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Lent 2021 Devotional - Day 32

March 25, 2021

Devotional - Day 32

 

 

Transcript (by MS Word)

00:00:00

Good morning Grace family Pastor Ryan coming to you from my office and this is the 32nd day of Lent.

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And we are continuing to go through our devotion.

00:00:12

We're getting closer and closer to the Holy Week and celebrating.

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Palm Sunday where Jesus enters Jerusalem and the week of events and then Friday, which we call Good Friday.

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But the truly sad evening on his crucifixion.

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Yet, with the hope of resurrection and then Sunday morning, April 4th, we celebrate Easter and we are really, really excited about that.

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And this morning we continue our practice in these devotions.

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Of listening to God's word amidst all the voices in our head that we think we're hearing social media fears and worries and so many things God has given us a gift in his word and his the implanted word that is the spirit who dwells in us now allows us to read Scripture. Here scripture.

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And it never gets old.

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You know songs can get old if you listen to them too many times in a row or a movie if you watch it that one too many times, there is no chance that Scripture ever gets old.

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In fact, it gets more beautiful the more times we come to it.

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And this passage that we will look at this morning is a very.

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Very famous passage.

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It's from John 15 and as you probably know, Jesus is giving his apostles final instruction.

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Knowing his arrest is imminent and his crucifixion is coming.

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And in these instructions, he describes the relationship that all of us in Christ have to him as a Vine and branch.

00:01:56

And yet there are parts of it that have warning and I want to just say before I even read it.

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The warning statements should cause us to.

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Buckle a little bit.

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Yet not because we need to question our Salvation, but rather we need to recognize that there are many people who can seem to be a part of the church who are not.

00:02:22

And Secondly, these jarring statements that we'll hear actually reflect the fact that, really.

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The statement of apart from me you can do nothing is so true that we will wither, and I would add I would add if we are withering.

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We might need to seek where we're not connecting to our Vine, Jesus, so let's hear these words and listen to it freshly.

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And then we'll do a few moments of reflection and then read it again.

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John 15 I am the true Vine, and my father is the vinedresser.

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Every branch in me that does not bear fruit.

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He takes away.

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And every branch that does bear fruit.

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He prunes that it may bear more fruit.

00:03:08

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

00:03:14

Abide in me and I in you.

00:03:16

As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the Vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

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I am the Vine, you are the branches.

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Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.

00:03:35

For apart from me you can do nothing.

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If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and Withers.

00:03:45

And their branches are gathered through the fire and burned.

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If you abide in me.

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And my words abide in you.

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Ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.

00:03:57

By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples.

00:04:04

As the father has loved me, so have I loved you.

00:04:08

Abide in my love.

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If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love.

00:04:19

These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you.

00:04:24

And that your joy may be full.

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This is the word of the Lord.

00:04:32

Jesus is preparing to leave and we know that he's leaving these instructions as I've said.

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And there's this mysterious reality that I think makes sense, but yet we can't get our full mind around it.

00:04:47

And that is all of our works.

00:04:51

All of what makes us.

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Glorify God, all of the things that cause us to reflect his image come straight from him through the indwelling spirit.

00:05:04

And this is in contrast to the way our world thinks our world thinks that we learn something outside of ourselves, and then we develop some strategies and we go do those things.

00:05:17

And yet the Bible always talks about true righteousness.

00:05:21

That is actual good.

00:05:24

Real beauty comes from what God is doing within us and it's driven by love, right?

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First, John will say perfect love casts out fear and you might say, well, fear is the great hindrance to our fruit production.

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We get fearful.

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We look at ourselves.

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We begin to develop strategies and what Jesus is teaching is so beautiful.

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It's something we've studied in James Draw near to God.

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He will draw near to you.

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Jesus is saying draw into me like lean into him, rest in him.

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It's fascinating because he doesn't say notice that you're not bearing fruit.

00:06:03

Figure out what that is.

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Come up with some strategies.

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And that will make me know you love me.

00:06:08

That's not what he says.

00:06:10

He simply says abide in me, come to me, lean into me.

00:06:15

And in this season of Lent, that's what repentance looks like.

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This Sunday we will study the last passage of James and he says, confess your sins one to another.

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And the and the prayer, the prayer of a faithful man, will bring healing.

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And if you think about what he's teaching there, it's we.

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Don't wait until we have a strategy that we think we can accomplish before you lean into Jesus or confess our sins to him or other fellow believers.

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We we actually at the point of recognition, simply run into his arms and he welcomes us. The prodigal didn't have it all together. Prior to falling into his father's arms.

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He was trying to do that.

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We tipped.

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We tend.

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We tend to Tord or are tempted by the idea that we should do that.

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But Jesus is simply saying, rest come into him, and when we do that through the means of grace, through praying through, listening to these devotionals, reading Scripture.

