Life in the Spirit Pt. 4… Abiding
Jesus said, “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.” (John 15:5) The word “abide” means to remain in the same place for a period of time. Jesus illustrated the believer’s relationship with Him through this powerful spiritual metaphor. One of the keys to truly experience Life in the Spirit is through abiding, just like branches do with the main vine. But what does abiding involve? Let me suggest 4 things:
- Connection… Simply put, without a connection to God we have no access to Spiritual life. We have no power for living and no power to produce fruit. Without a connection to God we are no better than a dead branch that has fallen off the vine or tree. We are useless without the “vine”.
- Confidence… That is, we have total confidence in God and so we depend upon Him fully. Think of it this way, the branch does not have to worry about where it’s nourishment is coming from. The vine supplies all the power, nourishment and essentials for the branch to exist and flourish.
- Cutting… The vine and branches must occasionally be pruned, trimmed and shaped. This is usually not pleasant, but it is always for our good. While Jesus makes clear that He is the vine and we are the branches, He also makes clear that God is the “vinedresser.” And God, shapes us by cutting away the things that prevent us from being most fruitful.
- Continuance… As I indicated above, the word abide actually means to remain or continue. If you are going to live life in the power of the Spirit, it is required that you remain in Him so that His life can flow through you.
God does not need your help, and actually He is not even looking for your help. God needs the help of no human. But what God wants is for us to be inhabited by Him. In other words, abiding is not about what you can do for God… it is instead about what God wants to do through you. Hence, abiding brings us access to the Holy Spirit’s power, which is essential for living life in the Spirit.
Deacon Nominations… forms with all the necessary information regarding how to nominate, who qualifies to serve and dates and deadlines for nominating are located in the Welcome Center. As is typical, we will select from those nominated 12 qualified men to serve filling the place of those who are rotating off this year. I thank God for our deacons. Ridgecrest’s deacons really act, as servants to the church, just like in the New Testament. Our deacons are not administrators of the church. Instead they are extensions of ministry. They serve in the prayer room, they are peacemakers in the church, they visit hospitals, they minister to families, and they serve as needed for various other ministry functions throughout the year. I love these men and their heart for Ridgecrest. Speaking of Deacons…
Lord’s Supper Today… It’s one of our two ordinances that we celebrate several times a year, and at least once a year in our morning services. Who can partake?... all of those who have trusted in Christ as their personal Savior.
America Come Home… A special spiritual worship experience next Sunday morning July 3rd. There will only be one worship and our schedule will be Sunday School/Small Group Bible study at 9:00 AM followed by the one worship at 10:30 AM, and no PM service… (Enjoy your 4th)
I’ll be away during the month of July for study and vacation… planning to read a lot of books and planning to outline 2 books of the New Testament to preach at a later date. While I am away, please be faithful with your attendance, obedient giving (let’s stay financially strong during summer) and participation in all of our wonderful ministries.
Awesome August… be watching for information about one of our favorite times of the year… Each Monday in August a special guest… Jr. Hill leads the way, Ridgecrest Choir/orchestra with a night of Praise, Jarrad Hall (Illusionist) on the 3rd Monday, Dr. H.B. Charles on the 4th and Dr. Fred Luter wraps it all up. Don’t miss any!
I love being your pastor and I’ll see you the first of August… and remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new.
For God’s Glory Alone,