1. The Call
Last week we saw where Jesus is calling His disciples to abide in Him. This is no longer just a following of convenience but a total commitment to follow after Him.
Leviticus 19: 23 And when you come into the land and have planted all manner of trees for food, then you will count its fruit as uncircumcised: three years will it be as uncircumcised to you. it will not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit will be holy for a celebration to the LORD. And in the fifth year you will eat its fruit, so it can yield to you its increase. I AM the LORD your God. (I was, I AM and I will always be)
John 15: 1 – 3 I am the true grapevine and my Father is the gardner. He cuts off every branch of mine that doe not produce fruit…You have already been pruned and purified by my message.
- Serving under Jesus for 3 1/2 years now they are clean.
- They had been nurtured under the master for this time
- It was now time for them to produce their own fruit.
- Jesus is going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Lord
- Those who accept the message of Jesus will produce fruit but those that don’t will be cut off.
- One of them had already been cut off (Judas)
2. Fruit of Love
Fruit is all the miracles and great works of the book of Acts, but the motivating force behind all of this must be Love.
Look how Jesus ties in abiding and love
- Vs 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
- Vs 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another , just as I have loved you
- Vs 17 This I command you, that you love one another
- Jesus really amps it us in Verses 11 – 13. This is the key to great joy …that you joy be made full that you love one another just as I have loved you.
This is not just coming together for a group hug, but he lays it out for them…greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus is saying You have been with me 3 1/2 years and now you are ready to produce more fruit than I ever did. The way it is going to happen is letting my love flow through you even to the point of laying down everything for someone else.
3. Consumed by life
Concept is so far beyond us, we have to take it in baby steps to understand what that looks like.
Paul is sitting in a prison in Rome at the time of this writing and he is consumed with the thoughts about how the Philippians are doing.
Philippians 2: 19 I want to send Timothy to you because I am really concerned with how you are doing.
Natural response when life is going so bad that everything is falling apart for us is to send a letter to the Philippians send Timothy to me and help me. Aren’t you concerned with what I am going through?
REAL LOVE THAT IS GOING TO PRODUCE GODLY FRUIT IS NOT BASED ON OUR ABUNDANCE. WE ARE ABLE TO GIVE THIS AS WE ABIDE.
- Give when we are in financial need?
- Pray for others when our own worlds are falling apart.
- Bible is pretty specific, if you see a need and you have the ability to do something about it we have no choice but to do something.
Philippians 2: 20, 21 No one else cares but are consumed by life rather than Jesus.
Rome had a thriving church in the middle of Caesar worship, persecution, high standard of living. This got in the place of even noticing Paul and what he was going through.
- Pursuing own interests instead of Christ. Every time a conflict comes up, Christ loses
- They care about their reputations rather than be associated with Paul
Paul’s concern isn’t just for himself. He realizes that the Romans are missing out on the joy that is there for them if they would just let the love of Jesus pour out.
4. Judas the cut off one
Is this serious in God’s eyes?
- Woman poured out years wage on Jesus feet in an act of worship. Judas what a waste
- Jesus stated she is preparing me for my death.
- She wasted her money on Jesus
- He wasted his life and potential by wanting to die
- I wasted the last 3 1/2 years of my life by being with Him
Accuse Judas and stand in judgement of him but look at it from a realistic point of view
- Give a years wage as an act of worship
- You put your hope and dreams into prayer because there was a certain way you thought it was going to turn out and it didn’t. (I wasted my time in prayer and worship)
- No wonder rather than devoting 3 1/2 years of our lives to him we have no problem when every single event and concern crowd out Jesus and our devotion to Him
We are Judas and the Romans as those around us sit in the prison of sin and problems and we don’t notice them.
Matthew 25 is pretty clear on the loss of not visiting those in prison and helping the needs of those around us.
Only answer repent and ask God to prune us so the love of Christ can flow through us.