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And meditating that is actually seeing our hearts melt into him.

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In a quite mysterious way, his spirit produces fruit.

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Many of which we would have never planned ourselves.

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They are more beautiful.

00:07:37

They are more appropriate for the setting.

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And they do far more beauty than greatness than we ever imagined.

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So this morning, let's read this again and just meditate on this image of abiding.

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What does it look like to fold into to connect to?

00:07:58

And I want to just say one other thing, the warning passages really refer.

00:08:02

Remember, Jesus is aware that Judas has betrayed him or will betray him in John 13.

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He tells the disciples as he's washing their feet.

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You were all clean.

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You're already clean.

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His point is, you've already been saved.

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Now and then, he says.

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But not all of you referring to Judas, now Judas has left at that point.

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In the end of the chapter, when he's talking to his apostles.

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But he knows these words will go forward.

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And so there will always be believers who.

00:08:35

Seem to be part of the body or the church who aren't actually connected to Christ, but in our in our passage he does say you've already received the word that I've spoken to you, so you're already clean.

00:08:47

And so for the believer who is clean, who is saved, who is in Christ?

00:08:53

We don't have to fear that we're going to be rejected.

00:08:55

We don't have to have that fear.

00:08:56

In fact, if anything, this passage strengthens our sense of connection because it's saying.

00:09:03

You don't have to go produce anything.

00:09:05

Simply recognize and live out of the posture of dependence on our savior for all things everything.

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I don't want to go too long, but I'll just say this in our passage in James, he opens by saying are you suffering pray?

00:09:26

Are you bounding or are you receiving blessing praise God, I mean what he's saying is, like our abiding is a language of abiding.

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Is constant prayer in the sense of like constant communication to our savior, whether verbally or in our brain in real time.

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But it's a recognition that every step of our day.

00:09:49

Is overseen and governed by his Providence.

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Let's read it again.

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I am the true Vine and my father is the vinedresser.

00:09:58

Every branch of me that does not bear fruit, he takes away and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes that it may bear more fruit.

00:10:08

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you abide in me and I in you.

00:10:15

As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the Vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

00:10:23

I am the Vine.

00:10:25

You are the branches.

00:10:26

Whoever abides in me and I in him.

00:10:30

He it is that bears much fruit.

00:10:33

For apart from me you can do nothing.

00:10:37

If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and Withers.

00:10:43

And the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.

00:10:47

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

00:10:55

By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit, and so proved to be my disciples.

00:11:04

As the father has loved me.

00:11:06

So have I loved you, abide in my love.

00:11:10

Yeah.

00:11:11

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love.

00:11:18

These things I have spoken to you.

00:11:21

That my joy may be in you.

00:11:23

And that your joy may be full.

00:11:28

What are the ways you feel?

00:11:32

Uhm, disconnected from Jesus.

00:11:36

Where are your doubts?

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Are you aware?

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Are you paying attention to the accusations that come against you?

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The thoughts of isolation, the thoughts that you have to take care of yourself, the thoughts that no one loves you.

00:11:52

These are from the enemy.

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These don't reflect that you're not a branch.

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These reflect that you.

00:11:58

Need to continue to abide and the way we do that is through prayer and repentance.

00:12:05

God hasn't gone anywhere.

00:12:06

Jesus has not ceased to be your Vine, but we often in our branch knice operate apart from him.

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That's why the pruning in this passage is so important.

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The awareness of accusations, the awareness of unbelief.

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The awareness of other things that get our affections and attention is brought on by his spirit.

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It's an action.

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Of abiding when the Vine sends its nourished.

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But

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To a branch in a place where that branch is not healed are flourishing.

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The initial step is going to be challenging pain and sort of an alteration of nourishment, and where it's received and once the nourishment of the spirit flows in, and we begin to rest and receive our life.

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Our affections our thought life.

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From the spirit, then you'll see a dead part of our heart.

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Reborn.

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Not that we're being converted in that moment, though.

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That's possible, but it's that there are places that we've shut off from him.

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We are actively withholding from God, and so as we reflect and repent, he is saying I'm Devine.

00:13:24

You're their branch.

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You can do nothing apart from me, so this very day it might be good to ask what are you trying to do on your own.

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What thoughts?

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What feelings, what goals?

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What processes?

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What does it look like for you when that inner orphan takes over?

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What are the?

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What does it feel like?

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Is it an adrenaline rush?

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Is it well?

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Then I'm going to take it on, is it?

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Do you shut down?

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You dissociate, go somewhere else in your mind you fantasize?

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Do you grab for the bottle or for the credit card?

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What do you do?

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Notice those places this very day and see those as the moment.

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To pause, pay attention.

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In return, have a great day.

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Brothers and sisters.

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I look forward to seeing you guys tomorrow.

 

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