Dreams--we all have them; dreams of a teen-ager, for example, include moving out of home and getting their own car so they may live a life of
freedom, without being told what to do. It's not until later do they learn the hard way that life isn't what we expect it to be
September 7th, 2003, Sunday Morning
All things--good and bad--in your life ultimately have a good outcome IF you abide in God
OPENING: John 15:1-11 (key: v.8)
One of the most tragic events in the Bible was marriage of Leah to Jacob (the Abraham-Isaac-JACOB whom God later renamed Israel)
- Genesis 29:17: Leah wasn't that good looking but wanted to live out her dream of love with Jacob while Jacob had eyes
for the more beautiful sister, Rachel
- Turns out Jacob was to originally marry Rachel but was tricked into marrying Leah
- Leah thought she could change Jacob by having his six boys--each time convincing herself more that now Jacob has to love her because
she had six children for him
- (Incidentally, remember we're talking the 12 tribes of Israel being born--Leah bore the first six)
- #1: Reuben (meaning "see--a son"--now my husband will love me!)
- #2: Simeon (meaning "God has heard"--Leah's despair)
- #3: Levi (meaning "being joined together"--as in Leah wanted so desperately to be joined to Jacob)
- Then as if not loving Leah was hard enough, Jacob "went in unto" Rachel and she bore Joseph--the son hated by Leah's six children
who beat up Joseph and sold him to the Egyptians
We all have created plans in our own eyes for how dreams, family and jobs should progress; we don't plan for things not to go our
way; but unexpected events will always happen
- Some events are unrecoverable--meaning they will leave you permanently scarred bitter, angry and ultimately distrustful of your neighbor
(meaning everyone else you know and don't know)
The connection of this story to John 15:1-11 is that if you abide in (obey and wait on) Jesus Christ then you will be able to not
only successfully overcome all adversity but "bear fruit" for Him, at the same time
- Galatians 5:22-23: What is this invisible fruit you can bear? It's called the "Fruit of the Spirit" and it is broken
into nine pieces that make it a single fruit (in this order of importance):
- longsuffering (meaning "patience")
- gentleness (meaning "controlled power")
- temperance (meaning "self-control")
Take away any single piece and you've lost the entire fruit--you cannot have part of the Fruit of the Spirit; it's all or none
Romans 8:28: God has an ultimately good purpose--a "perfect purpose"--in all good and bad events
that happen in your life; Joseph couldn't have become the king of Egypt (which was what eventually happened--Genesis 41:39-40)
unless he was exiled from his family by his six brothers who hated him
- Consider this example of why everything in the world cannot "be sweet":
More people desire cinnamon apple pie than regular apple pie. If both pies were left out, the cinnamon apple pie would be gone first
because it tastes better than regular apple pie. So what makes the cinnamon apple pie so much more desirable? The cinnamon--the best part of it.
HOWEVER--do you see people walk around eating pure cinnamon sticks? No--why? Because it doesn't taste good by itself. THEREFORE, in order for an
overall good to come together in the end, the cinnamon (desired part) and ordinary apple pie (not as much desired) must be put together!
John 15:1-11: If someone asks what they need to do to be happy in (all areas of their) life, tell them "John 15:1-11"
(just as Jesus said He did--John 17:1)
- Why were we born? What is the duty of all men in life? ANSWER: To live for God to receive glory--the praise--in all work you do
- When do you or have you done this? We glorify the Father when we accomplished what he's created us for
- Ephesians 4:8,11-12 and Romans 12:5-8,13: Only a few examples of positions God has created for man: pastors, teachers, motivators,
leaders ("rulers"), hospitality, administrators, etc.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31: Even in the insignificant matter of eating and drinking--give glory to God. How? In the way you
ask; in the manner of how you behave in a restaurant--it reflects upon you, and in turn, God (if you've saved)
Matthew 5:16: Let men see your good deeds--not for your recognition, but for God's. This is how God
is glorified and you bear fruit (John 15:8)
How can you not want to glorify God? Consider He breathed into you life, paid--not cancelled--your debt of eternal hell
(if you're saved) by lovingly dying on the cross for you and soon to return to take you to an eternal utopia (Heaven) where you'll see Him face to face
James 2:22-26: Faith without proving it is not to have faith. You can claim you believe in God but so can Satan. You
must prove your beliefs.
- Consider: When you do a kindness for someone out of love--not duty--you can't help but to have a joy inside you, after, that subsequently
brings you a peace
So the ultimate question is: are you abiding in God--His Word and His love?
- When is the last time you saw people give thanks or glory to God for the work you did? Or did you get the glory/praise?
If never, you should work on accomplishing that and make helping others get their life back together a secondary objective
There are days coming when age and/or illness will overcome you; yet, through this, you can still bear fruit for God by
demonstrating your remaining strength in abiding in Him
- Ask yourself right now: what if you get a call that you're about to lose your job, that your life is threatened or that you just got
cancer? Will you be instantly shocked and abandon all hope in God or will you abide?
- Remember Leah: she had so many wonderful plans and dreams about loving her first husband and they were all shattered--even after having
his six sons--because he didn't love her ... it's something she didn't plan for
John 15:8: Why do we need to make sure God is glorified--that you bear fruit? Because that's how we prove we're His
disciples (if you're saved) and that you truly believe your salvation from Him to be real