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October 18, 2021 6:00 am
I have a great word today for tired, guilty, duty filled Christians that feel like I really love God but I'm really tired with all the stuff that I'm supposed to do as a Christian I want to take you back to the joy of your salvation. That's today welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Trivandrum Jaffar Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program motivating Christians to live what Christian veterinary trips were just then maybe thinking something about my life just isn't working well in customer tells us that in order to get some significant traction. Gotta realize Christianity is built on one relationship. To learn more about what that looks like in your day-to-day life. Listening to this message for church application that lets join Chip for his message. It's all about relationship John chapter 15 I never forget my very first deep experience. I will call it with John 15 my earlier years I had done a lot of driven this in my personality and those of you are thinking man that was in your earlier years, and I wonder what happened now, but I was I was real passionate, but I was passionate about my zeal didn't catch up with my knowledge. And so I was leading a campus ministry at the time I was in graduate school. I was teaching graduate school and doing little coaching on the side you try to keep my likable and I got to the point where I literally I mean physically, emotionally, just burned out and I have one of those times where I wear these will be karma rally and there is a campus across from a large, old, Victorian home and the bricklayer who discipled me. We came to town. We walked around the campus.
We claimed the passage out of the Ezra and we literally walked over the campus and prayed for all the buildings we didn't know a soul and we went there for months. They campus and is the Lord we want you to develop a disciple making ministry on this campus.
I come to Christ right before college, and the third day where I went to school. This bricklayer introduced himself and he said would you like to grow in Christ. I was a brand-new Christian and I didn't know any better.*Yes and so he says want to come to my house Thursday night and I'll teach you what I know aces we have a little get together when he said little get together. He was exaggerating. There were three of us there. The fullback on the football team some girl that I didn't know and me. Four years later we had dug out the basement of his house.
We had propped it up so that we could keep the structure up and would build a room for about 150 college students because that's how many were meeting on Thursday night underneath his house with 250 to 300 college students in Bible study.
We saw people come to Christ every week. I was a brand-new believer. I just thought this was normal.
I thought that memorizing three versus a week getting up and having a quiet time talking with God alerting the Bible and being a disciple and a disciple maker was the norm. I'd I didn't grow up in a Bible believing church. This is my first experience with Christianity and so when day the bricklayer said in a something this is going great. Our dream is to have one of these on all 16 state campuses in a fella and his wife went to one campus, there was a group for this campus. When I graduated I moved down to Fairmount with Dave and we pray for this campus and this was the dream while Dave was a pretty sharp cookie and what he realized was that leaders don't get developed unless they get rope but you need enough rope so you grow, but not enough to hang you but there's a real fine line and so Dave, things got going and I went up on campus and started sharing Christ and we did all kind of things like take a survey. Are you interested in studying the Bible and I passed them out and talk with people play basketball did whatever I could write down affinity groups and pretty soon, little by little we have three, four in 10 and 15 and pretty soon his living room was full. Then after a while we took the furniture out of his living room and we would pile and we would sit like this in the living room on the floor and Dave gradually got out of the picture. And so I did all the teaching, coaching, teaching at the time, and I sort of did this on site bond getting up early in the morning and spend time with God.
Teaching I'm in graduate school.
I'm leaving this ministry and its Thursday night and it's about 530 and all the college students are coming over at seven and I'm supposed to speak all those of you that have ever spoken or ever had, spiritual responsibility and ever hit one of those.
I mean walls.
You have nothing to say it is a terrifying feeling. It's terrifying enough to get on front of people, but is a terrifying feeling when you think you have some to say in your really prepared and you can't wait to say it is really terrifying when you get a blank and it's 530 and on anything sent what to do and I'm crying out to God and I'm praying everyone is times where you know you pregnant you like there was a ceiling like 3 inches over your head, you sure it's hitting and you're going nowhere. I member finding literally a closet or a corner and it was dark and I got a tiny little light and I shut the door and I literally crawled in it and I just said got something about how I'm living my life isn't right. I mean I was doing a lot forgot I had a lot of energy going in multiple directions, but my emotional and spiritual battery were getting lower and lower and lower, and a member just opening up the Bible and I don't suggest this is how God speaks to you on a normal basis.
Okay this is enough. You'll end up liking of Zephaniah and Seca and work from Egypt. This just happened to be one of those times in the pages open to John 15 and I read through John 15 once and I thought you know there's something here and that I read to John 15 again.
