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A Fruitful Heart Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2022 1:00 am

A Fruitful Heart Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 14, 2022 1:00 am

What do you want your epitaph to say? We all want to live a good life and contribute to others. For believers, we don’t measure the fruitfulness of our lives based on worldly success. In this message, we explore the portrait of the believer’s relationship to Jesus as a branch connected to the vine. Let’s discover the lasting fruit of abiding in Christ. 

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Believers bear fruit in White's race by abiding in Jesus by the resulting fruit is sweet to the father who attends his garden carefully to maximize the harvest so how much fruit are you bearing how much do my very stable from the Moody Church in Chicago this is running to win with Dr. Irwin, Sir James helps us make it across the finish line. Master looks should we as believers worry about how much fruit we bear the obvious answer is yes, we should be concerned about whether or not bearing Christians because after all, we do not bear fruit. We are not pleasing to God. Jesus made it very clear that we can bear fruit. We can even bear much fruit and so we will be his disciples on what is fruit well it's to find love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and so forth. That is the fruit of the spirit, you know, I think that it was so important for Jesus to give these words to the disciples and I've written a book based on the words of Jesus in the upper room. It's titled prepare your heart for an uncertain future and this book is intended to help us to understand more deeply what Jesus had to say words that we desperately needed today and for gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW or you can call us right now.

In 1-888-218-9337 and I wanted to take a second picture with your camera and that is the picture of the mind going D into the soil. That's strong fine that goes and provides everything that is needed and I mean everything for the life of those branches is going the third figure here.

That is, of course, now a believer branches and I'm going to be rereading some of the text. Here I am the vine, you are the branches.

Verse five. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can't do much with your Bible says RMI reading from the reverse division apart from the you can do nothing. What is a twig twig essentially is a great rack. What can those twigs do. Apart from the vine, cut off from the vine absolutely nothing we've already learned that there do the casted of fire and burned because they're totally worthless.

How much can you and I do without Jesus you say about you without Jesus, I can do good things. Yes you can. There people who don't know Jesus at all, and they are doing good things they are doing good works, no question about it. There is a sense of compassion. There's a sense of hopefulness that can take place, and that many of us think. But one thing you can't do without Jesus is to bear fruit that is impossible. The fruit that the father wants you see you can't manufacture fruit. Some of you who are scientists and hear the Moody church. We have more people in research than sometimes we realize when we wanted to have some information researched. We were delighted to find the number of people that are some of you bright lights who are into research, but if you go into laboratory sometime in the spend an afternoon will give you a whole afternoon. Go ahead and make an orange just go there and and make one say you know I'm able you say we Will why can't you.

What are the ingredients. Can't you put it together and the answer is no, you can't put it together because fruit can only be grown, it can only you see be grown in a certain context and without Jesus we cannot have one little scintilla, of the fruit of the Gardner wants to see none without me you can do nothing.

What's time for us to define. I think what this fruit means the fruit you see is the expression of the inner nature. I think we call them horticulturalist but they can walk through the forest and they can see that that tree is going to bear that kind of fruit in that tree is going to do this and have that kind of late simply because they can look at the tree, they conceded by the bar by its shape. I can do that but you know, one time I was in Florida and I will never forget the first time I saw oranges grow on trees.

Now I was born in the North. We were always told oranges grow on trees. That's where they come from, and we believe that we saw pictures of added children for the first time I thought I was. I was astounded.

I said they really do grow on trees and I looked at that those oranges and I do this you have to understand this takes a keen intellect, but I do deduce the fact I said that must be an orange tree you plant an Apple and you get an apple tree you get apple seeds you plant the tree you get apples like it's the expression of the inner nature and the fruit you see is the expression of all the nutrients and all that goes into that nature. And that's why we have fruit. Now think of the analogy.

What is fruit bearing process. Christians will of course it's Christ likeness. It is Jesus being reproduced in us because he said that if we have died in him and he abides in us when somebody hits us. Jesus should break out with Jesus, compassionate yes woman we are compassionate people did Jesus tell others about the father.

Yes, of course, he told others about the father. So we tell others about the father we do, don't wait. I hope we do what is Jesus able to endure the suffering of Gethsemane for all of its horror with a sense of of knowing that this was the will of God. Yes, and then we suffer as the will of God and within that will of God. And yes, it's the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, and so forth. But it's a lot more than that. It's everything that Jesus wants to reproduce in us and as we abide more and more of him comes to the surface and his nature breaks out and we say wow that is a fruitful Christian fact we can live so closely to him. I wish I could say this is true of me. I'm sure it's not, but it's possible to live so closely to him that you actually begin to think alike.

That's why the Scripture says that if you abide in me.

I'm in verse seven if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you because were going to be thinking alike and the requests that you are going to be making are going to be my request and there's going to be a unity between what you want and what I want because relationship is so intimate that's what fruit bearing is all about, and apart from Christ, you can do a single thing. No fruit.

None nothing but leaves well.

