A Disciple's Guide to Bearing Much Fruit: Abiding in Jesus' Love
Pastor Ron Johnson
REVIEW: In John 15:1-8 Jesus introduced a familiar picture that would have been very familiar to the people in the Ancient Near East (vine / vineyard setting).
He identified Himself as the TRUE VINE and goes on to explain His Father is the VINE DRESSER (or the farmer/gardener).
Jesus then explained that His Father (the gardener) is actively engaged in getting rid of any branches that DON'T BEAR FRUIT. He also prunes the ones that do so they might bear MORE FRUIT.
We saw that bearing much fruit is THE IDENTIFYING MARK of a true child of God.
We also discovered that THE KEY to bearing MUCH FRUIT is ABIDING in Christ (remaining close to Him and relying on Him daily).
Jesus then continues with this theme of ABIDING, but He now shifts from the importance of abiding in Him (the true vine) to ABIDING in HIS LOVE.
John 15:9-11 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.10 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.11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Now don’t miss this! Jesus said that He -_______ ____ the way the Father loves Him (His one and only Son).
Sadly... it's really easy for those who belong to Jesus to live like we've forgotten the ___________ __________ to which Jesus has loved us.
And it’s with this astonishing truth in mind that Jesus commanded His disciples and now commands YOU who truly belong to Him to ________ __ ____ _____.
That is to live daily in such a way that you remain ___________ ___ ___ ________ ____ the reality that Jesus Loves YOU deeply (so deeply, that he likens it to the very love that the Father has for Him—His one and only Son).
What did it look like when Jesus continued in the Father’s love? He ________ Him in everything.
4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
8:29 And he who sent me (the Father) is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
8:55 I do know him and I keep his word.
14:31 I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.
You see… according to Jesus... there’s a very UNIQUE and PROFOUND connection between ABIDING in His’ love and OBEYING HIM
And when EITHER is absent... so is the other
That is to say... when I'm NOT ________ in Jesus' love, I'm NOT _________ Him and when I'm not _________ Him, I'm not TRULY _________ in His love.
We will never obey Jesus perfectly, But by the grace of God… it's possible for us to live lives _____________ by obedience… as we remain CLOSE TO and DEPENDENT UPON Jesus, the True Vine & filled by the Spirit who produces TRUE SPIRITUAL FRUIT like obedience to Him.
What should motivate us to obey Jesus? God intends for us to be motivated to love Jesus by the _________ to which Jesus has already shown and continues to show that HE LOVES YOU.
How has Jesus shown me how much He loves me?
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends
Prompts for Personal Reflection/Application
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
1) How would you define abiding in Jesus’ love? Are you doing it daily? If not, what’s keeping you from it?
2) Although it’s always right to obey Jesus, is it possible to be motivated by the wrong things? What might some of those things be? What should motivate us?
3) How does it make you feel to know that you are loved by Jesus like the Father loves Him?
4) Take a moment to pray in response to how God spoke to you today through His Word. Is there anything that encouraged or strengthened you? Anything you need to confess, repent of (and in His strength) begin doing differently?