Be a Minnow for Jesus

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Well, if you’ve got a Bible with you this morning, I want to invite you to turn to John chapter 15. In light of Easter, we began a new series together called Six Hours with Jesus and John. Chapter 13 to John. Chapter 17 is where these six hours take place. And the thought and the idea behind this series that we’re going through together is focusing on the last moments of Jesus’s life. If you were told that you only had a few moments to live or a few hours left in your life, uh, you and I would probably begin to think of what we could do as individuals to make the most of those final hours that we had. And Jesus, I don’t think was any different in the way that he lived his life. He lived his life in the end, the same way he lived his life the entire time. But at the end of his life, and those last hours that he spent on the earth, he decided that he would gather his disciples and they would go into an upper room. And there, in the sacredness of that moment, Jesus would just pour into their lives. And those last six hours that Jesus spent with his disciples, I find significant for not only the lives of the disciples, but for our lives as well. As we get to John chapter 15, we’re now in the middle of this six hours that Jesus spends with his disciples.

And Jesus now turns his attention. He he’s explained to his disciples in chapter 13 that he’s a he’s about to to die. For their sins, and 14 he gives him a promise that he is going to go build a place for them to dwell, that where he is there, may they be also enjoying him for eternity in his heavenly kingdom. We can imagine you get to John chapter 15 and you’ve heard Jesus talk about this heavenly world, and you’ve heard Jesus mention to you in chapter 13 that he’s about to die for you. How you might feel when you get to chapter 15. As a disciple. You followed this man around, this God man for three years. Plus, you’ve given everything for him. You’ve given up your career. You’ve given your life over to this individual. And now all of a sudden, you had this thought that he was going to build this kingdom on earth, and he’s telling you he’s about to give over his life to the Roman authorities and to the Jewish leaders. How would you feel? I would call that a very complex moment. If anything, I would get that look of constipation. I think I know what is going on. Jesus. All these things that I thought were going our way. And here we are gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this Passover. This is supposed to be a glorious event where with the nation of Israel.

And you’re telling us you’re leaving? We’ve all been in those moments. Maybe not necessarily Jesus telling you he’s about to die, but opportunities in our lives where we feel like the world is falling apart. What? What do you do? In Jesus answers that with John chapter 15. You know, my Christian life, I sort of have this idea that when God created me, he didn’t create me just to survive. That when he put me on this earth, he created me for the very purpose of thriving in my relationship with him, to thrive in the world that he created, to enjoy him for now and for eternity. I mean, Jesus even gave statements that would indicate such, right? I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. If you just took a picture of what the church would look like when we walk out of the building, it would be like Hercules esque, right? And these guys are bodybuilders. We take them seriously. I don’t know what group Jesus is talking about, but whatever group he’s buying saying they can storm down the gates of hell, that must be one powerful group of people. And yet we think about the Christian life. Sometimes we treat it as if it’s a scenario in which we are to just simply survive and not thrive. I like the doomsday people, right? There’s the ones that get real involved in the end times and just let you know every day the world’s going to hell in a hand basket.

It’s the end. Just bow and tuck and get ready because destruction is happening. Right. But when you see, we acknowledge that when Jesus communicates to us that the world isn’t going to be a great place, the world is going to live sinfully. But when he talks about the life of the believer, in the midst of that, Jesus says this there is joy. How do we get there? I could think when I’m listening as these disciples in this moment in John chapter 15, Jesus comes and he says, listen, um, I’m about to die. These individuals that thought Jesus was about to build his kingdom. Just think, disaster is happening. Just trying to cling to whatever they can. Okay, God, you’re gone. But, but, but what can we do to keep the kingdom going? And where do we go from here? Tell me the next steps, Lord, just just what do we need to do to see this thing blow up the way that you desire to? I mean, what steps? Everybody grab your notepads. Let’s write this down. Right. Step 1 to 10. Lord, give it to us. I love Jesus’s response here. And the midst of this complex situation, knowing that God has called them to experience his joy in this world and not just survive, but to thrive.

