Thursday, April 30, 2015

John 15:1-8 Abiding in Christ Brings Fruitfulness

KEY TEXT: John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

KEY THOT: Abiding in the Vine (Christ) is the key to becoming a fruit-bearing branch. In and of ourselves, we cannot bear fruit. Our responsibility is not to bear fruit (character or ministry fruit) but to abide in the Vine. As we abide in the Vine through worship and submission and become totally focused on staying close to the Vine, the Sap (Holy Spirit) containing all the necessary spiritual nutrients for life and ministry will flow from the Vine to us the branches, producing abundant fruitfulness. 

Staying in close fellowship and intimacy with Christ is my responsibility. That does not just mean passively abiding, but also actively walking in obedience to the Spirit. In order that the Sap of the Spirit can fill me continually, I have to consciously walk in steps with the Spirit, listening to and obeying His voice. 

When Barnabas and Saul obeyed the Spirit after “abiding” in His presence through worship, the Spirit set them apart for their first missionary journey to bear fruits of evangelism: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2-3).

What amazing fruitfulness attended Barnabas and Saul's ministry in their first missionary journey! 

We have just completed the first QLC Alpha run yesterday. I’m excited by the fruits of friendship and family-ship forged after 10 weeks; the beginning of spiritual, emotional and physical healings among some participants; the spiritual regeneration and renewal that has come to many; salvation for those who came as pre-believers (some of whom are already attending our baptism class to be baptized on Pentecost Sunday (24 May). 

I’m looking forward to Alpha #2 run in July-Oct. And as more of our Alpha team members learn how to abide in Christ through the Holy Spirit, I believe Alpha #2 will be even more fruitful than Alpha #1. To God be the glory! Great things He has done!

Father, what a joy and privilege it is to serve You! Indeed, Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. When we take on Your yoke, life has so much more purpose and meaning. Amen.

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