Bearing fruit in Unity

Download (right click and choose save as)

Sermon Notes

The gospel passage for the Sunday taken from John chapter 15 verses 1 to 12 the theme according to lectionary is called unity unity is also ecumenical Sunday in our church our lectionary is shared between the modular church to see and I church and the CSI church was a three-year cycle that the we use at any given Sunday if all the actions are using the lectionary and it’s amazing to think is that there’s about 5 million Christians out there who are all meditating on the same passage the 5 million Christians all meditating on this passage in John chapter 15 verses one through 12 called unity that shouldn’t philosophic kind of sense of our to know that there’s so many other Christians just like us who have the same struggles who have the same joy is as us also learning more about Christ in their own respective communities and it’s a great blessing for us to acknowledge the fact that God is the God over all denominations we did not separate our denomination out of the Christian faith and say that we’re the only way nor do we say that it’s the only way in Kerala there a number of options number of churches that you can go and participate in have fellowship and I’m glad that you are here and I believe that the modular church has something special to offer and the I hope that slowly we can understand what that is over the course of time when we start off this sermon with a a short little story that I heard there was a missionary who just recently went to a very remote village in Africa with them he had supplies along with the supplies he had a small generator and a little lightbulb so he set up this generator in the lightbulb in his and his little hot in order to get light and he started inviting people from the area to come and visit with him and that a few of these people who came these villagers who came they were really amazes they watch this missionary go and turn us Legion and suddenly life came out of this bulk and they don’t have electricity in the area this is something new for them after their talk was over one of the you have visitors one of the villagers asked the evangelist missionaries he could have one of these lightbulbs the missionary thought he had no problem he probably wanted it as a keepsake or souvenir city gave them a lightbulb some time went by and then when he’s making his rounds in these nearby villages he meets this man enters into his home and sees that lightbulb hanging from a string in the middle of the and that he had a smile the many said my friend this lightbulb only works if you have a generator which conducts electricity and you need wires for adults that we make on a smile just like that missionary would when we realize the innocence of this village for him to think that the lightbulb in of itself would light up but we have to realize that quite often we do the very same thing in this passage Jesus tells us a story about the importance of our connection to the true source of power which is Christ which is the true vine when we are in this true vine when we are connected to this true vine and then things work then we have power to do we have the ability to bear fruits of several times he talks about abiding me and I in you a few times he says this phrase abiding me abide in me now I want to look at two things that are assured to us if we do abide in him and then we will start the beginning and asked answer the simple question what does it mean to abide in him the first of all what are the two things that are assured to us Christians who abide in the vine one of the first things that he assures us of is pruning we will be prudent and pruning seems at first to be a counter intuitive action a number just after we moved into the parsonage here in Garden Grove we had a good amount of shades because the trees in our courtyard were very lush and a bushy is a large trees unkept cheese that provided a good amount of shade we are very happy because we came in may and so it’s a little warm and having that said makes the difference but I some point in time they can hire people to come and trim back the tree to prudent and even then I didn’t understand why they would do that because I lost so much shade and I felt like the tree doesn’t even look good anymore and I imagine that me being a person looking at it with our perspective with an outside perspective it seems a bit odd that we would do such a thing imagine if you were the tree being prudent how strange it would feel to have parts of your being taken away from you but this is exactly what Christ does now if you come into our courtyard it’s beautiful to see the shape of the streets the pruning actually worked it actually yielded some sort of a benefit when the gardener prunes there times when he prunes dead branches he takes off things that are attached to the branch that are of no use they’re not producing anything and so he takes it away and in our lives there will be times when if we are abiding in him that the spirit will come into our lives and will take away things from our lines that are dead and useless we have to be ready for the because sometimes it might not be comfortable but still we can maybe understand why that sort of thing would be done with pruning doesn’t stop there a good gardener knows it there sometimes when you have to cut what looks like a healthy branchless stem in order to make the rest of it even healthier even stronger and so there times in their things in our lives which may be good and it may even be better but God will trim those things in order to make room for the best and we have to be willing to let go of those things I was trying to think of some examples of what these kinds of things that would be pruned back would be I I was thinking in my life time if you conceptualize a time would be something that that might my use of time needs to be pruned their times and I spent a good amount of of of of time just reading random things and thought Christian related but I really do feel that what their times in God prunes me in order to be a little bit more focused and limited sharper in what I do with my time as a simple example that I can think of there a number of examples and a number of opportunities in our own lives to be prudent are you willing to let go of those things after the service is over I’ll be meeting with the youth Fellowship and when I meet with the youth Fellowship were to be talking about a passage where a you rich young ruler went to Jesus and said what must I do to and heritage and the life and he says follow the Commandments and the rich young ruler says I’ve been doing all those and then Jesus looked at him with love and said: sell all your possessions and come and follow me in that action the pruning was too painful for this young man and he walked away and left if we are going to abide