He says this. I want you guys to be a minnow. All right. You want me to hold? You want me to what? I mean, it’s a good, clever description here, because the disciples were were fishermen, right? So they kind of got the idea, okay, a minnow. Uh. All right. How do you do that? Like, do we go breathe underwater? Lord, what kind of amphibious abilities are you giving me? But Jesus has answered to this complex situation. It’s very simple. He says be a minnow. I think of an illustration here as related to Jesus. Water is to a fish what Christ is to a Christian. What do you think? Jesus literally doesn’t say the word minnow. I’m kind of playing on words here just a little bit. But just think for a moment. If you got to be a minion for Jesus, how cool would that be? But in all honesty, his answer is this simple. Jesus wants you to be a minnow. What do we mean by that? When Jesus has answered to this question was very simple Lord, what are we going to do in this moment? If you look in verse four for just a minute. Jesus says this. Abide in me. And I and you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, and you are the branches.

He who abides in me, and I in him. He bears much fruit. For apart from me you can do what? Nothing. What does this have to do with a minnow? Right. Jesus calls us to a minnow. You’re telling me the simplicity of this answer when life seems complicated is to become a fish? And how does that fit in the middle? And here’s how. Let me just tell you. The word abide in Scripture literally is minnow. It doesn’t mean fish, but the way you pronounce the word abide in the in the Greek text is minnow. So you guys all learn Greek today. So when when you’re running around and you feel like life is getting difficult and the situation’s stressed and you’ve lost your attention on the Lord and and you’ve forgotten that what God has created you for first and foremost isn’t about going out and doing anything. It’s about enjoying his presence. Here’s what we want to think about a minnow. How does God want me to be a minnow? You think about what a minnow can do? I have a fish in my house. I hate it, he does nothing. I cannot wait for the day that he experiences the toilet bowl ride out. I don’t, he’s useless. He just sits there. All he does is dirty the water. And then I got to, you know, clean it out. It smells. Stacey’s pregnant. She gags. It’s just. It’s not a great moment in our house.

When you think about what Jesus is saying about the Christian life. When you act any any different than a minnow, all it all it does is create religion and it produces problems. I’m not looking to give you 20 steps to solve the situation. This complexity of this moment. The answer is simple. Just minnow. Actually, when you’re done, go to Walmart and grab their only $0.99, just as a reminder of your head. Honey, what are you. Why are you putting the fish there? I’m just. I just need to learn to be a minnow, man. I get so stressed out and all the all the Jesus said in the midst of the most complex situation in his life with his disciples. Just be a minnow. Abide in me. Literally, this word abide means to stay in place, to remain, to be one, to wait. When I read verses like that, I always think about the opposing picture within my mind. I always get this Kramer idea. You guys, you guys are all signed. I know you’ve seen Seinfeld at some point in your life, right? He comes busting in next door, his hair just going everywhere. He just. Jerry, right? He comes in the room. That’s what I think about when I look at the opposite of this verse. Oh, my goodness, this is so stressful. What am I going to do? It’s time to Kramer, man.

And Jesus says. The answers do nothing. What are you going to do? It’s all been done by me. What are you going to do? It’s all about my. My strength. This is my kingdom. My work. You’re my child. What I want you to do in this moment. It’s just abide. To sit. To stay at place. Don’t stress out, but remain. Don’t think about being an individual and how you’re going to conquer this moment, but be one. Where to buy. It also carries the thought with it just to wait. The answer to Jesus in this moment when he’s looking at the disciples and they’re they’re stressing about out about the moment he says, if if you want to thrive as a believer in me, if you want to experience my joy, which he’s going to talk about in verse 11, then the idea is to thrive. You abide. Now I know the complexity of this statement and here it is for us. We look at the answer and it’s simple. And we look at our lives and we never do it. You think about the Christian life when Paul says in Romans chapter 12, verse one and two. God, what is it you desire for me to do? Lay your life down as a living sacrifice? That is your reasonable act of worship. It’s about giving yourself to me as I have completely on Easter, given myself to you. So you in return give yourself to me.