I thought there's something here and then I read it out loud and I listen to the words I imagined these early disciples in all the pressure and all the stress and all their fears and realize this is the very last thing Jesus ever says to and then I read John 15 again and as you read through John 15 you find her some interesting imagery in it is the image of a vineyard and it's the image of God the father being the vine dresser or the gardener and then you have that the trial the trellis and on the trellis and you really have the trunk and then from the trunk you have the core vine where the life goes through and then you have branches that hang down and those of you that ever been in a vineyard probably know much more about this than I do. But as you study carefully what goes on in a vineyard, you realize that lots happens at the branches get too close to the ground.
They get dirty, and they can't get the sunlight and so they need to be lifted up, and often be lifted up in the week tied at other times they start growing and there's leaves everywhere and you have to go in and prune just like you would a tree so that the energy and the life source doesn't go to all that the leaves but it goes to building up of the fruit and as I was sitting there in that closet. I was reading it over reading it over and I realize that I was really missing the boat in Christian life. See, it feels so much like love when you do quote a lot for God and people give you a lot of strokes and they tell you how wonderful you are that you can go on little sleep you can get priorities out a line and you can be busy busy busy busy busy busy busy. Really busy, busy, busy Christians that are not very fruitful because the only way you can produce fruit that last is when your heart and your life in your relationship with Jesus is your first priority, and he is producing supernatural fruit from you and as I read over John 15, probably another four or five times I realized I didn't have anything to say because I was not connected to the vine was I Christian of course was I even reading the Bible, of course, was I praying as best I could, yes, but at a superficial level. As soon as I had to get a little bit honest as soon as it got real hard. I was so busy I never had time to pray deeply to be still and know that he was God and I member going to that rally that night and I taught on John 15, and was more of a confession that was a teaching and I just shared my experience and we walked to the text and that became the foundation for literally the next future of my life and ministry. I decided I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I don't think getting busy for God is the goal. I think my relationship with Christ. My own personal devotional life. My own heart has to be the number one priority. If I'm going to bear much fruit and fully walking to the text we ask ourselves what's fruit what we mean by that well in Galatians 5 we know that the fruit of the spirit.
What that spirit produces love and joy and peace in patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and self-control. We also know that Jesus uses that the term fruit when he talks about people coming to Christ and impact in the kingdom expanding and we know from this passage that when he talks about fruit.
Whatever fruit is, it's what glorifies God. But if you pull it back from the theological realm fruit.
Honestly, whether it's on a branch whether it's on a tree or whether it's on you know a plant. The vegetables fruit is the thing that the tree was designed to produce something no one looks at an apple tree and looks at you know huge lambs and it's you know 40 feet tall and has absolutely no apples and safe know there's a great apple tree. The goal, if your farmers what the fruit and I want to remind you as a fellow believer.
God's goal for your life is not your business not your activity, not what you do for him. But it's fruit, its impact, it's that your life your heart, your character is supernaturally transformed in such a way that people actually see Christ in you, a member early in acts Peter and John are out preaching acts chapter 4. Think about verse 13 and the religious leaders said they recognize that these men as being with Jesus because even though they were uneducated and untrained. They had this power in this boldness and this wisdom think God wants to produce in you. What you don't have in yourself and the way it happens is abiding. Open your Bibles or if you're if you're there, let's walk to the text, but I want you to notice keywords even before I get there no fruit, fruit more fruit much fruit is the progression keyword. If you're in the NIV, it's remain remain remain remain remain. If you are the new American Standard support King James it's abide abide abide abide abide and then as you come to the end goal verse eight is that you glorify God and it all begins with your relationship with him to walk to the text and let's talk about how you move from no fruit too much fruit. I am the vine of my father's vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that bears fruit he prunes it that it may bear more fruit and then he says to his disciples. You are already clean because the word which I've spoken to you.
Put a line under this phrase. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away interesting record takes away acts of the NIV says cuts off. Not a good translation. Dwight Pentecost is an extremely good job. In his book talking about the life and words of Jesus, and this word is used multiple times in the New Testament it can mean Takeaway but does not take away as in chopping up it means take away as in lifting up notice.
This is not this is not many people use this passage to read like this. I am the vine, my father's vine dresser. Every branch in me that is not bear fruit.
