Sermon from today

I preached at my church today. The sermon was titled, “Living the new life in Christ” and looked at four points from Colossians 3:1-17.

If you are interested you can find it on my main website here.

Lectionary or not?

The church I attend works off the Lectionary for their sermons. These are a list of Bible readings that are on a three year cycle that line up with the seasons of the church year. It generally has a reading from the Psalms, a Gospel reading and one from another place in the Bible.

In saying this though, we do have the freedom to preach on another passage when it is our turn to preach. We can chose our passage based on what we feel God wants us to preach on for the week. Most times when I do this, people tell me that God spoke to them through the passage. Last time one lady told me that sermon was just for me and it felt like no-one else was there.

When I was a Pastor I would generally seek God at the start of the year and ask what books of the Bible or themes He wanted me to speak about. Most years I would get 2-3 Bible books to work through and a couple of themes that would go for about a month. The other sermons would be one of sermons that I felt to preach on that week.

Now I am a school chaplain I only preach now as a lay preacher every two or three months. I usually look at the Lectionary readings for the day, but most times I feel God wants me to preach on something else. I seek God and just ask “What do You want me to preach on?” Within a few days I find I am drawn to a passage and ideas start to flow.

This Sunday I am preaching and it will be this way again. I looked at the readings for this week and nothing really jumped out at me. I then prayed and asked God. He led me to a passage in Colossians and I had a couple of other little confirmations while talking with others and reading other things.

So I guess if you asked me the question “Do I use the Lectionary for my sermons?” I would have to say no. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like or appreciate when others in our church do. I have been really blessed by the preaching through the seasons of the church year.

On Sunday afternoon our time I would put my sermon online here and our church may have some video too.

Blessings,
Dave

Serving Jesus from a place of rest

The title of my message today is “Serving Jesus from a place of rest”. This message has been on my heart for the last few months. Especially since I found out I would be a Chaplain in three schools this year and also be an Elder in this church. These are four big roles, and I believe to would be easy to be overwhelmed, but I believe we serve a big God.

All of us know what it is to be busy, some of us know what it is to be too busy. We experience busyness of life and work, the busyness of kids and school, the busyness of church and serving in volunteer roles, and some even experience the busyness of retirement. Rather than winding down, retirement for some is a winding up!

Today I want to share this message as a new year is upon us and many of the things we do are starting to wind up in February. So before all the rush begins I want us to stop and reflect on the call of Jesus that is found in today’s reading.

Bible Reading

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Message Points

At the heart of these verses in the Bible reading is an invitation. An invitation to come to Jesus and an invitation to live differently. Today I want to share four things I love about this passage.

1. Jesus invites us to Himself

Jesus says, “Come to Me”. He invites everyone to come and get to know Him and spend time with Him. It is a personal invitation, but it is also to everyone. We see this in the “all who are weary”. It is an invitation to intimacy like He has with His Father.

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus often drew aside to spend time alone with His Father. In Mark 1:35 it says, “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” He needed time alone with His Father to connect with Him and receive orders.

He also called the disciples away to be alone with Him. In Mark 6:31-32 “Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. 32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.”

In my life as a Christian I have heard an audible voice from God twice. Once was when I was in a very busy period of work and ministry and I was staying up late to finish things off after everyone went to bed. In the midst of this work I heard a voice say “Dave”. It was different to the normal sound of my name being said. It was strong and firm, but calming and inviting all in one. It stopped me in my tracks. I walked in to Larissa hoping it was her. She was sound asleep. It was then I realised it was God. I said yes Lord and went and sat in my chair that I did my devotions in. Over the next hour or so I just sat in God’s presence. I didn’t say much. He didn’t say much, but I just sat. I felt a peace and a presence that melted all my stress and worry away. I was weary and God called me to come to Him. The other time I heard an audible was my name again. This time it was when Larissa was in hospital and I was home with two small kids. I had been awake for 24 hours and God said “Dave” again. I sat in His presence again and the same thing happened, my stress and weariness melted away.

