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abide in My love. John 8:31-32; 15:4 ... she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, ... Practicing His Presence Will Promote Produce Author: Russ Massey Last modified …
Practicing His Presence Lesson 9 Will Promote Produce Plugged In, Pruned, and Producing

If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Abide in Me, abide in My love. John 8:31-32; 15:4, 9

Be not content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain his company, for only in his presence hast thou either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. Charles Hadden Spurgeon

Introduction: Every admonition of Jesus with the exception of “be born again” was meant to be continual Repent - Believe in me - Listen to me – Love me - Come to me … and Stay!

ABIDE Gk; meno (men'-o); a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): Can be translated: abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own. (Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright 1994, 2003 )

God’s part in the connection

John 14:16-17 …the Father, …will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, …the Spirit of truth.

John 14:20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

John 14:23 … My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Rom 6:5, 8, 11 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Our Part in the connection

John 15:4 Remain (Abide) in me, and I will remain (abide) in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain (abide) in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain (abide) in me.

“The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His word. We have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.” A.W. Tozer

I. Abide in Me A. That you might endure hardship and affliction

John 15:2 …every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

1. Every circumstance of life is under the sovereign rule of our loving Lord

Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

2. Every circumstance of life has a divine purpose

1 Peter 1:7 (6 …all kinds of trials) These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

James 1:3-4 …the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We waste our cancer if we do not believe it is designed for us by God.

It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it, or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (Job 2:10), and the inspired writer agrees: “They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). If we don’t believe our cancer is designed for us by God, we will waste it.

John Piper

B. That you might bear much fruit

John 15:5, 8 5 If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

1. The duplication of the character of Christ Gal 5:22-23

2. The spirit of love and compassion towards sinners

3. Renewed courage and strength for “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

“A fruit-bearing tree lives not for itself, but wholly for those to whom its fruit brings refreshment and life. And so the branch exists only and entirely for the sake of the fruit. To make glad the heart of the husbandman is its object, its safety, and its glory.” Andrew Murray C. That you might have power in prayer

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

1.  Prayer is both one of the means and one of the fruits of union to Christ.

2. We learn to think his thoughts (the primary one being – “my Father's glory” John 15:8)

3. We have confidence “in His Name”

D. That you might have fullness of joy

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

1. It is His joy

2. It is complete

3. It is forever John 16:22 …. and no one will take away your joy .

II. Beware of the substitutions for true spiritual growth

A. Activity

1. we engage in much service, which leads to position by which we measure spiritual growth

2. we engage in evangelism, which leads to greater influence by which we measure spiritual growth

3. we engage in social justice, become more involved in issues by which we measure spiritual growth

B. Learning

1. we increase our quantity and make sure we’re “correct” by which we measure spiritual growth

2. we hone our articulation of the gospel to a razor edge by which we measure spiritual growth

C. Rules

1. we become more disciplined by which we measure spiritual growth

2. we become more pious by which we measure spiritual growth

Rev 2:2 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

III. How do we get it back? Rev 2:5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.

A. Remember how depraved you were (and are)

B. Remember how gracious He was (and is)

Luke 7:37-38, 47-48 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. 48 Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

IV. How Do We Stay Connected?

A. Don’t just “come to me” ; come to me and “stay”

Matt 10:11 Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay (meno) at his house until you leave.

Phil 1:24-25 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain (epimeno), and I will continue (meno) with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring (meno) word of God.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above. Robert Robinson

B. Practice His Presence Ps 139:1-12 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

C. Trust in His Love

John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you . Rom 8:39 (nothing) in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Heb 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

D. Immerse in His Word

John 8:31-32 31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NASB

Eph 5:18-21 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Col 3:16-17 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 14:6 I am …. the truth ….

“Keep thou close to thy soul's Husband, lean thy head upon his bosom, ask to be refreshed with the spiced wine of his pomegranate, and thou shalt be found of him at the last, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Seeing thou hast lived with him, and lived in him here, thou shalt abide with him for ever.” only Spurgeon TNBS Study Questions preparation for lesson 10

Read Matthew 16: 24-27 1. From Mark 1:16-18; John 21:22 When Jesus told the disciples to follow him, what did that mean to them? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

2. Is his command different today? If so, how? or Why not? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

3. From Mark 10:45; Luke 5:32, 19:10 What did Jesus come to do? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

4. What does John 11:51-52 & Luke 11:23 say about Jesus’ purpose and those who do not join in it? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

5. From Mark 10:33-34; John 15:20; Rom 8:17 what does following Jesus often include and how did he prepare his disciples for it? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

6. If we follow Jesus only when life is easy and prosperous, what does that communicate to the world? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

7. If we follow Jesus in affliction and dire circumstances, what does that communicate to the world? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

8. From Matthew 5:11-12; John 8:12, though following Jesus involves suffering, what’s the good news? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

9. Luke 14:26-27 How might following Jesus impact our relationships? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

10. Matthew 19:21-22 How might following Jesus impact our possessions? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

11. Mark 2:14; 5:18-20 How might following Jesus impact our vocation? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________

12. Luke 14:28-33; John 16:33 What conclusions would you draw about the cost of following Jesus and its worth? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________