The most prestigious high schools in the United States, which have produced many presidents and American leaders, are called Phillips Academy Andover and Phillips Exeter Academy. In this school, it is said that the most rich people were produced even though they were not taught to be rich, the most famous people were produced even though they were not taught to be famous, and the most influential people were produced even though they were not taught to be powerful. So how did these schools get these amazing results? Of course, there are many other factors, but above all, we need to pay attention to the educational purpose of this school. The school’s motto is ‘Non Sivi; not for self’.
People in the world live for themselves. But the Bible says to live for the glory of God.
We are all standing at the starting line of the new year 2023. Where would you like to run?
Will you run for your own glory or for the glory of God? In the new year, many people make new year resolutions. Some people buy a membership to a fitness center, decide to read the Bible, decide to study English, etc., and make many plans and think about living hard.
We often say that direction is more important than speed. For example, if our destination is Moscow and we run very fast in the direction of Sochi, we are moving away from the destination as fast as we can go. It is important that we work so hard that we sometimes don’t even sleep at night, but it is important to set the direction of life for why we live, how we should live, what the meaning of life is, and run towards it.
Through today’s message, let’s listen to the Lord’s lesson on how to give glory to God in detail.
First, let us run for the glory of God.
1. Let’s run for the glory of God.
So why should you live for the glory of God? It’s because God is the creator who created you and is the owner of your life.
Isa 43:7 Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
Isa 60:21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.
1Co 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The goal and direction of our life should be for the glory of God. Then, how can we specifically live by giving glory to God? Please look at the big picture to give glory to God.
John 17:4I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
When we know God’s will and obey it, we give glory to God.
Dear saints, believe that there is a will that God wants to do through you in 2023. There are things Heavenly Father wants to do through you. When we know God’s will and obey it with joy, the Heavenly Father rejoices, and we give glory to God at that time.
Therefore, if you want to give glory to God, you must always discern God’s will and obey it.
God’s will for us humans, as recorded in the Bible, is for all people to be saved from sin and restored to a holy life. In today’s text, it says that we give glory when we bear fruit.
We must bear much fruit to give glory to God.
2. To bear much fruit
If we want to glorify God, we must bear much fruit in our lives. What kind of fruit should we bear? Yes, you will have to bear all kinds of fruits in life. Bearing fruit means having good results in life. You can bear fruit in many different areas in life, including the fruit of your children’s education, the fruit of business, the fruit of study, and the fruit of human relationships. If there are two most important kinds of fruit that God wants to be glorified through the fruit of our lives, the first is the fruit of evangelism and the second is the fruit of character that resembles the image of Jesus. The Lord wants Jesus to be testified through my life. How many souls have returned to the Lord through your life? Also, is your inner character being transformed into the character of Jesus? To what extent have you changed into a person who puts aside your own interests and thinks of others first, fulfills the needs of others, loves, forgives, and blesses? Are you changing to a life that sees others with eyes of faith and gratitude, abandoning the habit of easily judging and resenting others?
Now, I would like to briefly review some of the principles of bearing fruit in John 15.
how can i bear fruit
1) The relationship between the vine and branches – unity
Jesus is the true vine, his father is the farmer, and we are the branches. (Jn 15:4) Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
The secret to bearing fruit is simple. We, the branches, simply need to stick to Jesus, the vine. The secret is union with the Lord, it is oneness. Saints, think about it. A tree’s branches can withstand the heat of the sun only if they are attached to the tree. The moment it is cut off, the branch withers. Also, branches need to be attached to a tree to grow. Brothers and sisters, you must have seen new shoots coming out of tree branches that looked dead in the spring. Aren’t you curious? It seems dead, but because the branches are attached to the tree, new shoots come out. Branches need to be attached to the tree to grow, flower, and bear fruit. It’s a simple principle. Why? Because you have to get the sap from the tree. Since it needs to continuously receive life force from the tree, it will end if it is cut off even for a moment. Dear saints, are you living the relationship between Jesus and yourself desperately as an absolute, vital, and organic relationship? Do you confess that you are nothing and can do nothing apart from Jesus? Are you living with the supply of life from Jesus? “Apart from me you can do nothing” (v. 5). In order to bear much fruit, we must be united with the Lord.
How can we bear abundant fruit?
We need to remove anything that hinders us from bearing fruit.
It’s just pruning. “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.” (v. 2).
What does our Heavenly Father, the farmer, do in order to bear fruit well? He removes some branches. He cuts off unnecessary branches so that nutrients do not go to useless places. He does this to make a clean tree.
There are things in our lives that hinder us from becoming like the Lord and bearing the fruits of evangelism and the abundant life that the Lord works through us. The Father cuts off human thoughts, strongholds, wrong values, wrong habits, and prejudices that hinder us from bearing fruit. It hurts when branches are cut. There is pain. However, through that pain and suffering, we get rid of unnecessary things, become purified, and become more like the Lord.