Jesus invites us to Himself. He wants us to spend alone time with Him. He promises help for those of us who are weary. So to be effective in serving Jesus from a place of rest, remember Jesus invites us to Himself first.

2. Jesus invites us to take on His yoke

In old style farming a yoke was used to join two animals together. Side by side they would work, until the work was done. Often an older more experienced animal was put with a younger animal. By working with the older animal, the younger one would learn what to do and be under better control.

In today’s passage Bible scholars tell us Jesus was talking about the heavy yoke or burden that the Pharisees put on the people. They had 600+ laws for people to live by and that was burdensome. It was hard work and took all their energy. Jesus on the other hand, asks us to take on His yoke which He says is light and easy. Jesus just wants us to love God and love one another and do His work.

Also by using the yoke analogy, Jesus invites us to partner in the work He is already doing in the world. He invites us to work in His mission field. In this life, it is easy to get caught up in doing all kinds of “good” things, but Jesus invites us to be involved in His work. To put on His yoke and join in with Him.

For me being in three schools it is important for me to take on His yoke and prayerfully seek what God is already doing and join in. I need to see not only with my physical eyes and show love and compassion, but with my spiritual eyes and look for the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit is always working around us drawing people to Jesus. As I walk around I need to learn when to go left, when to go right or when to do the holy hover and wait. So far it has been working well and led to some good conversations.

So to be effective in serving Jesus from a place of rest, it is important to take on His yoke and not the yoke of the world.

3. Jesus invites us to learn from Him

Jesus wants to teach us a different way to live. Jesus wants us to follow Him just like He asked the first disciples to follow Him. He promises that He will be gentle and teach us from a humble heart. I don’t know about you, but that is my kind of teacher.

How do we learn from Jesus today?

  • We read and memorise the words He said in the Bible – the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is a great place to start.
  • We read and reflect on His interactions with the people He met – Matthew chapter 8 onwards deals with this.
  • We read the prayers He prayed – The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and Jesus’ prayer for the disciples in John 17.
  • We see how Jesus dealt with temptation from the devil and how He responded with Scripture three times in Matthew 4:1-11.

Over the years I have met a lot of very strong Christians. When I asked what their secret was, it was always the same. They loved the Bible. They loved reading and meditating on it. They loved memorising passages. They loved talking about it.

So to be effective in serving Jesus from a place of rest, we must learn from Him and the best way to do that is by getting in to His Word – the Bible.

4. Jesus promises us rest

The last thing we can learn from these three simple verses is that Jesus promises us rest. If we respond to Jesus’ invite to come to Him, to take on His yoke and to learn from Him, He promises us rest.

The rest Jesus gives us is a rest not of this world. It is a rest that calms us in the middle of our busyness. It is a rest that lets us know God is in control though the world around us is failing. It is a rest that knows the eternal God has everything, even our eternal destiny, under control. We can rest knowing that we are kept safely in the palm of His hand.

My weariness test

Before I finish I want to do the weariness test that I give myself every now and then. I want to use the letters of the word weary.

W – Do I feel like I am working day and night? Or am I waiting on the Lord and responding to His promptings?

E – Does it feel like everything depends on me to get done? Or does everything depend on God and I just play my part?

A – Am I always rushing around to get things done? Or am I allowed to relax and have time off to do the things I enjoy?

R – Am I restless and can’t keep still? Or am I resting in Christ?

Y – Am I saying yes to everyone and everything? Or am I yielded to God and saying yes to Him?

If my answers were more on the left, I may be weary and need to hear Jesus’ call afresh to “Come to me all who are weary?”

Closing

As I said earlier at the heart of these three simple verses are an invitation from Jesus…

1. Jesus invites us to Come to Him

2. Jesus invites us to Take on His yoke

3. Jesus invites us to Learn from Him

When we do, we experience His rest. A rest that is not of this world. And we can run the race in a way that does not make us weary.