In other words, not making a difference for Christ life isn't changing. He cuts off or takes away the kick you out of the family nothing to be further from the truth. What's it say it's every branch in me. He's talking to the not the world is talking to his closest disciples and Judas is already left the room. If you are a Christian and you are not bearing fruit.
Your life is not reflecting the life of Christ. God is not using you to impact his kingdom.
You are caught up with you. We've all been there, right your priorities, your energy, your time, the fact matters. You don't read the Bible hardly at all.
You don't pray deeply at all. Your morality is not line up with what you say you believe you are not producing fruit.
In fact, there would be little evidence to convict you of a courtroom said are you a Christian. Not a lot of evidence but you're really in the family.
How does God respond. How does he produce fruit he takes away, literally. You're one of those branches. That's down in the dirt. You're one of those branches is not getting any sunlight and what would happen as the dust would cover the branch and it can't produce any fruit, and so when Jesus is saying is the vine dresser and he's going to lift up the branch. They will either tie it or pull it up and stick it so it gets off the ground and the wipe off the leaves. This is a picture of what God does for every child at some time in your life. It's called discipline. Jot down next to this verse in your Bible. Hebrews chapter 12 five through 11.
The Scripture says that when your legitimate son legitimate daughter will be times in your life because you're like me and you like all of Israel and you like the rest of people in Scripture that God will let you know this is what I want you to do and for whatever reason, fear, anxiety, unwillingness flat rebellion you say no I'm not going to do it him to live my life. Hey, I know this relationship is wrong on this. Like I know you want to do this with my time.
Time to do it this way. I know my money belongs over here but I'm to do it this way.
I know I need to step in and confront my child if you be too painful to do it this way.
I know I need to tell the truth on every sale transaction. But I'm to do it this way when you know what's right and are not doing it when you're not in the Scriptures we not praying from the heart. You not bearing fruit. God will lift you up and what you'll do is, he will bring circumstances and people and adversity into your life to brush off the dust off your lease and he will do it lovingly and he will lift you up and that he'll tie you in a place where you can get sunlight so that you can begin to produce for and if you study Hebrews 5 there Hebrews 12 five through 11. He says that every son has legitimate will be disappointed that one of the evidences that you really in God's family is when you get will discipline but notice in that passage.
If you're there, it's out of love. He summarizes in verse 11. He says all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful and sorrowful, yet those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields a peaceful ready forward fruit of righteousness.
Jesus is saying to the disciples just before he leaves. There's times in your life when you can bear fruit.
And when you don't bear fruit. I love you so much I'm gonna come tenderly and I'm gonna lift you up and that means you can ally and you may be cheating and you may have misplaced priorities on not just to back away and say well you know, forget you. Those who are genuine believers. He will begin to exert pressure in your life and in my life because he loves you so much until you cry uncle when there is no fruit. God will entry into school of discipline and he will do with your finances. He will do it to your kids will do it in your marriage he'll do to your relationship. He will do through your work and here's what it says over and over and over here. You might try that for strengthens 11. This isn't something new in the early church. It got so bad that there was a group of people who they came in they had these agape are these love feasts where they would celebrate the Lord's supper and have a big worship service people were actually getting drunk, worship services, and summer coming early and they wouldn't share their food with the people that report the apostle Paul. The end of that chapter will say because of that lack of fruit.
The lack of evidence. The lack of relationship. Some are sick and some are even dying prematurely. See, God loves us and is telling his followers. I'm committed to you producing fruit. Love, peace, impact transformation. If you don't, he says I'm gonna lift you up.
No says to these fellas. You're already quite because of the word I spoke and he let me. You are in vital relationship with me right now. Now he says will honey continue that abiding me remain. The word means to hear God's word for the purpose of putting it into practice up for us all by means I understand what it is I'm gonna act on it and do what I know my heart is his I'm responsive to the spirits prompting. I'm taking in spiritual nourishment I'm getting back worship. I'm responding to what God shows me and in my house is the white works is that there's times I know it's wrong and I just can't look at trees now say you don't manage his body language. Or maybe I said something but when I can. Steals were not really connected to abide major connected doesn't mean everything is always going great.
Doesn't mean you heavily gooey feelings all the time but it means you're on the same page.
What he says here is abide in me and I abide in you as the branch. Here's a fact cannot bear fruit of itself, unless you abide in me, so neither can you unless you abide in me that he says I am the vine on the source you are the branches. He will bite in me and I in him, he bears notice much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing to study this carefully.
