Are you impacted by all the negatives going on right now? Is your attitude optimistic or pessimistic? Do you know someone that’s having a hard time? Are you having a hard time? Are you stricken with doubt and fear about what tomorrow is going to bring for you and your family?
1. Suppose I could offer you a life that is guaranteed to give you…
a. “joy” that is greater than any other
b. A “blessedness” that is happiness in its fullest measure
c. An “assurance” of entering the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
d. A “peace” that surpasses understanding
— Would you be interested?
2. I cannot, but Jesus does…!
a. He came to provide the way to an abundant life – John 10:10
b. He shares with us the “secrets” to this life through His teaching – John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” For most of us we easily understand happiness; but joy is so misunderstood that most people think that they’re the same thing. (Happiness comes and goes with circumstances of various kinds; joy settles into our spirit and resides there permanently.) Just ask anyone who truly has a relationship with God what they felt the last time that they fell onto hard times.
3. Through Jesus’ teachings, then, we can learn the “Secrets Of The Abundant Life”…
a. Many of which are found in this very chapter (John 15)
b. Where Jesus pictures Himself as the Vine and His disciples as the branches
– cf. John 15:1-5 “
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2Every 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. [As branches we are to bear fruit, and this leads us to the first secret of the abundant life…]
THE SECRET OF LIVING IS BEARING FRUIT
We often measure the depth of our relationships by the things that others do for us. Suppose that that’s the way God perceives our relationship with him. For those that know the satisfaction that comes from doing the work of the Lord also know that the Lord rewards those that puts service to him in high priority.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF FRUIT WE CAN BEAR…
- Winning souls to Christ and helping them to grow – Romans 1:13 “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
- Sharing with those in need – Romans 15:28 “When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.”
- Developing a Christ-like character – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.”
- Praising God and giving thanks – Hebrew 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
— These are “fruits” that we can bear as branches of the Vine