Abide. Be one. Connect. The word abide for us as believers carries this thought the idea of consistency. When you see this word abide in this verse. He’s not saying, listen, come to church on Sunday, abide with me for an hour, and then live the rest of your week, and then come back to church on Sunday and abide with me for an hour, and then live the rest of your week. What Jesus is saying, what he’s saying. This word abide is this constant consistency within your life. When you realize that things aren’t going the way that you might want them to go, that your first thought isn’t to conquer the problem, but to run to Jesus. Consistently abide. If I gave you that example in our real life to know whether or not we’re actually doing it. When a problem comes in into your world, do you just sit and say, hold junk? Where’s Jesus in this? And here’s the problem. Now I need him. We talk about abiding. Abiding doesn’t ask where Jesus is when the problem comes. Abiding rests in the comfort of knowing Jesus is already there because you’ve been practicing his presence within your life. Abide. Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Rest in Christ. We’re going to talk a little bit about what that looks like. But the importance is within our lives we understand the need to abide in Christ.

Not just so. When the storms come, we don’t have to say, oh, garbage, where’s Christ in this? But but because we know storms will come, we can just enjoy Jesus in every moment of our lives. And so when Jesus begins this in verse, very first verse of chapter 15, he says, I am the vine, I am the true vine. Everything else is a lie. I am the vine and my father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit. This is where you get scared for just a moment. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away. And every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You just read that again? Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away. People read that verse and all of a sudden we have this sense of fear. I just told you, the simplicity of a relationship with Jesus is abiding in him. And Jesus has said, if you didn’t in this verse, if we see this the way it’s written, then God sends you to hell. Right? Do you see that in this verse? If every branch that does not bear fruit, he just sends you to hell. Some people read this verse and say that, can I just explain to you? I don’t see that in this verse. So if you’re worried about that this morning, that’s not what I believe this verse is communicating to us.

Okay. In verse, in chapter two, in this verse, very first verse where it says he takes us away. In our English Bible. Our English Bible is a translation of the original Hebrew and Greek. Okay, so this is what it means. Every time they come to a word in the Bible, they must translate it according to what they understand best to communicate in that passage of Scripture. When you get to this word, take away. The Bible has two ways you can translate this word. One is literally to cast aside. And the other one is to lift up. I think the writers were not sure which way to go in this verse, so they elected to use the word take away, which could be either cast aside or lift up, but they’re taking it somewhere. Okay. And what I think this passage of Scripture is saying to us as a group of believers. Is every branch you who are in Jesus, look what it says. Every branch in me, every branch in Christ that isn’t doing what God has created you to do, that isn’t enjoying him and bearing fruit. If that is you this morning and you’re just feeling empty, here’s what God wants to do. He wants to lift you up. I don’t think this verse is saying to you that don’t bear fruit. God just wants to cast you aside and throw you in hell because you’re useless to him.

The reason is, is I would call it spousal abuse. Jesus has already called you his bride. And you belong to him. And his desire is to see the best working in the life of his bride. And Jesus. When he’s sharing this with his disciples, he’s reminding him of his very nature and concern for them in his life. And when you see this picture of Jesus and Jesus communicates to you the need to abide in him, how beautiful it becomes. Because when you understand in the moment of stress and the moment of complexity and the moment of wondering where God is, and that if you just come to him, all Jesus wants to do is just lift you up. He says in verse two, every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he lifts up, he he takes away. He’s interested in caring and nurturing for that. And this is why every branch that bears fruit, that’s what he’s after. He desires for you to bear fruit. And every branch that does bear fruit. He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. Meaning to you who who love the Lord, to you who are in a place that you feel like the Lord is lifting you up. God’s getting you in a position to bear fruit, but God doesn’t want you to live in the past.