The question of course is what does it mean to remain than what are these branches supposed to do in the picture that I want you to take the third picture is a force of branches with huge clusters of grapes, because that's what were interested in, but what it was this an writing this remain in me will first of all, it's a sense of dependency. Obviously it's coming to Jesus and saying I don't have the resources that I need to bear fruit because naturally I do the opposite. So what I'm asking you to do is to grant me this sense of yield business that is so total that is so complete it's and it's a yield business that is even beyond my emotions. I don't have to feel like yielding I don't have to feel that I have these resources but I submit to you yesterday on my way to the airport at Hartford, Connecticut a man gave me a book by Henry Nolan cold the way of the heart, and I read it there in the airport waiting for United Airlines I like to tell you I don't know why I can't even begin to tell you all the books that I've been able to read this summer waiting for United Airlines but this was only a short book maybe 90 to 100 pages and that basically it is to revive some of the ancient mysticism Christian mystics and and while I don't agree with all of that there is a part of it on solitude that somehow I said yeah this is right. He says that solitude is the furnace that brings about the transformation of the heart, and he goes on to talk and I thought you know that's true of my life. The older I get, the more I realize that I have to come away I have to give God time to search my heart. I have to give God time to be yielded for me to be yielded and I can always just be rushing in and out of the presence of God in a hurry doing things, reading books regarding messages and all the other things that we have to do, and at the same time abiding abiding you get your roots down deep Hudson Taylor wrote his book a spiritual secret. When I was a new Christian, I read it and that you know you got all these books, the secret of this, the secret of Atlas with all the books that are published. I need to tell you there are no secrets left but in his spiritual secret could I read just a couple of paragraphs. He said I knew that if only I could abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not I would begin the day with prayer determined not to take my eyes off him for a moment, but the pressure duties sometimes very trying and constant interruptions to be so wearying caused me to forget him. There was nothing so much. I desired his holiness. Nothing so much I needed but far from it, or any measure of attaining it.

The more I strove after it, the more it eluded my grasp until hope itself almost died out because on to say that he began to think that maybe there is no such thing as real satisfaction in Christ, until heaven to make heaven all the sweeter. He said, how shall I get my faith strengthened then the Lord showed me the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before my faith could be strengthened, not by striving after faith, but by resting on the faithful one.

There is rest. I thought I have striven in vain to rest in him. I shall strive no more, or has he not promised to abide with me and never leave me nor was this old but he showed me, nor one half as I thought of the blind and the branches.

What light the blessed Spirit poured directly into my soul.

How great seem to mind. Mistaken wishing to get to the sap and to get the fullness out of them that experience is. I would use. I know that your powerful but look at me.

How do we make the connection and then he says I saw now. Not only that Jesus will never leave me, but I'm a member of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. The vine is not just the roots but all the route to stem the branches, the twigs, the leaves the flowers in the fruit and Jesus is not bad alone. He's the soil, the sunshine, the Arab showers and 10,000 times more than we ever dreamed wished or needed in the sweetest part is the rest which at this identification brings. I no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this for I know he is able to carry out his will and his will is mine. What you do when you are anxious when you don't know how to abide you come to the one you simply confess your need. Yes, you confess your sins yes were not talking about a restive in activity where you sink into passivity. There's a war to be one in a battle to be fought. But we find from the standpoint of strength we fight while remaining. While we are dependent upon him. There is that place yes of quiet rest so it's dependency is also obedience.

It's right here in the text. You'll notice that Jesus says in verse 10 he says these words verse nine as the father has loved me, so I love you.

Now remain in my love, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I've obeyed my father's commands and remain in his love. So what does abiding mean it is dependency and obedience is a obedience to what obedience to whatever God shows us through the word obedience to sin that needs to be confessed obedience to the purity that he demands from us. If we are to be purged and cleansed obedience to his leading in our lives. That's the way in which we put our little puny twig which is already in Christ for believers and we learn to simply say I look to the vine for every thing some of you, bless you. You're going through times of anxiety because of circumstances that are beyond your control is nothing that you can do about it and you're wondering, is there really someplace where I can go to yes Christ I might say also to his people because we are strengthened in one another and part of the cleansing process is to be together and how I look forward to being here today.

I missed being here last Sunday and I just want you to know that my heart went a little twitter when I thought of the fact that finally I get back to be at Moody church this morning because I'm strengthened by your presence, and by your prayers and by your singing and is doing it together and that certainly all part of it too, but yielded nests and obedience. How do we finally nail all this down. What are the conclusions to which we can, we taken three pictures. You've seen the vineyard with all of the branches that are been cut purging process.

The pruning process. Spurgeon said old blessed acts of sorrow that cuts a pathway to my God. By chopping down the tall trees of human comfort.

So we have been thinking about that we've seen the picture of the vine deeply deeply embedded in the soil.

We've seen the grapes.

The fruit what is the conclusion first, let me impress upon you again that the father is much glorified by fruit there in is my father glorified and what an important statement that is what does God want Linda asked God once fruitfulness and with his knife.

