Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thoughts on John 15:1-11 - pt. 4

What happens when we abide in Christ?
Positive Motivation

- Those who abide in Christ bear fruit (vs. 5) – The truth is that at the end of the day, all of us deeply long to be fruitful people. Nobody wants to come to the end of their lives, (or even to the end of a year) and look back and see that they lived a selfish, unsacrificial, unloving, cowardly, and shameful life. All of us want to be able to look back on our years and see that we have lived with boldness and love and big-heartedness and generosity and honor. This can only truly happen when we abide in Christ. Only then are we freed to live fruitful lives.

- Those who abide in Christ have their prayers answered (vs. 7) – When we abide in Christ, our desires become aligned with the will of God and our prayers are powerfully answered. Much like the first point, we all want to pray prayers that make a difference in this world. If we abide in Christ, our prayers will not only be answered, but they will be prayers that matter. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

- We glorify God and prove to be Christ’s disciples. (vs. 8) – Our bearing fruit doesn’t earn our salvation but rather proves that we have been saved by God (vs. 15:16). In other words, when we are abiding in Christ and bearing fruit, it proves that God is at work in us to make us bear fruit. Our obedience is a result of abiding in Christ. And if we abide in Christ, we will obey his commands, not as slaves, but as friends (vs. 15:15), because we know that Christ loves us. When we obey God with such willingness and gladness, God is glorified.

- His joy is in us and our joy is made full. (vs. 11) – Why? Beause we remain with the Vine! We remain with Christ and in the care of the vinedresser, our Father. This is what we were made for. The main reason being cast into the fire is terrible is not because of the burning, although that is terrible, but it is because we are separated from the Vine. When we abide in Christ we are no longer slaves, but we are friends and our joy is made full. We have a taste of this joy here on earth... just enough to know that it is real. But the day is coming when we will have the entire banquet and on that day we will drink the fruit of the vine together with Christ.

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