Relationships never stay the same. It’s like if you think with a spouse, if you don’t make an effort to be one with your spouse, naturally life will pull you apart. And he’s saying in this passage, When God prunes you, the desire for him to prune you is not that you live in the past fruit, but that you begin to produce more fruit and lavish this world upon the fruit that becomes a part of what you’re doing, because you’re you’re abiding in Christ. Don’t stay the same, but pursue him. Abiding is about a consistency within your life, and this is the hard part in abiding, because we in ourselves have to train our minds to do it. We have to train our spirits to crave it. To seek after the face of the Lord because we don’t naturally do this. We must make an effort in our lives to remind ourselves. It’s not about what I’m doing. It’s not about if I get this accomplished. It’s not about proving my worth to God. It’s about understanding. He desires to lift me up and in just enjoying that minnow life with him. Bible tells us the results of that. It’s exactly what the disciples were looking for. Jesus, how are we going to do this? Jesus, how are we going to take on the task that you’ve left us with? And Jesus answers, just abide in me. And the result in verse three, you are already clean, clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. If you want to look like Jesus, if you want to see what Jesus wants to accomplish in your life, don’t worry about going out and doing. Just be concerned with abiding in his presence. Learn the art of consistent, abiding in Christ. And Jesus goes on in verse five gives us the simple answer of just abide. But he wants to explain to us a little further about what that means in our lives, and why we should even desire to crave this one simplistic understanding in our spiritual walk. He gives us a warning sign in both verse five and verse six he says, I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him. He bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Verse six I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him. He bears much fruit, for apart from me. Excuse me. Verse five again if anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up, and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Jesus is saying to us. Verse five. Apart from him, you can do nothing. Verse six. Without him you spiritually dry. You can’t produce good fruit for Jesus. Well, think about the example in this moment of why Jesus would even be drawing on this illustration for his disciples. I think Jesus says this in this moment, because in the presence of the disciples sits one man who rejected Christ. Judas. Judas lived his entire life looking like a Jesus follower without being a Jesus follower. I don’t think Jesus is saying in this passage, listen, you can’t do good without me. I think all of us can live a good life without Jesus. But what Jesus is saying in this passage is, you can’t live a godly life without me. Meaning when we get ingrained in a religious setting, it’s the most blood sucking lifestyle that just drains you of joy and hope and and pleasure and your walk with the Lord. We can live this good life for a while. We can look at other people and and wonder about their judgment upon us and, and just desire to please them and just be good. But eventually in verse six, it’s telling us. You’re going to dry up. On the outside it may look good, but really it’s dead. It’s not godly. The motivation for why you’re doing it has nothing to do with God. So you’re either doing this to please a God who already loves you, which is useless.

You’re doing this to satisfy the people around you, to make them think that you’re a good person. But you’re dead. And sad part in these moments. You think Judas was doing this very thing that Jesus is talking about, but. Church. People do it too. People come to church every Sunday, get involved in church, and then all of a sudden, as you’re working in the church, you begin to realize that the motivation for why you’re doing anything in the church has nothing to do with abiding in Jesus, and everything to do with all other things in this world. And you begin to notice. Your joy is gone. In. Jesus is telling his disciples, listen, if you begin to go into this world and do these things for me without me. Disciples. If you if I answered this question, go out and do these several things for me. But I didn’t tell you. Just just abide in me. Your joy would be gone, the church would lose its power and this thing would end. If you want to know the power of seeing the fruit of what I can do in this world being birthed into this world, all you have to do is abide in me. But if you do opposite of that, you wither and die. Just abide in me and allow me to produce the fruit. Notice in these verses, Jesus doesn’t say that we’re the one doing the fruit producing.

He says he is the one through which the fruit is produced. And so Jesus goes on in verse seven he says, in order for us to learn to abide, he says, if you abide in me and my words are abiding in you, this is what it looks like. Ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. Listen, you don’t have to wait for God to speak to you. God has already spoken. His word remains and His word is eternal. I love this beautiful picture of Jesus when he’s walking on this earth in Matthew chapter four and he’s wandering in the wilderness, it tells us that Satan’s temptation comes to him. His ministry has just begun, and the first thing that happens is Satan’s temptation. That always happens. That happens for everybody. And when Jesus encounters Satan in the wilderness and the temptation that he faces. You know what Jesus does to defeat Satan. He quotes God’s word. He isn’t waiting for the father to speak. The father is already spoken. God’s word already exists. The power of who God is is there, and we abide in that. And he communicates to us through that. And Jesus is saying, as you abide in me and I in you, this is the crazy thought that starts taking place when you pray.

