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Abiding - 1

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I. Me and We
II. God
A. Remain / Abide
Jesus gathers his disciples together for a last meal. Jesus knew his time was coming near an end. In this passage, Jesus gives his disciples and us, the secret and source of experiencing Joy in discipleship. The secret and source of joy in discipleship is to abide.
John 15:1–3 NRSV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.
John 15:1–2 NRSV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.
Jesus says that God is the vinegrower and does two things. He removes the branches that don’t produce any fruit and prunes those that do so they can produce even more fruit.
Interesting. We will circle back to Jesus’ thoughts of pruning and removing in a bit.
Jesus also says that his disciples were cleansed by the word that Jesus has spoken to them. Yet, there was something they needed to do.
John 15:4 NRSV
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
John 15:5 NRSV
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Now that his disciples were cleansed by the word he spoke them the, they are to abide in him. Jesus uses the image of a vine and branches. He says those who abide in him are like the branches that are connected to the vine. He tells us that when we are not connected to him, when he is not the source we rely on for our lives, we are like a branch that has broken off.
A branch that has broken off of the vine, tree, or anything, doesn’t have much chance on its own. It can’t do anything. In the end, it will just die on its own.
John 15:6 NRSV
Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Jesus says that God is the vinegrower and does two things. He removes the branches that don’t produce any fruit and prunes those that do so they can produce even more fruit.
B. He is the source - We can do nothing
Interesting. We will circle back to Jesus’ thoughts of pruning and removing in a bit.
Jesus also says that his disciples were cleansed by the word that Jesus has spoken to them. Yet, there was something they needed to do.
John 12:3-4
John 15:4 NRSV
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
John 15:5 NRSV
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:6 NRSV
Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
John 15:7 NRSV
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:8 NRSV
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
However, when we abide in Jesus, some amazing things happen.
John 15:
How do we abide in Jesus? We must be aligned with him, his will, his purposes, his mission in the world and his purposes and mission for us.
The problem is, we are misaligned most of the time. We are misaligned when we take matters into our own hands. We are misaligned when we make everything about us. We are misaligned when we choose to follow a path of our own devising and push him to the edges of our lives.
It is easy to become misaligned. In fact, misalignment is my default state. Left to my own devices I will be in a constant misalignment.
John 15:9 NRSV
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
We know the love that God had for his son. Jesus tells us, just as he was loved by his father, he loves us in the same way. He invites us to abide in his love. The love that loves us no matter what. This love isn’t a cheap or easy love. This love is a TRANSFORMATIVE love. It’s a love that takes us as we our, but never leaves us that way.
John 15:5
Jesus gives the path to this abiding in Jesus.
John 15:10 NRSV
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
THe path to abiding is that simple, but difficult, four letter world we don’t like: Obey. Jesus has shown us the way to abide. He fulfilled God’s will. He went to the cross and died for us because of love. He invites us to take this same path by dying to ourselves so we might become alive to God. It is an incredible path and journey, but it certainly isn’t an easy path because, like I said, my default sTate is misalignment.
John 15:11 NRSV
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
Jesus told his disciples to abide in him so that his joy could be in them and their joy could be complete.
Jesus says they were to abide in him.
One of the blessings that we miss is the joy of discipleship. As we practice spiritual disciples, as we pray, read scripture, serve others, and practice other kinds of spiritual disciplines, our joy increases and maximizes. It is counter-intuitive and counter-culture.
We believe and the culture tells us that joy comes through getting our own way, making our mark, looking out for number one, and getting our way.
The way of Jesus marks a different path. One of serving him through serving others. It isn’t always the easy way, but when we afaituflly practice [practices] that strengthen our discipleship, we find a peace that doesn’t make sense, a love that never lets us go, and a joy that fills us up.
John 15:
B. He is the source - We can do nothing
- A stick may look good for a while
- W may be able to artificially keep things going for a while (flower in water.)
C. Definition of Discipleship - abiding
D. Source of Joy - Abiding
E. The goal of discipleship - abiding.
C. This is about joy .Bearing fruit brings joy This is surprising. The world would have us focus on ourselves and what we get out of life THIS is different and brings joy.
III. You and Us
Reflect:
Am I a stick in the mud?
What is my source?
Appraise
Assess: Where do Ineed to be pruned for greater fruitfulness?
Re [something]…reconfigure??
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