Sunday, 15th October 2017
Rev Daniel Poon
John 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful.“
Just like it says in the Scriptures, we will go through trials and challenges, because God is pruning us in our lives, our families, our work, our study, our church… to make us more like the image of Jesus! Rev Daniel reminded us to have faith, don’t complain, and believe that everything is in God’s hands. The grape vines can grown up to even 21 feet long, but the gardener will cut it until it’s 1 foot long. Why is that? Because the vine is not to grow long but to bear fruits. God loves us and that is why He prunes us, and if we remain in Jesus, allow ourselves to be pruned, then we will surely see rewards!
1. REMAIN IN THE WORD OF GOD
John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Just like a parent’s heart will always be for their children, our Heavenly Father’s heart is always for us. God wants to bless us and not to harm us, therefore He gave us the Word to follow. Rev Daniel shared with us a few tips of how to remain in the Word of God.
i) To study God’s Word
Colossians 3:10, “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
We need to renew in knowledge of God, even after we’re born again and experienced God, we need to continue renewing our knowledge of God, deleting the old-self, and becoming more like His image.
Psalm 1:2, “but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.“
This is the right attitude of studying God’s Word, not only study it but also meditate it day and night, apply it into our everyday lives by making right choices, and influencing others positively.
ii) To remember God’s Word
It’s so important to remember God’s Word, if we have the heart to do it, there will eventually be a way for us to remember God’s Words. There is no excuses in trying our best to remember God’s Word, if we do our best, God sees it and He will do the rest!
Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.“
2. REMAIN IN THE WORK OF GOD
God cuts and prunes us for one purpose, because He loves us and wants us to be fruitful. It’s easy to complain. If we don’t cut the 21 feet vines, eventually it will be so big, climbing the other good trees in the garden, and becoming a weed. We need to ask God, find out the reason God trims and cuts us, to know what His Work in us is, then we can be fruitful again.
We must allow God to do His job in us, so we can be trimmed and bear fruit, otherwise we will become firewood. When God is doing His Word in us, we need to be sensitive to know why, pray, be humble, seek, and be in partnership with Him. Very often God uses environment to prepare us, just like how He prepared David, Moses, Joshua, etc. it takes time and the environment might seen to be against us, but don’t give up! God wants to bless us, but only when we always remain in God’s Work, then we can continue turn one bless to another. Otherwise we might turn the blessing into curse!
3. REMAIN IN THE LOVE OF GOD
John 15:10, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. We can choose to love or not love a person, no one will push us. But when we choose to love, then we need to be commit to it and take the responsibilities. When we choose to love God, we look up to Heaven, we choose the most valuable thing, and we will put God above everything else. If today we choose to love God, then we should remain in the love of God, no matter what happens in our lives. We need to ensure God’s love flows through us like a living water, not like the Dead Sea. The love should flow through us continually, continue to make others feel loved, and continue to show love to those around us.
We love because God loves us first. God also chose to love us and His love never fails. When we love one another, we are also proving to the world and to the enemy how true our God is! People want to be close to us when they feel God’s love, and as followers of Christ, it’s not only about the knowledge in Christianity, but about how we love. Love in action is not because others love us first, or because we can have anything in return, but because God loves us first. When we give love, God’s love will be like living water to pour down to us.
Acts 20:35b, “remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Giving is not easy, when we don’t ask anything in return. But if we remain in God, He will bless us more abundantly and giving will no longer seem difficult. God wants to remain in us, so are we willing to make this decision, take this challenge and effort? Are we willing to look down the world and believe in the Promises from God?
Have faith, and remind in God, then we will see the fruits!