This is the reason why we don’t move around to different house churches. Why do you think there is a person there that you are uncomfortable with in that house church? God wants to remove the arrogance, hatred, or wrong things in you that make you feel that discomfort. When we know this fact, we can change as we pray and overcome these issues and hardships in human relationships. However, even if you move to another house church you will still find people that you are uncomfortable with or find difficult. God wants to refine you through uncomfortable relationships and conflicts. Through hardships, God wants to remove pride, greed, anger, self-centered attitude, and any hatred in you. Pruning is a time to experience the cross. It is the time when I die and live with the life of Jesus.
Are there people experiencing God’s pruning? Rejoice. The Lord will change your character to be more like the humble and meek Jesus in character, attitude, and outlook. God prunes us so that we can bear fruit.
3) The secret to bearing fruit is to abide in the Word. Verse 7. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” is verse 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. John 6:63 says, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
How can we become one with Jesus and be united with Him? It is possible through the Word. The Word of Logos is Jesus. To be close to the Word is to be close to Jesus.
We must keep close to the Word. Do you love the Bible? In the New Year, make a plan to read the Bible regularly every day and practice it. Also, if there are people who still do not meditate on the Word, please take time to meditate on the Word every day with the ‘Living Life’ material in the New Year. I hope that both father and mother can meditate on the Word, and that children would also meditate on the Word. And I hope that you will become the saints and families that share with each other the words you have meditated on.
When you fellowship with the Word and abide in Jesus, you must listen to the Word more than anything else. Sermons must be heard as the Word of God. It is very important that the Word is heard. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. When I read the Bible, the Bible speaks to me. It is not a history book, a literature book, or a classic story, but the Bible is a living word.
In particular situations, you can hear the words of Rhema, which is the personal and specific word that you alone hear from God.
When you hear the word, you will have faith. (Rom 10:17) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
The words of Christ here are the words of the rhema in the original language. Faith arises when we hear the word of rhema. There are people who listen to sermons whenever they have free time through the Internet. However, they may feel that there is no change in their lives. The reason is that they do not receive the word of rhema, the word suitable for their specific situation.
When you listen to the Word, when you meditate, when you read it, expect the help of the Holy Spirit and go before the Word. When the word at that time is heard as the word of rhema that suits my situation, it gives me the faith to overcome the situation, change my attitude, and change my life.
(Mat 4:4)Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
The word in the original language is rhema, in that a person will live by every word. Said differently, the words I hear personally become true food for the soul. Therefore, open the Word and meditate deeply. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and know its meaning. At that time, there will be a word given to me personally. That word becomes the spiritual food that saves my soul and gives me new strength.
(Ephesians 6:17) and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
When can the word work like a sword? When the Holy Spirit gives necessary words in a fierce spiritual situation, the words of rhema work like a sword that can defeat the devil and give us victory.
I bless you in the name of the Lord that you will bear much fruit and give glory to God by abiding in the Word.
4) What is the secret to bearing fruit? It is to bear fruit through prayer. Verse 7. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
(Jn 15:16)You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Saints, are you experiencing that Jesus is in you and you are in Jesus through prayer? Prayer is a very important means of uniting with Jesus. Of course, we ask God for our needs through prayer. Through prayer, our needs are known and supplied. However, prayer is basically a personal fellowship with God. Prayer is the time to discern God’s will. So generally, when you pray personally, that time is spent staying in front of God’s presence. In order to have a correct personal fellowship with God who is Spirit, we must also continually abide in the reign and presence of the Holy Spirit so that we can have proper fellowship in prayer and receive the deep rule and governing by the Holy Spirit.
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31).
When the saints of the Early Church prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, they were able to speak the word of God boldly. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). God promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. When we pray, God gives us the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is becoming one with Jesus, who is the vine. How often do you pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit?
I believe that when you pray, you will be deeply united with Jesus and there will be various fruits and works of answers. I hope you make a decision to become a person of prayer in the new year. Set aside time to pray. Pray before starting your day. Participate in the Wednesday prayer meeting held by the church union with faith. Also, pray deeply and personally to the Lord every day. The Lord required His disciples to stay awake and pray for at least an hour before carrying the cross. I bless you in the name of the Lord that you will become one with Jesus, the vine, through prayer and bear many fruits of evangelism and character.
He said that if you bear much fruit, you will glorify God and become a disciple of Jesus.
I will finish the sermon. The pastor of the church that sent us as missionaries in Los Angeles almost passed away from a heart attack after Sunday service a while ago, but he called an ambulance which arrived in 5 minutes, and he urgently had an operation on it. He gave a sermon last Sunday. I have heard testimonies that 99% of his coronary arteries and 90% of one of his arteries were blocked and he would have almost died if one thing went wrong. Do you know what is the number one cause of death worldwide? It is ‘cardiovascular disease’. Just as you die when your blood is blocked, you die when your relationship is blocked. Do you have a relationship with the Lord? Are there any blockages in your human relationships? Are you on good terms with Jesus, the vine? How do you want to bear much fruit to give glory to God in the new year that He has given you? What resolution will you make at this time today to bear much fruit?
Admit that you can do nothing apart from the Lord who is the vine. And now become one with the Word. Become one with the Lord in prayer. In this way, I bless you in the name of the Lord that you may become disciples of Jesus who bear much fruit and give glory to God in the new year that He has given to us.