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View Full Version : FRIDAY NIGHT SERMON 02-01-02 [Living It Part 1]


ISDAMan
02-01-02, 11:31 PM
Hello again, friends. God has been working on my heart in ways that I have no choice but to share in what will be a multi-part FNS. I think, in every Christian life there is a struggle to maintain a right relational orientation to God. We all want to Do the right things but we do another. Paul said in Romans 7:15,...

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

I'm sure that we all do want fruitful Godly lives. Still, we strive in such difficult battles trying to remain Holy and Pure. After all, 1 Peter 1:16 says,...

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

On top of that, we've got the fantasticly powerful defining words of Jesus in John 15:1-8,...

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

So, we know what we want and what is expected of us and even why. The problem is that we're not exactly sure how to get it done. We know we must abide and that's right where well meaning Christians expel a whole wealth of misguided energy by thinking too much.

A fantastic example that I will always remember from the Godly teachers of my youth is that there is not a tree in the world that has to struggle to grow fruit. No matter how hard you look, you'll never find a single tree in need of some anti-depressant because of suffering burnout after trying unsuccessfully for several years to grow fruit. A fruiting tree grows fruit of it's kind simply because it is what it has been designed by God to be. It is what it is and that's just the way it works! We Christians could do well to take a lesson from the simple apple tree.

Don't get me wrong in all that I'm about to say and have said. We need to do right but Ephesians 2:4-10 says,...

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

As things go, by this passage, God is clearly the one that has done all of the selecting, planting, and caring of that crop (Christians) which He expects to bear fruit.

Even more, we know that from the beginning of God's relationship with His people, by His dealings with Abram, as we can read in Genesis 15:6 that nothing Abram did made him any better or any more acceptable in the sight of God.

6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

No mention was made of any action derived of faith. Only the faith has potency! Only faith is acceptable to God as something from man that He will bind to Himself and use to graft us in!

Abram was the beginning of a crop God planted to be a set apart people. Because he accepted the nutrients, that is the promises, God gave him (he had faith), he had a right relationship with God. Only after that, would Abram bring forth fruit as he was set to do. We cannot work well enough, or be good enough, or stay away from enough evil to have a righteous relationship with God. If you have fallen away from God to any extent or trust in the works that you do, I can promise you that you will never ever ever get yourself back to or just to where you need to be with God by not doing wrong and by doing right. We must not "DO" but, accept the promises of God, chiefly the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ if we are to be those good fruiting trees of God. Fruit are the works! How can they create themselves?!?!?! How can they bring themselves into being?!?!?! If you notice weak and withered fruit or the frustration of a lack of productivity in your life though you know that the sunshine of God's love is upon you, let me be the first to inform you that you need to stop. Give up on all the working and get back to the promises of God. For, in God's personal promises to us, there is a condition of life that raises us up and out of the condition of death that bears no good fruit!

It's common for us as Christians to have a head knowledge of the fact that God's the farmer and we're the crops but (and there shouldn't be a "but"), we keep on trying to help God do his farming anyway. Abram, that same beginning crop whose faith was counted as righteousness in Genesis 15 had previously, in Genesis 12, tried his best to nudge God's plan along and maintain his own life by his own doing and only managed to bring damage. By chapter 13 Abram had finally gone back to the point where he had last been humble to the nurture of God and there he called on the Lord.

I know what it's like and I'm sure that you do too to try and produce a good outcome of your own efforts. Your intentions may be the very best or your intentions may be to hide your sin. I've known both of these personally in my life. Regardless of your intention, the outcome is the same. You'll end up flat, depressed, and without power. I'll tell you that there's nothing so distressing as having known the power of God to be flowing through you only to feel the dredges of the effects of getting away from God's system for living and becoming powerless. I think that Abram felt that kind of powerlessness when Pharaoh almost took his wife to be his own. Talk about the dredges of powerlessness! I'd say that's pretty low, friends. Still, his lowest state was that he was not trusting the Lord. His relationship with God had been injured. We need to put aside the struggling we do to provide for ourselves.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

More than we can understand, God craves a relationship with you and with me! Each of us, personally, He has grafted in to the True Vine of Jesus Christ because we have accepted, by faith, the first nutrient which is the promise of salvation of God through Christ. With the same humility in which we have had faith in Christ, we must continue to have faith in the other promises of God if we are to receive the sustenance we will use to bring forth good fruit. All good fruit is the product of the vine and never of the branches.

Next week, Lord willing, we're going to more greatly explore the depth of the relationship with God that He has designed for us. It is a productive relationship that is meant to bring forth good fruit, good works, real freedom,and happiness. It is a relationship that cannot be duplicated by any amount of good, bad, or indifferent that we may try. Christian, know this, by God's design, we are supposed to exude and reflect the very image, nature, and power of God. So, next week, be ready to be inspired by the very awesome power of what God has determined that He wants to do in your life!

Praise The Lord Christ,
ISDAMan