Amen.

Great words of the Gospel – Imputation

Bible ReadingRomans 5:11-21 NLT

This week I talk about one of the Great Words of the Gospel. I am going to look at a word that is not used very often, but it is a very powerful word that is central to our faith in Christ. The word is Imputation.

The Doctrine of Imputation not only helps understand our need for salvation, it also helps us to understand what Christ has done and what we have because of Christ’s death for us.

In today’s message I want to tell three stories of people I have spoken to over the years. One I was sharing my faith with, one shared a testimony at church and I talked to them afterwards and one was a Christian that needed to understand what we have in Christ. Then I will look at the topic of Imputation and share three things that the Bible tells us about this subject.

Three stories

Story 1 – The first story is of a man we met when we were out going door to door in Perth. We were in one of the more well to do suburbs and in the main street of the area. It was what they call a dress circle. All the houses were very large, had all the features and backed on to a lake. They were the sort of houses that people talk about they would buy if they won lotto. When we approached the house the owner was out the front mowing his lawn. His lawn mower looked like it cost more than my car (a Mitsubishi Scorpion) and the clothes he was wearing to mow the lawn were better than my Sunday best. He had two cars in the garage – a BMW convertible and a Mercedes 4WD. He had a speed boat and a Harley. He looked very well off. Anyway, we said hello and said we were from the local church going door to door. We talked about faith, life, the Bible, church and Jesus. He talked openly about life and his experience with church as a child, but then he said that he came to the point as adult where he decided he didn’t need God. He explained that he was a good person who gave money to charity, he treated people well and he looked after his family – so he wasn’t a “sinner” like others he knew. He knew about sin and understood Jesus died on the cross for him, but it did not rate in his life. In the end, he turned, pointed to his house and garage and said, “Do I look like I need God?” He thanked us for coming, but basically said, “Thanks, but no thanks”. We went on our way feeling very sad for the man because we knew how much he needed Jesus.

Story 2 – The second story was of a man I met at Church many years ago. He was a nice man in his late 50s who was a fairly new Christian. He shared his testimony of how he had not always been a nice man. He talked of his time in Asia of where he headed up a crime syndicate called the Triads. He was involved in drugs, illegal gambling and having people killed. He talked about how it was nothing for him to have someone killed or even do it himself. He talked about the crimes he was involved with over many years. One day he met someone who shared Christ with him. At first, he wanted to have him killed, but before long he wanted to give his life to Christ. He learned that Jesus could forgive his sin and help him turn his life around, but first he had to confess him sins to God. He decided to include them all. He wrote 13 pages of sins on paper. Thirteen pages of the most horrible things a person could do. He understood Jesus could take them all and He would forgive him, so he wanted to include them all. Jesus did and he turned his life around. So much so that he went to the local Police Commissioner to face justice. The Police Commissioner thought long and hard before deciding to let him go. He saw that his conversion was real and he was relieved to have him off the streets.

Story 3 – The final story is of a lady I met who was a lovely lady in her 40s. She had given her life to Christ about 10 years before and done her best to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. It was not until we talked at a deeper level about her faith and life that she opened up to me. She had received God’s salvation and forgiveness, but she could not forgive herself or see herself as righteous in God’s eyes. You see as a young lady she was heavily involved in drugs and she had worked as a prostitute. During this time, she got pregnant several times and she had abortions. She had no time for kids as she had to keep working to support her habit. While she had received forgiveness from God, this ate away at her soul. She could not see herself as righteous in God’s eyes. She loved the Lord and followed Him wholeheartedly, but could not get passed, her past.

Three stories of three very different people. Three people who needed both God and the forgiveness He offered. Two of them had it, but one needed to believe more of what God had given her. This is where Imputation comes into to my message today.

What is Imputation?

