Sermon John 15:9-17
“Sticking with it”
St Augustine’s 10.30am, 25th May 2003
!!! FOOTBALL INTRO
Smile the last few months
Everton FC – Wayne Rooney
but also David Moyes.
TV the other night – manager of the season
Everton Chairman how Walter Smith sacked last year.
As soon as he saw David Moyes he knew
“He loved the game, and the Everton set up and he was hard working, willing to make tough decisions”
Tell that not just to gloat, but because it sheds light on what can be quite a perplexing passage.
!!! FRIENDS IF YOU OBEY ME
“I am the true vine” (last week), continuing to talk about the relationship between Christ and believers.
Things that you don’t normally think about going together.
love / commands (v17* “So I command you to love each other”)
“You are my friends if you obey me” v14*
Happiness and joy (v11) and laying down our lives* (v13)
How do these things fit together?
Remaining in Jesus – sticking with it
Football managers – one of the worst careers if you’re hoping for a bit of job security.
Why has David Moyes been successful?
love for sport and club, willingness to work hard.
Remaining in Jesus, about loving him and being obedient.
- If it’s just about love – excitement but doesn’t change life.
People who have loads of initial enthusiasm who give up – don’t want to change.
Expecting God to bless everything they do (People getting married early)
- Just obedient. Dull following rules
Dry up. Really following Jesus?
!!! The two work hand in hand
Can’t love without being obedient
Don Carson: “No one is more miserable than the Christian who for a time hedges his obedience. He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures, and he does not love Christ enough to relish holiness” (Jesus and his friends)
We obey most when we love
Charismatic Pentecostal churches where love is expressed most in worship, are also the best at getting on with job.
Hand in hand love and obedience.
Jesus can say “You are my friends if you obey me.”
!!! Good analogy with marriage
Marriage service make promises.
Might say why bother with promises if you’re in love?
But marriages hard work. Love needs promise.
But no point in being obedient without the love or feelings. Not what marriage is about.
Our commitment to Jesus in all areas of our lives needs to be based on both love and obedience
Communion receiving, bathing in Jesus’ love remembering his death.
But if that’s all our worship is we’re missing the point.
Giving everything back to God .
Communion also about commitment to church. Eating together (1Cor11)
Flowers, Fusion, 50+, Cooking curries, Iris!, world…
We’re obeying God’s command to care for others.
Danger if we’re doing it just to obey what God says,
or cos we feel we ought to.
Should flow out of love for God and love for others.
Sharing our faith with others only genuine if we love God ourselves.
NOT “Winning round people to my point of view”
Introducing people to a friend.
But if I only waited for the times I felt like it.
Excuses: Look stupid, right words, offend.
Obedience – God’s called us.
!!! All areas of our lives
Am I loving God in this? Am I being obedient to God in this?
Promise of fruit v5, v16.
Are you remaining in Jesus?
Are you in Jesus in the first place?
Can your commitment / relationship to God be referred to as both loving and obedient?
That’s what God wants. He wants the best for each of us. Vine. Chosen by him (v16).
Life comes not from branches but from roots.
Ask for love and strength to obey.
O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.
O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servants be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow
My Master and my Friend.
O let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then in heaven receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.