When you pray. Abiding in me, God answers your prayers. And the thought that it carries is this idea that when you begin to abide in Jesus, you begin to think like Jesus. And when you begin to pray, you pray for the things that Jesus wants to see happen in this world. And when you pray the way that Jesus desires for you to pray in this world, God answers. Amen. Amen. You can think. So many times people come to the to this idea of prayer within Scripture and they think, where in the world is this God? I pray, I shake the pinata, I hit it, I punch it, I tell it over and over and it doesn’t answer. Where is it? I don’t believe in prayer. God doesn’t answer my prayers. Answer could be this God could be telling, you know. Really? You’re praying for the wrong things. Your motivation for why you’re praying has nothing to do with God. Really, it’s about appeasing your own selfishness. God wants to answer prayers. And the beauty of this, the idea that we can even pray, is that it’s communicating to you that you have an open connection, your relationship with God, able to go before his throne at any moment and talk to him. God wants to hear from you. God desires to lift you up, but as you’re abiding in him, the desires of your heart begin to change and you begin to look at this world rather than what you want to accomplish.

But but for what God desires to accomplish in and through you. And so when you’re abiding his his word saturates your life because you’re interested in engaging God as God has revealed himself to you. And and when you’re abiding, you’re praying to the Lord because you’re interested in communicating to him back what you’re learning about him and and desiring to see his hand move in this world. It says this glorious thing in verse eight. God is glorified. Meaning this. You don’t have to be a charismatic leader to see God do great things for you and in you. All you have to be as a minnow. As a fish requires the water. So a Christian requires Christ. I’m going to read some verses to you. This is just the last section we’re going to look at together. It starts in verse nine. It goes down to verse 16. And here’s the danger. So we read verse 9 to 16. I know what you’re going to say. If you’ve been to church more than twice in your life, you’re going to say, I already know this, I already know this. And I’m glad that you know what we’re about to read. I know this too. I did the same thing this week. I read verse 9 to 16, I know this. How am I going to share this with people? And I already know this.

I think the concern with verses 9 to 16 isn’t that you know this. But that is impacting your heart. Meaning. I think as believers, we’re we are trained intellectually beyond our obedience. What God desires for us to do is not simply just know this, but to experience this. The sad part about these verses that we’re about to read is, you know this and I know this, but but the sad part is, is if we know this, we should be experiencing this. And if we’re not experiencing this, then there’s something wrong in our relationship with God. And the answer isn’t go out and do and go out and do the answers. Just just take some time to abide. And not just once, but the consistency of abiding in his presence. And so it says this in verse nine, just as the father has loved me, I have also loved you. Abide in my love. Meaning Jesus knows your guys aren’t aren’t going to want to hang out with him without being welcome in his presence and understanding that that relationship is fulfilling in your life. You want to be in places where you’re loved and accepted and can enjoy that. And Jesus is saying here, you want a reason to abide in me. I love you. And he goes on in verse ten and he says this, 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.

So now I’ve shared all this thought on on the presence of the Lord and just simply abiding in him. But here, here Jesus goes again saying, I’ve got to follow all these rules, right? Jesus isn’t really saying that in this passage. This passage isn’t saying, if you do this, then I might love you. What Jesus is saying in this passage is, I already love you in verse nine, and if you want to experience that love to the greatest degree that you can experience that love, then you need to follow me. You need to listen to what I say. I’m not saying this to to kill your joy. I’m saying this to give you joy. It’s like this. I would say this to my son, son, we’ve got these rules in this house. If you want to enjoy the love that we have for you in this home, follow these rules. When you don’t follow these rules, it makes it difficult for all of us to enjoy our relationship together. Jesus says in first John one, I am light, and he who walks in light enjoys me. And so Jesus is saying in this passage, listen, Christian, if you want to enjoy me. Follow me. I think the saddest thing in the world is someone who gets to these verses and say, I know these verses, I know these verses, but but it never connects with their heart.

When they give something to Jesus, it’s just half of who they are. There’s no joy in that at all. That’s the worst place to ever be as a believer. I think either go live for sin or live for Jesus because there’s no in between. You’ll get joy in sin for a little while, and then it’ll rob you of everything, and then you can get joy with Jesus forever. Amen. If you do that mediocre halfway thing, you’re one foot in the world and one foot with Christ. There’s just no pleasure in both. You just walk guilty all the time. And Jesus is saying this passage, listen, I love you. So you’re going to want to be in my presence. And and I want you to experience it to the fullest. So just follow me. Give your heart to me. To experience Christ. He says in verse 11, look at this. These rules aren’t to dissatisfy you, but he says these things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you. And look at this, that your joy may be made full. As a believer. If you go back in your life and look for the times when you had the most joy. Can I say this morning? It’s probably at the same time you had given your life to Christ. I can look at my own Christian life and look back at times where I just felt like Jesus and I were.

