only stay in the safe secure package and never get into the cold dark earth. The previous section in John 15 tells us that if we do not bear fruit we will be cut off and cast into the fire. Today we want to look at the practical growth of Christian and the way our life should be as people chosen by God.
This passages tells us four ways in which we are to grow as a Christian;
growing by following Christís example,
growing in our love for fellow believers,
growing in friendship with God,
and growing in fruitfulness.
God loves us dearly just as He also loved his Son. Jesus is our example of obedience. Jesus says we demonstrate our love for God by being obedient. What was Jesusí relationship to His Father before he came to earth? Jesus left his glory in heaven and came to earth for our sake. Romans 8:32.
God has given us his most cherished gift His own Son. Do we love people who are hard to get along with? I am sure that Jesus had a hard time loving the Pharisees and Publicans but He brought them the message of love. He need to be sensitive to the needs of others and less sensitive about our own needs and feelings.
Jesus remained obedient to God even until death. Phil 2:8,9.
So every believer must remain in Jesusí love by being obedient to the commands of God. Loving our neighbour, our family members even when they make it difficult to love them.
Each of us struggles in different areas of our life. For some it may be gossip, others resentment, some people fight with bad habits, others struggle with their thought life., still others might have difficulty with gambling or be poor stewards of the material things God has given to them.
Whatever your problem you must deal with it and change to show your love for Christ. If you have a problem which is bothering you, seek out a mature Christian and get things sorted out in your life. Come and see me or Lydia and we will try to help. God wants us to get the victory through the power of the Spirit. When we are victorious we will have true joy.
A Christianís deepest joy springs from periods in his life when he obeys Christ with unreserved commitment. No one is more miserable than the Christian who for a time hedges in his obedience. He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures and he does not love Christ enough to relish a life of holiness. Torn between these two sides he feels pulled apart and cannot enjoy his walk with God.
In Verse 11 Jesus tells his disciples that He has told them this so that his joy may be in them and that their joy may be complete. There is only one verse in the New Testament that tells us about the joy which Christ had. Turn to Hebrews 12:2
What was that joy? Jesus saw beyond the cross. He saw the redemption of the world through his sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus had a choice and he chose to die for our sins. Jesus wants us to have a full and complete joy. John 10:10b I am come that they might have abundant life. He wants us to be free from the guild and burdens of sin. Do you have true joy? Does your spirit feel free this morning or are you carrying a burden? If you do not have real freedom this morning, confess you sins and Jesus will give you a peace that passes understanding and an indescribable joy.
We need to grow in love for fellow believers. Many Christians talk about the bliss of heaven but speak about the hell here in their homes. As one person has said it
To live above with those you love -Undiluted glory!
To live below with those you know - Quite another story
This should not be so.
The believer who hungers for deep intimacy with Jesus Christ must follow Christís command to love everyone. This is difficult. The unkindly people try to bring out the worst in me. The whiners get on my nerves, the gossips and the arrogant, the immature and the silly seem to all conspire to drain my best intentions to love them all. The answer to my dilemma is that the branch cna do nothing apart from the vine, and that Jesus himself loved his friends, his unlovely, whining, gossipy, arrogant, immature and silly friends, enough to die for them. We need to love even the worst saints and sinners.
We need to grow in our friendship with God.
Friendship does not allow us to tell God what to do but it does allow us to question so that we might understand. The distinction Jesus draws between the servant and a friend is not the distinction between obeying and not obeying but the difference between understanding and not understanding. Paul still considers himself a slave but he also points out that believers are no loner slaves but sons, in as much they have left behind the covenant which enables them to participate in the delights of their promised inheritance. (Gal 4:1 - 7)
We can all know the masterís business. God tells us that his will is that all the world should be saved. Letís be about Godís business. Being a friend means that we are loyal, we trust and we do not work against the purposes of God.
We must trust God-ordained leadership and work in unity to build the church. True friendship and love cost Jesus his life. Are we willing to support and stick up for one another?
During the war there was an underground network of people willing to give their life to save the Jews. What about our dedication for fellow believers?
We need to grow in fruitfulness.
To be fruitful means that we must be connected to the true vine as the first 8 verses tell us. Jesus says he has chosen us.
A skeptic once asked Joseph Parker of England, ďWhy did Christ choose Judas?Ē Dr. Parkerís answered, ďI do not know but I have a bigger mystery still. Why did Christ choose me?Ē
Why were we chosen? We donít know. We can only marvel at Godís goodness and then go out and share the goodness shown to us. What was the purpose for being chosen? Israel misunderstood why God chose them. They used Godís blessings for their own pleasures. We receive Godís blessings. Do we use it to help others turn to Christ or do we use our blessings on ourselves? We are to pray for fruitfulness The context of the statement ďgive whatever you ask.Ē is not for our own pleasures but for spiritual fruitfulness.
What does it mean to pray in Jesus name?
1) It means that we pray according to everything which that name stands for. We are Ambassadors for Christ. We represent heaven here on earth. What would our King do? We should be doing exactly the same. Jesus was homeless but he did not ask for a home. He asked for the salvation of the world and that every believer would be kept until death. Phil 1:9, 10
2) Praying in Jesus name meant hat we seek to Glorify the name in which we are praying. We try to honor Christ by what we ask for.
3) We pray in Jesus name so that we remember that He is Lord and we need him to accomplish that we our heart yearns for. We ask according to his will I John 5:14.
As people of God
Letís grow in following Christ by obedience to all Godís word.
Grow in love for fellow believers
Grow in friendship with God, studying his words to understand what His business is.
Grow in fruitfulness. - Help other come to know Christ as Lord and Saviour and your joy will be complete!!!!!
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