Imputation is another legal word. In the legal world, it is the charging or reckoning something to someone’s account. Imputation takes words or actions and ties them to a person or a cause. It also has implications of transferring something to someone else.

We see Imputation is a very important word for us as Christians because it helps us to understand the Gospel more fully. Imputation has three main implications for us.

1. Adam’s sin is Imputed to us all.

In our reading from today we saw that God imputes Adam’s sin to all other members of the human race. Romans 5:12 tell us that, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned”.

The Bible tells us in Genesis chapter 3 that Adam sinned and was cast out of the garden paradise that God has placed them in. As a result, all mankind since then has become separated from God because we are all descendants of Adam.

The Bible tells us that in our natural state without Christ we have a tendency towards sin, because Adam’s sin brought it into the world. It seems appealing and enticing and we are drawn towards it. It doesn’t matter if it is in word, deed or thought. It is still sin if it is wrong in God’s eyes.

Adam’s sin had both an immediate consequence – being cast out of the garden, and a mediate long term consequence, it spread to all his descendants – us. It was imputed or legally transferred to the entire human race.

The man that I spoke of in the first story did not think he was a sinner personally, but he needed to understand that sin had been transferred to us all from Adam. He could not see his sin, because he put himself on a pedestal in the place of God. When we place ourselves on a pedestal, it is easier to look down at the sin of others and not see our own sin. It is easier to see the speck in others eyes and miss the log in our own eyes. We can see the sin of the world and be blinded to our own. It is my hope and prayer that this man has since seen his own sin and realised that Adam’s sin is passed on to him also. It is my hope that he placed Jesus on the pedestal of his life.

2. Our sin is Imputed to Christ

The second thing the Bible teaches us about Imputation is that our sins are Imputed to Jesus Christ. Central to the message of salvation is the good news that the entire sin of the human race was transferred to Jesus and born by Him on the cross of Calvary.

2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

Jesus lived the perfect sinless life. He was the only one in all history who did live a sinless life. He was the only one who could live a sinless life. That is why His life was the perfect offering for sin. He could be made sin, because He had no sin of His own. He was not part of Adam’s sin because His birth was supernatural from heaven.

From our text today verses 15 and 16 tell us, “But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. [16] And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.”

The man from the second story understood the good news of the gospel when he wrote down 13 pages of sin that he had committed. He took weeks to compile the list, because he knew all of them were placed on Jesus. He knew Jesus died for him and he wanted to confess as much as he possibly could. He knew God could cleans him and forgive him of everything, because Christ took all his sin. He understood the imputation of his sin to Christ.

3. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.

In the third point, we are going to look at some great news. Not only have our sins been taken by Christ’s death on the cross, we have been given Christ’s righteousness as a replacement. It is a beautiful exchange as the song says.

The last part of our reading says, “17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ. 18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. It is credited to our account. We are no longer separated from God with a death sentence upon us. We are right with God and Christ’s righteousness is ours. As I said a few weeks ago, the blood of Jesus covers us completely.

1 Corinthians 1:30 – It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption.

The lady in the third story could not accept this. She believed Jesus died for her, that her sins were forgiven by God, but she could not forgive herself. She held on to her guilt and shame, which did not belong to her any more. The righteousness that Christ offered like in the image on the screen was hers, but she could not bear to put her arms out to receive it. As a result, she lived way below where God wanted her to be.

For us today as Christians we need to understand that not only are our sins forgiven, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. I stand here today as a man who knew the depths of depression and the weight of sin. I knew what it was to not forgive myself, but Christ changed that, and I can now say though my sins were as red as crimson, they are now as white as snow. God sees them no more, He just sees the righteousness of Christ. Church, the good news is that it is the same for you too. It is my hope and prayer that you will feel this way too. That you can understand Christ’s righteousness is yours.

Every week in church we face the front and see that stained glass window. We see the image of Christ holding His sheep. I want you to know that the Father in heaven looks at you through the lens of Christ. It is like He looks from outside that window and when He sees you He sees you through the righteousness of Christ. Church, if you have confessed your sins to Him and accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are the righteousness of Christ. Stand tall, throw your shoulders back, lift your head up high and chose to walk in it today.

Closing Summary

Today we looked at one of the key words of the Gospel message – Imputation. We saw that Adam’s sin was imputed to the entire human race. But the good news is God did not leave it that way, our sins were imputed to Christ on the cross where He paid the price. Now we are fully forgiven and free from the penalty of sin and Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. That is some Good News!

Amen.

Let us pray.

R.E.M.A.I.N. in Christ

Bible readings: John 15:1-5, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11

As you can see on the screen, the title of my message today is “R.E.M.A.I.N. in Christ”. I have been thinking a lot lately how it is important for us to remain firmly connected to Christ.

In our first passage that we just heard read, John 15:1-5 Jesus talks about our spiritual connection and says it is like vines and branches. It stresses the importance a close connection and staying connected.

This passage has lots of good stuff I could speak about today. It talks about God being the gardener who trims us and prunes us. Jesus talks about us being pruned and purified by His message. It talks about producing much fruit. But the part I want to focus on today is the words of Jesus, “Remain in Me and I will remain in you”.

Today I want to share six keys using the letters of the word remain to help us remember. These are my heart, the things I want to live out.

R- Rest in the finished work of Christ

John 19:28-30 – Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

The Bible tells us that Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross. He died to take our punishment. Just before He died He said, “It is finished”. The work of salvation is done. Now we don’t have to strive or strain any more. We just have to trust Jesus as our Lord and our Saviour.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Church if you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and Saviour it is finished.

Not only can we rest in His work, we can rest that we are safely held in His hands.

Romans 8:38-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from Him. It says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

To remain in Christ, rest in the finished work of Christ.

E – Evangelise: share your faith with others

Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I call this passage the “All Consuming Call of Jesus”. In this passage it talks about how Jesus has ALL authority, it talks about how Jesus told us to make disciples of ALL nations, it talks about how ALL the Trinity is involved, it talks about how Jesus told us to teach the new disciples to obey ALL His commands and it finishes with Jesus promising to be with us ALL-ways.

Right from the moment I was first saved back in July of 1989 I have had a desire to tell other people about Jesus. I knew what my life was like before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and I knew how my life changed. I had no real hope, purpose or direction. I bounced from one thing to another. That all changed when Jesus entered my world. I had a new hope for the this life and the next to come, I had a new purpose of sharing my faith with others, I had a new direction to learn and grow in my faith, so I could be a light to those around me.

I believe there is something that happens to us when we share our faith with others. We become more alive and more aligned with God eternal plans of salvation. And nothing is more encouraging than people coming to Jesus, people being baptised, people committing to come to church, people truly deciding to be a lifelong follower of Jesus.

If you want to remain in Christ, evangelise others.

M – Maintain a close walk with the Lord

John 15:4 – Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

In John 15 Jesus stresses the importance of being connected to Him. Our connection to Him is where we get our spiritual life.

Anyone who has ever trimmed trees would have noticed that if the trimmed parts are left in the sun, they quickly wither and die. While the branches still connected, thrive. They can still produce flowers or fruit. They can still do the things they were created to do. We are like those branches, if we stay connected, we can produce the things we were created to produce.

As Christians we know that we keep connected through prayer, worship, serving, Bible reading and church fellowship. Connection via these things are keys to remaining Christ. They keep us strong and our connection strong.

The Greek word used in the text for remain is men’-o. It means to stay. Other words that can be used to describe it are – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, stand. These all give us a sense of staying steadfast in one place. This is what Christ wants is to do.

One of the best things I ever did to keep connected to Christ was start a prayer journal. This is my prayer journal from the year 2000. I can look back and see what I prayed for on a given day, what Bible passages I read, that I did a devotion from Our Daily Bread and most importantly I can reflect on how God answered my prayers. Having a prayer journal has kept me firmly anchored to Christ no matter how big the storms of life have been.

To remain in Christ, maintain a close walk with the Lord.

A – Aim to be a vehicle of blessing

2 Corinthians 9:8,11 – And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

A great theme of the Bible is God wants to use us to bless others. In our second reading Paul talks about God blessing us, so we can bless others. It talks about God providing enough for us and leftovers to pass on to others.

As Christians we need to see ourselves as vehicles of blessings. We need to think of ways to bless, support, uphold and encourage others. Allow God to move through you each day. Serving God keeps daily keeps us in Christ.

When I was a new Christian a friend of mine had a goal to do one thing a day for others. She had become very self centred and to change her habits she became intentional in her efforts. It might be a nice phone call, a card, helping with gardening, delivering a food parcel. Her goal was to do 7 things in 7 days each week. She would tick it off on the calendar and write down what she did. Before long, her lifestyle changed to one of blessing. After about a year, she no longer had to record it any more as she had changed so much. She became a vehicle of blessing. This story inspired me so much that it has become my goal too.

To remain in Christ, aim to be a vehicle of blessing.

I – Imagine eternity with Christ

John 14:2-3 – My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Jesus said He is preparing a place for us in eternity. He also said He is coming back for us one day. A great truth of the Bible is we will spend way more time in eternity than we will in this life. It makes sense to think about our eternal home. The Bible says we are citizens of heaven in Philippians 3:20 and Colossians 3:1-2 says that we should set our hearts of minds on things above.

When I think of heaven I think of no more death (Isaiah 25:8). When I think of heaven I think of new heavenly bodies that will never wear out (2 Corinthians 5:2). When I think of heaven I think of no more sadness, suffering and pain (Revelations 21:4). When I think of heaven I think of streets paved with gold and gates made of pearl (Revelation 21:21). When I think of heaven I think of a place that needs no sun or moon as God’s glory will be its light (Revelations 21:23). When I think of heaven I think of a place where we will not need a Temple as God will the Temple (Revelation 21:23). When I think of heaven I think of a place where we will be His people and He will be our God (Revelation 21:3).

Focusing on our eternal home helps and inspires us to walk closely with Christ and Remain in Him. When I imagine our eternal home and that Jesus may come back today, it helps me to keep focused.

To remain in Christ, imagine eternity with Christ.

N – Never allow yourself to be overcome by the world

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in this life we will have many trials and sorrows. Unfortunately, this is part of living in a fallen world that is marred by sin. But Jesus also said in this verse to not lose heart, because He has overcome the world.

Jesus, the author and perfecter of our life and faith, has overcome this world. We are on His team and He is for us. A key to remaining in Christ is to not let the world overcome us.

It can be so easy when we hear bad news in the media to lose heart. But I have learned that when I hear of bad things in the media to use it as a call to prayer, rather than an opportunity to be discouraged.

The Greek word for overcome used in this passage is nik-ah’-o. It means to subdue: – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory. It gives us a sense of something that is full and complete. Much like when Jesus said, “It is finished”.

Galatians 6:9 reminds us to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The simple fact that Galatians 6:9 tells is not to become weary in doing good, tells us that we can get weary. The world can press in and overcome us. When this happens we need to – Stand firm. Stand strong. Focus on Christ. Keep serving and know that He has overcome.

To remain in Christ, never allow yourself to be overcome by the world.

Closing

Today we have looked at a great passage from John 15. It likens our relationship with Jesus and being like vines and branches. Jesus told us that to produce much fruit we ween to be connected to the Vine.

We saw six keys using the letters of remain.

  • Rest in the finished work of Christ
  • Evangelise others
  • Maintain a close walk with the Lord
  • Aim to be a vehicle of blessing
  • Imagine eternity with Christ
  • Never allow yourself to be overcome by the world

Amen