Saturday, March 26, 2016

The True Vine – Part 2

Pastor Kyle continues: (3) Expect to taste the fruit of obedience. In being connected to Christ, apart from Him, we have nothing. With Him, we have everything. C.S. Lewis said: “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a  holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The promises of this secular humanistic world are just “sugar-coated” dirt. Our flesh with it’s sinful desires is no help at all.

John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

(4) Expect to love difficult people. Ephesians 2:4-5 tells us: “God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)We are all difficult people. Jesus modeled this loving in His dying for sinners. Loving one another is to hear, care and love their heart. People do not always know how to deal with their feelings, so would rather numb their selves than deal with them. The easy people are easy. We need to learn to lay down our desires and love the difficult. (5) Expect to occasionally feel hated for being a Christian. The Lord tells us to expect it because they hated Him first. The real problem is that we have bought into the belief that Christians have no problems in this fallen world and things just get better and better here. In reality, the gospel message of the Cross that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him (John 3:6) is offensive to a lost and dying world, even though it is true and in spite of its daily and eternal consequences of not being connected to the True Vine.

John 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

(6) Expect to be asked to share Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” But most of us sit back in our easy chair and do nothing, but have been called to share the “good news” of salvation through Jesus Christ and invite. Both Heaven and Hell are real. Peace in Christ and world unrest are both real. We are not to withhold the truth from those that need it most. Statistics show that 90% of people asked to go to church with you for the Easter service at your local church will accept. Know the truth and tell the truth. Abide in the True Vine.

Happy Resurrection Sunday! Happy Easter!

In Christ, Brian

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