I would like to add a regular theme to my blog entitled: Sermon Snippets. Many of us attend church services each week and, hopefully, listen to the sermon. But are we really LISTENING to the sermons? Are we allowing the messages of Truth from God’s Word to change our lives? I want to give us all an opportunity to share what God has been teaching us through the pastors who labor so intently in the Word of God.
I’ll be sharing the things God is teaching me. I have no guarantee that this will be a weekly feature, but I do want it to be a regular one. And I open up the comments for you to share either a comment on what God has shown me from our message OR to share what God has shown you from a recent sermon. I’ll be posting these on Wednesday to give myself time to digest the message and study the passage from the Sunday before.
Abiding and bearing fruit.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
I’m going to be perfectly frank here, I missed most of the sermon my pastor preached from the first 8 verses of John 15. I was sitting in the service listening and then, BAM, the Lord began to speak to me. But it was one of those times where He was speaking deep to my spirit and I came away with no thoughts or words. I just know I spent much of the sermon in prayer (I only hoped I wasn’t actually talking out loud) and silent tears.
The good thing is that I’ve spent the last couple of days meditating on this passage. When I was a young believer, this passage had me flummoxed. I didn’t get this whole abiding thing. How can I live in God? I know that He lives in ME, but me abide in Him? I was clueless.
I’m not sure that after numerous decades that I get it any better in my mind… but my spirit sure understands!
I know that when I walk apart from God I feel dead. Those times in my life when I’ve either been in rebellion or unrepentant sin have been the worst times I’ve known. Lonely, sorrow, shame and empty. That pretty much sums up where I was inside. So I get that when I’m not abiding in God I can not bear fruit, that I can’t do anything.
Any good works I do, only have value when they come from a heart dwelling right in the center of God’s heart. Otherwise it is just a thing I do, without the power and anointing of God’s Spirit. Can He bring good to the person receiving the good work? ABSOLUTELY! But from my point of view, it is empty and void.
I think about the movie The Never-Ending Story. In it, there is a nothingness that is taking over the world of the story. When I first saw that movie I was blasted with the reality that the nothingness was a metaphor (for me) of a life lived apart from God; a life refusing to abide in Him. The emptiness and despair is overwhelming. And no pleasure from sin can fill that void. Nothing is worth living without abiding in Him!
The beauty and sweetness that comes when I am abiding in Him is overwhelming at times. Somedays I just sit and cry I’m so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for who He is and how He loves me. And I cling more closely to His love and learn just a smidgen more about abiding in Him.
Well, this may not exactly be thoughts specifically from the sermon, but these are thoughts that came to me with the sermon as a spring board.
What are YOUR sermon snippets you’d like to share?