We move from lifting up to a a branches bearing fruit. What to do. He prunes some of you understand about printing on the raw agricultural as you could probably tell, but Tresa will tell you that when I prune when I go nuts which we have a fruitless mulberry tree in our backyard enough. You know how these truth there like means to have trunks at an and they grow over and they get so big they leaned around the house and then they start breaking and so you know the neighbors really don't like the leaves in their yard and about every two years, trees will say something like, you know, we really need to address this and so I said okay and I get this all out and I'm here when I get done. It looks like it's been butchered if I got so bad we had a pro come in a couple times and when he did it look like we just had a stub with about four or five little things I thought I thought I was bad, this guy must be nuts in three months. It was completely covered with green pruning is God moving into your life and cutting away superficial priorities and anything you're trusting in other than him. That is, decreasing the level of relationship and abiding your heart and life will join the spirits to just listening to the first part of his message.
It's all about relationship in the series.
You learn practical ways to live out your free to move out from under the guilt of performance-based religion and to begin experiencing the freedom and power of Christ's life in you. If you long to enjoy the peace of really knowing God. Let me encourage you to check out the resources for the series by going to LivingontheEdge.org that's LivingontheEdge.org hapless nurse top special offers will chip it Living on the Edge we save over time. We exist to help Christians live what Christians lets a great line at all, but let me ask you what is that look like in real life. Will Dave I can tell you in a sentence it looks like in Romans 12 Christian if you study Romans 12 are what we call true spirituality. There's five relationships, five biblical expectations and it answers the five biggest questions in a person's life how to give God what he wants the most how to get the very best from God how to come to grips with the real you how to get connected and authentic community and how to overcome evil with good. The new daily discipleship with chip true spirituality will walk people through becoming a Christian who lives like a Christian. It's not a Bible study is not a teaching time. It's me mentoring individuals who say I want to be an authentic follower of Christ. I'm not sure how Chip will you meet with me and my answer is yes. I will never talk more than 10 minutes. You learn to study the Bible in Romans 12 you'll learn to hear God's voice will develop the habit of meeting with him regularly and you can learn for yourself from God what it means to be a Christian who actually lives like a Christian.
Perfect. No authentic yes I hope you join me over so excited to share with you this new daily discipleship with chip true spirituality based in Romans chapter 12 our heart behind this video series is to really help you dive into God's word and discover how to more intentionally live out your faith for 17 days you and ship walk-through were true spirituality looks like and how you can put these truths into practice. If you're looking for the next step along your faith journey. Let me encourage you to be a part of daily discipleship with chip true spirituality. You can sign up for the study right now. When you do will send you our friend Lance Witt's devotional based on Romans 12: leave ordinary behind at no cost. Sign up now. Will this offer lasts by going to LivingontheEdge.org or by calling AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to LivingontheEdge.org hapless nurse just up discipleship.
Now here's chip with his application. As you listen to today's program.
I hope one singular thought came to your mind. Maybe I'm not looking at life the way God does. Maybe all these difficulties and all this pain and all the struggle. Maybe it's not about me measuring up. Or maybe it's not that I'm a bad person may be God actually is pruning my life. You know sometimes I think we bought into a very subtle American Christianity that says if I read my Bible, pray for Mary becoming tour wife love our kids give the first portion of our money that somehow out the other end is going to be a happy life, a great marriage or kids turning out right good health and promotions in our job and no one ever says that but it's almost like a little formula. If I do the right things then good things will happen in my life and the fact of the matter is Jesus teaches in this abiding relationship that they are going to be times when you're doing everything right when you are walking with him when you are praying your loving your wife you being the best dad. You know how you being the best wife you know how and things will not get better.
Don't get worse, the wheels will fall off the beat pressure economically with your health.
Don't presume that God is down on you don't presume that things are wrong. Maybe consider he's pruning you maybe you are so precious that he wants to bear not just some fruit, but much fruit and then more fruit and the way God does, that is, to the painful process called pruning. So right now, today, before you go on to have a little conversation with God and say Lord, would you help me see my circumstances through your eyes, would you help me see if this is discipline and there is something wrong would you help me see that it's the loving pruning of my heavenly father wanting to make me more like Christ. Just before we close. I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. If you found ships teaching hopeful which are not yet on the team.
Would you consider doing that today to donate.
Just go to LivingontheEdge.org Donate on the up or give us a call a triple late. 333-6003, let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do one selects time for everyone here saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge