How do we look to the new year? Christ came so that we would be part of the true vine. Let us resolve to stay under His coverings — our families, our churches, our marriages. Let us have a fixed purpose of mind and avoid things false and destructive. John 15:1-6
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11393
11:00 AM on 12/31/2017
(Jn. 15) How to look at our new year. In the searches for what people are saying for New Year’s resolutions, it’s lose weight, get healthy, get organized, live life to the fullest, travel, read more. Eight percent actually live them through the year. All of us are aware of that. P. Carl Silva has written a great book called Spiritual Coverings. This subject relates to our topic this morning. He is such a man of God. I love this man, P. Carl so much. He really did a great job on this booklet. We’ll order a bunch and put them in our bookstore. We sent P. Jason to glean from the Body at the convention in Kansas City. They are building people up in the word, growing in their decisions, making corporate Body decisions and people being missionaries. We have our convention in June and they do theirs at the New Year. Whatever church you belong to, this is very important we understand Christ came into the world so we would have the true vine.
Jn 15:1. Is there such a thing as a false vine? Plastic vine. Artificial, painted. Is there a lying vine? Yes, there is. The whole basis of our world today is rooted in the reality of God who is good and awesome and so dependable and trustworthy, infinite, wise, righteous and true. In distinction to the devil who is the liar, the false vine, the philosopher of evil intentions, good words but emptiness. The devil is darkness but then he can project light. He’s called an angel of light, transformed into an angel of light. He is not light. He is darkness. He is also a liar. Very good at it. If you have truth, the best lie is the one that comes the closest to the truth as possible, but it isn’t true. It’s a lie. The true vine and the false vine that can get as close to the true vine is the best deception. The devil in heaven was not always the devil. He was called Lucifer. He was a cherub, highest angel of nobility, wisdom, beauty. Two words really.
Ezek 28:15-16, he was the wisest and the most beautiful. Human beings understand those two words. All of us would like to have both. Beauty is very much desired by people and to be intelligent and wise. This wisdom and beauty became the source of his pride and self-importance. We could say not only was iniquity found in him, but he became a fool. That word is offensive. When say you are foolish or I am a fool. King Saul said it when attacking David. David cried out to Abner and said you failed in doing your duty. You didn’t protect the king. I have a spear. Saul said is that you, David? I have played the fool. Foolishness is hard to get out of the heart of people. Even if you bray it in a mortal with a pestle, you can’t extract foolishness out of a person. My opinion based on what I understand about the Bible not only is there a great increase in K with our iPhones and technology but also a great increase in foolishness. I heard a woman who used to come here a very short time and her body was found behind a dumpster the other night. She overdosed. Another person in an age of a lot of knowledge. Where is the stuff that I need? Where is what I need? Where is it? You can make resolutions but can you keep them? What happens to the rest of us that don’t keep them? The true vine is what I need.
vs. 1. The true vine. Lucifer had his sequence, vain, proud, iniquity, then he sowed discord in heaven. He went around to the angels. Apparently God allowed the propagation of the lie in heaven. It could have been instantaneous when iniquity was found and he’s gone. History. The devil head first in a sandy beach on earth like in the cartoons. But a spiritual communication was allowed in heaven for the iniquity in the heart of the devil was brought out by words, by message to the angels in heaven and a third of them took the bait and fell.
Rev 12 they all came here to this planet. All of them. Why didn’t they go to other planets? This is where God ordained there would be a revelation and manifestation of his character. He has not made this earth to be subject to angels but to man. Science is very curious about the rest of the universe and so are we. We haven’t found any life out there just a lot of dirt, gas, vacuity, emptiness, a lot of amazing stuff for physicists and those that study that stuff. We could walk on the moon but what we are looking for is a man to walk on the earth. We can have a man walk on the moon but there are no devils or lies there. We need a man to walk on the earth and be here in a contest where there is a false vine. There is another message. There are lies. So he came. He was the cherub that covers.
Interesting portion in Ezek. 28. The stones were what covered Lucifer. It gives the names of them. None of us can really understand the meaning except I attribute it to the attributes of God covering Lucifer. It was the nature of God that was his covering. He was the cherub that covers. He was a covering for the angels in the plan of God. Coverings work that way. Christ is here. The Father is his covering. He always does what his Father pleases. Then he has his disciples and he’s the covering of them. He’s the covering of the church. The man is the covering for the wife and as a family they are the covering for the children. Very real thing that happens in the world. How do I live this coming year? Best thing would be under my coverings. Not to leave my coverings. Not to depart from my coverings, the caring place God has ordained for us. There must be a place of covering God has ordained for you and me. Why would a mother have a child and not be a covering for the child?
God says in Is 38 will a woman forsake her sucking child? Yeah, she may but I will not forsake you. I am a good covering and a faithful covering. I am the way, the truth and the life and the answer for your trouble, your waywardness and decision making. We are talking about resolve and decisions. Webster’s dictionary for resolve says a fixed purpose of mind, settled determination, resolution. What is ours?
vs. 1-2. You know what I hear in those verses? He’s involved. Snip, snip. Lord, don’t leave me to myself. Prune me. If after it is a dead branch, chop it off. I’ll take it. I cannot bear fruit. I know you are the true vine. You will guide me and exhort me and teach me, encourage me, restore me, help me, uphold me, inspire me, motivate me and guide me. You are a good God, an amazing God. Underneath are your everlasting arms. You are the hiding place, in the shadow of the Almighty, in the secret place of the Most High. I don’t care about the ways of the world. They take a couple drinks and make some promises and wake up and don’t know what they said. How much resolve do they have? I’m not looking down on people. I am one of them also. I’m pointing to something new and beautiful to the glory of God.
vs. 3. Not only is the Father the husbandman trimming and pruning and dealing with our foolishness. I think a lot about this word. “Foolishness means a destructive self-centeredness. Fools cannot bear to have anyone over them.”
Ps 14:1, the fool has said in his heart there is no god. Why does a fool say there is no god? Because fools by definition have a destructive self-centeredness and they don’t want anyone over them. They don’t want a covering. They are independent. In their independence and living their own way, they find themselves in a whole pickle of trouble of many kinds. Wisdom is too high for a fool. Christ is here speaking and there is a man or woman over here and by Bible definition they are a fool. They listen for a few minutes but they can’t get it. It’s too high for them. Their foolishness blinds their minds and hearts. They say I don’t care about it. I’m living my own life and going my own way. This cannot happen to you and me.
I have it in my heart, Mk 7:22. It’s one of the 13 things that comes out of my heart, foolishness. Then I find another fool. We shake hands and live like that and can be intelligent but there is total blindness. Lucifer was extremely intelligent, a beautiful creature but a worm came in his heart and he became the biggest fool ever. “I am above God.” And he’s so smart. Beware, many of the fools are very smart and clever. Beware. Much of the foolishness is in clever and talented people. If you get into what is happening there it is empty. There is a foolishness that they cannot extract. Tragic, sad, life. You know what happened in Germany more than 70 years ago. Hitler was an evil man and a big fool but so politically capable and smart it must have been supernatural the way he rose to power….he attacked Russia. He had it in his mind the German race populating. He had this lie that was demonic. So capable that he had all these smart generals and people around him and they could not stop this guy. They were part of it. We could pause and just cry. It’s tragic. I can’t help but relate to that story because it’s so shocking. 100 million people destroyed in a period of 14 years, 6 years by foolishness. The devil is filling this world with his lies and propaganda and wants people to live without God. Discover yourself without God. He wants them to live their life without God. There is one, Christ, who says no. Not to you and me.
You are clean through the word vs. 3. You’ve got to get the word. I want to teach this to the church this coming year. Reading the Bible but not only, I want it soaked in you. I don’t want you to read it and quickly get through your portion. I want the Bible in your mind and heart. I want you to digest it and meditate on it chapter after chapter with a lot of joy, life, obedience. You take it and you say give it to me, God. I know the answer to the foolishness in me is the wisdom in you. You don’t give it to just anybody. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the great respect we have before God. I am standing before the Almighty God. The Almighty God is my teacher. Wow. God will help us. God will keep me off of drugs. If I am in them God will take me out. He’ll keep me from being a liar. He’ll change me from being a liar. If an adulterer, I won’t be one anymore. God will change me. It’s washed away, dropped in the bottom of the sea. Abide in me and I in you. Abide. Get real quiet before God. Depend on him.
Luther said the thing I fear the most when called to the Diet of Worms and had to meet the emperor and kings and princes and they called him to task on his teaching. They said are you afraid? He said I’m afraid more of my own heart than all the kings and princes there. He said the tiles on the rooftops seemed liked devils to me. I was going to meet the devil.
