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2006-10-20_Abide In Me_John 15.1-5_FBC Session 1_SL

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Preintroduction: § thanks for meal§ LLF § tonight’s fun§ Handouts—go over schedule  Session 1Friday Evening AbideIn Me Shaun LePagePastor  Preintroduction (left)Introduction: §  It’s good to see you all here—good to see anyone here. (Prophecy—full house; Prayer—won’t need many chairs).§  Why do you think that is? Why are you here? Maybe your question is, “Why spend an entire weekend talking about prayer? Core Values—read prayer—we mean that!  §  Let me ask another question: Is anyone here satisfied with your prayer life—I’m not? If prayer is so important (we all seem to understand that), and so few of us feel we’re doing a good job, how about let’s spend some serious time working on it? Let’s start with prayer (invite three people to pray)§  We’ve titled this year’s conference: “Abide in Me”—an invitation from John 15. Throughout Jesus’ ministry: “Follow Me…” and “Come to Me…” and “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!”§  “Abide in Me” night before the cross—invitation to be with Him.§  Picture this: Between the wall and Gethsemane—John 15 The Vine and the Branches—John 15:1-11 4 questions—p.3 What does it mean to abide? § “menw”—live, dwell, stay, remain; moving in; getting married. §  In this context, what picture did Jesus give us to help us understand what He meant by “abide”? A branch connected to a vine—a branch draws its life from that connection!§  Write: Connected for life—like a branch to a vine. What happens if we do abide? [Ask the group to answer]§ 1. We bear fruit. What do you think that means? What passages come to mind? Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:9-10. o    Notice the progression in John 15.o    Privileged (God doesn’t need us)! o    Significant (a branch is indispensable). Our purpose in life!  § What else happens if we abide? § 2. We glorify the Father (8). The Vinedresser is working (2)!§ 3. Our joy is made full (11). Why? It’s our purpose in life! What happens if we don’t abide?§ “Takes away” (2) or “cuts off” (NIV). “Thrown away…dries up…burned” (6). What do you think that means? Can those “in Christ” (2) be sent to hell? Contradicts too many other passages (e.g., John 10:27-29). Two better options:3A
  § “Takes away” means “lifts up”. Idea: 1. God will discipline.§ Metaphor—fellowship, not salvation. Idea of uselessness. 2. We will become useless. Not fulfill purpose or glorify God, no joy!  How do I abide?§ 1. Obedience (10). “Keep My commandments” § 2. Word of God (7). This is how we know His commandments.§ 3. Prayer (7). Communication is essential. What do you think this promise means in this context? If we “abide” we will know God’s will and He will provide what we need to bear fruit—IF we ask. Quote from Prayer: The Great Adventure (pp.40-41)§ If we ask, God will gladly use us to bear fruit—and we will fulfill our purpose, we will glorify God and we will be full of joy. Do you want that?  Challenges:1. Agree with God about your sin. § We must know the Word of God, obey it and pray in order to bear fruit. This is our purpose. This is what God desires. We all fall short. Some of us are carnal (clarify). Some of us are spiritual, but make sinful choices at times. § Agree with God. Confess your failures. Put it behind you (burn cards).2. Communicate with God about your future. § This weekend is not about making you feel guilty about your prayer life. Free to enjoy your purpose! Jesus extended the invitation: “Abide in Me.” Only when we do so will we fulfill our purpose of bearing fruit and glorifying God. Only then will we experience “full joy”! § Time to “communicate”—resolve, “reform” (last Sunday). § I want to encourage you to fast. I don’t want to quiz you, but does anyone remember (from when we looked at fasting in Matthew 6) why we should fast? We fast—not for prideful attention—but to get God’s attention. Fasting is the act of humbling yourself and showing God how desperate you are for Him to change you. Are you desperate to bear fruit? Glorify God? Experience full joy?§ If you feel this is what God is leading you to do (no medical problems), consider a one-day fast—break it Sunday at the fellowship meal. No fellowship meals tomorrow—use meal times for prayer. See website.§ If you are not comfortable with this—for whatever reasons—consider a partial fast. All for the purpose of prayer. [PRAY]


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