in Christ as we should we have to be ready to let God take away those things that rob us of the spiritual vigor that we need and that is possible if we allow it now another thing is pruning happens in a very cystic way it is in verse three you were pruned by the word that you won’t see it in your Bibles because in your Bibles most likely it’ll say you were cleansed by the word the what we really what we need to realize is that in Greek is a word being used that’s translated as pruning and that same word in other contexts is translated as cleansing the same word in Greek so it’s the word of God the that cleanses us will prunes our heart if we don’t spend time in the word we will be and unkept tree we will be like a wild fine growing any random direction people may look and say impressive AAA takes up so much space will we know that it would be just like the situation with Jesus walks up to a fig tree that’s full of leaves find no food and him and then curses at may we not be counted among that category the next thing that we can be assured of is that those who abide in me will bear fruit but interesting the way this is written the gardener doesn’t go and encourage the branch to bear fruit nor does the gardener go and yell at the branches motivating them to bear fruit if the branch is connected to the fine it will bear fruit in will it’s natural the scary implication of that is this if I’m not bearing fruit in my life what does it mean am I truly abiding in the vine like Christ has called me to what is the fruit of the Spirit we’ve done this a few times before love Joy peace patients gentleness faithfulness generosity self-control and else the missed one memory love Joy peace patients kindness Jim generosity faithfulness gentleness and if these things are not there in our lives is a red flag to us is definitely a warning sign to us that something’s wrong is very easy it’s very easy to go through our Christian lives doing the actions we grew up in the faith so we know all the actions we know exactly what we need to do every Sunday we know what the aneurysms are and we follow through with it but not to say this in order to scare you but to say this in order to make it very blunt who do you think you’re fooling I say this to myself as well what we see right now is just physical it’s just the will material world is more to life than this this could be a day when after we pass away that we will have to stand before creator at that point we can say I was is having fun I was young nobody really told me that this was a serious thing I’ve been doing all the action since and I’ve been doing it for number of years Christ and so I thought that the actions would be enough if I can convince you to do anything else today it would be to stop playing the games of being a Christian and really abide in Christ really abide in him know what does it look like to abide in Christ how do we do it what is it Methow to the manifest itself is very clearly obey my commandments obey my commandments love one another loves sacrifices for others to say that you should love one another is not an easy commandment is very difficult it means that the person who you feel has wronged you a you must love them the person who is gone behind your back in the workplace to get the promotion that you deserved you must love them the person in the school will a zero the person in the school who says God rumors and gossips about you the person in the church who never talks to you who always ignores you and that person you must love and if you can do that then yes I would say that this is a sign of your abiding in Christ another way of abiding in Christ means worship everyone can come to church at worship but when I say worship I really mean worship I mean you wake up in the morning and you want to come to church you wake up in the morning the first thing you want to do is thank God for the rest of last night that’s worship not the and and called me to be here not the let me set my good example for my children and so I’m going to come not that kind of which that may lead to abiding I pray that it does but that does not consist of abiding meditating in the word and finally I would say abiding means being Christ like earlier on in John’s Gospel in John chapter 6 versus 56 he says this those who eat my flesh and drink my blood will abide in me and I in them communion why is it that the Martha church does communion every Sunday is a little boring isn’t it a bit monotonous routine I’ve been doing number of churches when they don’t do communion very often it’s once every two months once every three months why do we do communion wide we emphasize communion so much in our church it is because communion is a call to us to abide in him when we come forward and when we get this bread in this line when we receive it in faith are we not partakers of his flesh and of his blood is this not what our this is not the symbol of what our faith should really be if we cannot accept the symbol how will we manifest its truth this is why every bishop tells first communicants take communion every chance you get because we human beings were forgetful creatures we have a tendency to lose track of things and we have a tendency to become apathetic towards things and being apathetic towards God is one of the most dangerous things I can think of I feel it’s much better to take God the to be apathetic towards him because at least you have some passion behind it but it’s so sad when in our church and I included in this category when we become apathetic towards being in Christ towards being connected to him in a way that produces fruits in our lives we must do this we have to to fix this is what the world needs the fruits that are produced by the vine are not for the sake of the vine the line never gets to partake of the grapes nor does the branches the fruit of the vine is for others Christ came to this world to save us and it is now through our actions to our testimony to the fruits that we their they we were able to testify to the truth of his saving ability in us I pray that as you meditate on this and as you prepare yourself to partake in communion that you would realize the communion means you will be proved you will have portions of your life cut be ready for it allow it to happen and realize that when you come forward to take communion you are expected to bear fruit naturally listen very carefully in the liturgy there comes a time when we pray that the holy church bears fruit for the stability of the kingdom that is up to us it is up to us to be one to be united with him to commune with him to have unity with him and when we do that we could have unity with all 5 million of those other Christians and all the other millions and millions and millions of Christians around the world who praised the same got into or attached to the same fine the may the good Lord bless us.