He will cut away everything either through the conviction of the spirit or the means that we have talked about. You will cut everything away to get that fruit because if not, we are worthless to him. He loves his son. He wants to see his son in us and will go to great lengths make sure it happened. That's why being always precedes doing I was at a conference where young man whose just getting over alcoholism is been sober for three months. Bless him and is going to be in a church where he's going to continue to have accountability. He asked me a question that kinda blew me away.

I normally have some kind of an answer, but in effect, he was saying, you know the world is going to hell were in this great mess. How do you think I can strengthened the kingdom of God.

When I commended him for his great vision, my goodness it was almost as if you know the world is been waiting for his unveiling and it's about to take place nicely deny I don't know if I can give you a specific answer, but let me tell you something that what you should concentrate on is who you are you you take care of your character, your integrity, your purity, the discipline that God has in your life and God will find a way for you a question about that being must always precede doing abiding precedes serving, let me give you another conclusion I asked the question at the beginning. What does God want what we know now what God wants fruit. I also asked the question what you want. How would you like to die.

Gallup did a survey that I attended here when George Gallup was actually in town on death and I think it was if I remember correctly, but 80% of people say you'd like to die, thinking that they had lived a good life and made some kind of a contribution to society.

I don't know what the other 20%.

Rethinking what you want. Listen what you get out of it. Your Bibles are open aren't they. You'll notice that it says these wonderful words in verse 11.

I've told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete, is not a bad deal as it you learn to abide and what do you get the father gets what he wants fruit we get what we want joy and fulfillment.

So the will of the father and our will converge and turn out to be one and the same thing we are fruit bearing Christians. Therefore, we are joyful Christians and our joy is complete. Where else can you find that I think I may have told the story recently of Johnny Erickson Todd of my wife and I were with her this summer at a conference together in New Orleans and every time I see her I'm reminded of the story of how she is a quadriplegic. As you may know, because of a diving accident, perhaps 25 or 30 years ago how she used to pray for healing.

She begged God she attended faith healers and and trying to go forward and there was no healing as she always thought of John the five. The man there at the pool of Bethesda. The man who was disabled, whom Jesus sovereignly healed and she is to read that story and pray that it would be. She but it never was in a couple of years ago she went to Israel as a quadriplegic to the pool of Bethesda and she said that she sat there she thanked God that she had never been healed because she knew that if she had been she would not know him as well as she has come to know him through her disability. I've a friend likes to say, you know, God said to use his knife to prune to cut his people, but he wounds, in order that he might heal because he is after fruit while as you know yesterday I was in Northfield back to the house were deal. Moody is born. I went to his grave, and where Emma is buried in their eyes on his grave. One of his favorite verses. He that do have the will of God abide it forever. Notice in verse 16.

You can just glance at it very quickly. Jesus said you've not chosen me, but I've chosen you, I've ordained you to go and bear fruit, and that your fruit might remain. He that does the will of God abides forever. Now I understand that when we are dead nobody's gonna come to her grave. Maybe the children for a little while but will be forgotten.

We are going to be DL Moody's that are going to be remembered. I know that were remembered to go because the father says I have one agenda fruit bearing and will put you through the furnace until I see it.

Let's pray together. Our father, we want to thank you today for the wonderful relationship that we have with Jesus, we thank you that when we were saved. We were put into him. Help us to get away from all the distractions all of the sins that does so easily beset us all of the agendas and in solitude. May we seek you.

I know something of what it is like to have Jesus in our lives reproduced grant that for your people and father for the Linda's among us and for the people who are going through those difficult times. Help us to surround them with our encouragement and in so doing we as a congregation might reflect Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen this is Pastor Luther, of course, all of us enjoy Christmas, but I have to say that Christmas would be meaningless were it not for the resurrection.

Were it not for Easter. That's why our hearts are filled with anticipation as we think of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, but you know as the disciples were in the upper room, they didn't really understand that the resurrection was going to come in a short while they would see Jesus Christ crucified on the cross for them. It was the end of a beautiful life.

The end of a beautiful journey and they saw no hope beyond the grave. In the words of Jesus to his disciples in the upper room he was preparing them for that kind of disappointment he was trying to help them to see beyond the present to the future he was giving them hope and he was giving them peace. I've written a book entitled prepare your heart for an uncertain future. It's based on the words of Jesus in the upper room and of course even though our future is also uncertain. Thank God that a resurrection is coming, but I believe that this book will be a great blessing to you. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337.

When you connect with us. We want to thank you in advance for helping us financially because together we are making a difference.

Here is what you can do. Go to RTW or call right now at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Someone once said that you can count the true friends you make throughout life on the fingers of just one hand, Jesus told us how true love is manifested that a man lay down his life for his friend.

After a short Easter break will return to this series to learn about having a loving heart heart in tune with Jesus, who can be our intimate friend for pastor Erwin Luzerne this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the new teacher

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