It’s the idea I’m not afraid of the devil or the pope as much as what is in my own heart. Abide in me, trust in me.
vs. 4. The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.
vs. 4-5. Did you have a fruitful year? If you are part of this church and committed to Christ and come by faith, you have borne fruit. If God has spoken to you and you made some decisions about God and you are seeking him that is fruit. If you forgive someone that did something that was an offense and you put it away, that is good frit. If I have a desire to follow God in my heart and keep on going on, – Big Dave said God is a merciful God. We don’t stay down. We keep going. Abide in him and we bear much fruit. Without me, you can do nothing. Someone said I want to get in shape and said it a year ago and actually did it, and we say God bless you. The things that really count we cannot do anything without him. That counts. I’m not discrediting it but he said without me. You can take a piece of paper and move it from here to there but you really can’t do it without me. I’m your muscle in your arm, the hormones in your body. I am the one organizing and directing them. Without me you can do nothing. In terms of eternity and reality, without me there is nothing that will last. Your words will pass away. Your heart motives and desires as a fool will disappear into nothing. In hell I have nothing but only my cursive self. Nothing more. Because of being saved, we have a whole new opportunity. It isn’t to live saying there is no God but instead we say with all our hearts thank you, God. You reveal yourself to me.
I need you more than my next breath. I esteem your words more than my necessary food, Job 23:12. In the Hebrew, it’s more than my necessities. Even more than what I need to physically live. My food, my breath, the blood in my veins. I need my mind enlightened. I need to have a new desire put in my heart, a new motivation. Jesus, I need you in my life. If you abide in me, you will bear fruit. This will happen inside. I’m a guy that goes to church to hear the word. At home I have a little altar there. It’s my kitchen table. I have a Bible I read. Even in my family I have a get- together with my family and say a word or two to each other and a short powerful prayer. Guide us. Get us through. We will exist with a full content. We will exist with a gas tank full. We will exist with a divine purpose until we meet you.
Yesterday P. Scibelli preached on eternity at the lunch rap. So good to hear verses one after another. The word is established in heaven, gives understanding to the simple. Great peace have them that love thy law and nothing shall offend them. Man must not live by bread alone.
This is where the drugs leave because God’s word is the source of my high. It’s my satisfaction, my direction. It’s what gets me going in my heart. How can we live with anything less than God himself?
Vs. 6. Could be a really good guy but if he abides not in me, the best of man is vanity. He could never glorify my Father the way I designed him. I call it adulterated purpose. Here’s a man, good man but not saved. His sins are there underneath the suit. He’s still under a curse. It’s tough. He doesn’t abide in Christ. His life is adulterated. He’s living to be a good man. It sounds so boring. Aren’t you made to be like an angel, celestial, to live for a great purpose or is it just a job and a chain saw and a fishing rod and a woman and pornography and pictures and stuff and live like a dog. It’s called adulterated purpose. I take a brand new Lexus car, bring it down to the dock and find a ship that needs an anchor. You can use my Lexus for the anchor. They drive the chain through the window and drive it out to the bottom of the sea. Was the car made for that? No. it’s adulterated. It’s misused. It’s the wrong purpose but it works. I don’t know what they weigh but it holds the ship. Works. But if you go in the glove compartment and read the manual, the car wasn’t made to be an anchor. Man wasn’t made to die, to curse, to lie, to be an adulterer or a thief and live like a fool. I don’t have anyone over me. I want the independence. Without me, you can do nothing. Without me, you’ll never know what it’s like to fly, to be righteous, to know my Father, to know about this book. Nothing. With me it’s eternal. We are entering one more year, one more spring, summer, winter and it will be 2019, 2020, summer, winter….2025. You know what it means? Nothing really except life goes on. One of those years, it’s over. One of those months, days. It is over. They that abide in him and bear fruit in him and follow him and trust him and learn to live in Jesus Christ, we will do great things to the glory of God.
At the end of the day, how did you do it? My New Year’s resolutions couldn’t cut the mustard. I found another way. It happens in Jan 3 and Jan 19 and all the time whenever we are abiding in him, he will direct us. He will direct our footsteps. He will bring R in our heart. It is Jesus that did it. God that did it. And we are here to declare that.
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