Sunday Service Sermons
Have you had an improper relationship?
If you have then you know first hand about proper relationships.
Relationships are a bit tricky.
We cannot live or have a full life without them, yet they are a bit risky.
Hopefully not riskay, just risky.
Relationships are like love.
Much needed, often misused, always powerful, nothing better than a supportive, proper one, and nothing more destructive than an improper one.
Just like teachers and students, there is a risk in the relationship.
Yet it is necessary to have a relationship in teaching.
There is an intimacy in teaching.
The young children need affirmation.
That comes in the form of touching.
Touching is affirming.
Proper touch is very powerful.
While improper touch is devastating.
It is a sad state that we do not teach our children Agape Love.
Self sacrificing love.
Love for the fulfillment of the other person.
Our need for love makes us venerable.
Yet to be guarded to much inhibits us from experiencing the very thing that makes us human and fulfilled.
There is no such thing as Free Love, for all love has a price to pay.
The ultimate price was paid by Jesus of Nazareth.
And he paid it for us, so we could have life, and that life be abundant.
When God was taken out of schools he was taken out of life.
Without God we, human beings, are ships without a rudder.
If you are trying to teach your grandchildren about the value of religion, use that illustration.
Moral values are a guide like the rudder of a ship guiding a vessel.
If you are watching the news you are seeing what happens when that rudder is taken away and there is nothing to guide humanity.
Without morality there is chaos.
Morality builds, chaos destroys.
There are no proper relationships with morality.
We either live to get all we can out of life or to live by a moral code that raises us above ourselves.
Christianity is that kind of moral code and always has been.
That is why Jesus Christ is an enemy to those who want to dominate humanity.
We have just lived through a time when we Christians could be lazy in our witness for God, Jesus and God’s Presence in our lives.
That time is going away.
How will we respond?
We will join the crowd and protect ourselves by losing ourselves in the current to the times?
Or will we stand for what we know, as Christians, to be right?
We all die, how will you use your existence?
To protect and benefit yourself and your loved ones or to stand for God and his way, “The Way” that His Son brought to earth?
The Scripture for today is: John 15:1-27
Emphasis Scripture is: : “ I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I like this Scripture. I like this whole section of Scripture, as you know.
I have talked about this as being connected to the power source when we are connected to Jesus and being out of power when we lose our connection with or to Jesus.
Are you connected to Jesus?
I hope so.
Hey, is the Holy Spirit the conductor of this connection?
I think so!
This section of Scripture that I like is Jesus with his disciples in the last moments he was with them before the cross.
Jesus is trying to give last minute instructions before being taken away.
We have a desperate Jesus and confused disciples.
Not a good communication connection.
Jesus is telling his disciples that they must not only understand the meaning of live, but they must love one another as he has loved them.
And he promises them a home forever with him.
In the meantime Jesus will be with them every step of the journey.
Do you feel that Jesus is with you every step of your journey?
He can be!
Jesus is trying to give them the blessings, privileges, and responsibilities which comes from a personal relationship with Jesus himself for it is a relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.
There are three relationships to consider here.
One with Jesus himself, one with one another in Christ and one with the followers of Christ and the world.
Jesus used the example of being a shepherd to his followers and here he uses the illustration of the vine and the branches.
The only way to be right with God is to be connected to the Son.
As the branches draw their strength from the vine so the followers of Jesus draw their strength from him.
For, apart from Jesus we can accomplish nothing.
Those who abide in Christ, and have his words abiding in them, may ask what they want and it will be done, simply because they will ask nothing out of accord with the mind of Christ.
And in and through all of this they must remain in his love.
What does the branch receive?
What it needs to bear much fruit.
It receives the life giving nourishment it needs to thrive.
It is a part of the larger plant, which means that the followers of Jesus are apart of the creator God.
When connected to Jesus his followers can obey his commands.
As a result of all of this they receive abundant joy.
The disciples were bonded in their relationship with Jesus their master.
Each was chosen by Jesus as are each of us.
We all are a part of the chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we might declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.
The relationship that the disciples had, and we have, is characterized by genuine love one for the other.
We are called to bear one another’s burdens and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and to comfort one another.
Also we are called to exhort one another and to pray for one another.
All of this is done in our love for one another.
To be obedient to Christ we must find ourselves obedient to Christ.
In that we are friends, partners with Christ, and will bear much fruit for the kingdom of God.
When it comes to our relationship with the world we are to be on our guard.
See John 13:9-13 where Jesus says that the world will not be kind to those who follow the way of Jesus The Christ.
Jesus knew that for the disciples to be true to Jesus they would be arrested and brought before the authorities but what they were to say would be given to them in the moment.
As the world hated Jesus it will hate his followers.
But we are not of this world but the kingdom of God.
The test will come and we must stand firm in our faith.
To participate in the joy of Christ we must participate in the sufferings of Christ.
In that we will see His Glory.
Our suffering will bear good witness to Christ.
When we put Christ first the “World” will come against us.
Jesus knew that if people were permanently bonded together by him, he could trust them with his work until he came again.
Go to your spiritual upper room and learn the lessons Christ Jesus has for you to learn, that you may be bonded to him now and forever more.