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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Be Encouraged by Pruning

Pastor Paul October 9, 2011
John 15:1-13

Getting to know Jesus is the joy, not the results or circumstances.
We will never totally know him so there will always be joy in getting to know him.
Focusing on actions or requirements kills relationship.
Marriage is a shadow of the intimacy God wants to have with us.
Phil 1:6 – It is God doing the work. He is the initiator, the source, the caretaker.
Stay in the vine – submit to the sovereignty of God.
Pruning is for branches that are producing fruit. It increases productivity.

The pruning process gives us an opportunity to examine things.

1)      Look BackPruning gives perspective to the past.
                Who is God? What was he doing?
2)      Look InPruning gives us insight into ourselves.
                Who am I? Why did I do this or that? Do I see through God’s eyes? Do I act like Jesus?
3)      Look UpPruning causes us to evaluate how we see God.
                How do I see God? Do I choose to let God’s word trump my experiences? Why do I sin?
4)      Look Forward Pruning is a great place to ask God for his plans for your future.
                All promotion starts with demotion – look at Joseph, King David, Apostle Paul, even Jesus – death is a pretty big demotion, but then look at where he was promoted to for eternity!

 Understanding God and who I am cuts pruning time – Being in what feels like a prolonged time of pruning – this hurts. 
v 3 “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
Holiness is a response to God’s love – never because I have found the right spiritual discipline.
We come to church to remember things we know are true.

Luke 18:9-14
I give him worship. He gives me truth.
Be humble before him. It makes the pruning easier.
Religion misses the heart of God and teaches others to miss it as well.
“Don’t make sandwiches Jesus didn’t order.” (What Martha was doing while Mary was listening to Jesus)
Putting your orders on others does not bring life.

Abide in Christ – humility, friendship
Other people’s opinions should not matter much.
What emotional state do you find yourself in when crisis strikes? – This one hurts, too.
Abiding shifts the emotional state to peace, hope, and courage.
Stop trying to live a Christian life and connect with Jesus.

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