I was just so happy and so joyful. And even in these moments, as we’re thinking about building a building in the future, just seeing God work, just the times in your life where. Were you just experience the joy of the Lord. And those are the times where I’ve really, if I’m being honest with myself, I was abiding in him. The idea of my my walk with him wasn’t how can I make him happy? Or what rules can I follow or what can I do now? It was just I just love Jesus and I just want to be near him. And he says in these verses that as, as the reason Jesus is sharing this, guys, I know when Jesus is going to the cross, he’s looking at his disciples and he’s saying, guys, I know this is a complex situation and I know this seems difficult for you, but get this, my joy can be in you and your joy can be made full. And and they’re looking at Jesus. Jesus, give us the answer. What’s the clue? What do we do? 20 jumping jacks. What is what’s what is it? Jesus. It’s just abide. It’s abide. It’s be a minnow for my kingdom. In verse 12, this is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.

Greater love has no one than this. That one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I could tell you a good indicator for us in our lives, if we’re abiding in Christ, is that God creates community in him. If you’re interested in abiding in Christ, you’re going to naturally want to be with a community of people who are pursuing Christ together, because we’re all here to seek his face. And we want to encourage each other on that journey. And Jesus gets this place and saying, abide in me. But when when he’s saying you abide in me, no, he’s not just saying it to one person in a room, he’s saying it to a group of individuals. You all, all of you together. If you want to see the goodness and the joy that my life brings, all of you collectively abide in me. And and that love that you demonstrate is proving the abiding worth that you have in me as your Lord and Savior. And so he goes on in verse 15. I have called you friends. For all that I have heard from my father, I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you would go and bear fruit and that your your fruit would remain so that whatever you ask of the father in my name, he may give to you.

We’ll say it’s not a hocus pocus statement at the end. When we pray as a church, we say this in Jesus name, Amen. It’s not like a hocus pocus wave of wine, and Jesus just gives us what we want because we said the magic word in your name, right? But when when we say in your name, when the Bible talks about that, what it means is in the authority of and the authority of everything that Jesus means to me and the authority of Jesus in my life mean knowing him, he knowing me. I’m praying this prayer in Jesus name, Amen. And the joy of verse 16 is that Jesus is saying, I chose you. Meaning. Why do I know that this abiding thought is going to work? Because it’s me that chose you. It’s me who knows the answers. You didn’t do anything to deserve me. It’s me who’s lavish my love upon you. And I’m telling you, as your creator, the only thing that you have to do is just simply abide. Because I am your friend. It’s funny when I when I first learned that Jesus was called friend in the Bible, I got this thought based on this chapter. Um, when I prayed, when I prayed to the Lord in his name, I was going to start praying with my eyes open and looking forward. Right, I thought I started thinking to myself, why do I why do I? When I say in Jesus name, why do I, why do I bow my head? That’s a reason for that.

I’m Jesus’s friend. I’m looking up and I’m praying so, so, so my friends and I, when I was in college together, we’d every once in a while get together and we’d pray for things and, and I would just look up and they would be praying. I would just be watching them pray by other heads. And I’m looking up thinking, Jesus is my friend. I’m good. Right? And and they they started to notice eventually because you know how it goes when you pray in a circle. Every once in a while, somebody sneaks a peek and they start to look at, what are you doing? You’re freaking me out. You know, I get this. I get this soul piercing look at that are Jesus is my friend. I have to bow. And I started to realize Jesus is my friend. And I also get to pray in his name. And and that means there’s also authority in who he is. And so the beauty of this picture. Is that I get to come before the Lord whenever I want. Because he’s my friend. And the beauty of this picture, also in verse 16, is that he’s also my king. Are you thinking? In the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, when kings ruled what it would mean to be called before the king.

What does it mean to be called before the king? And you didn’t know he was your friend? Did I tick the king off? You get called before the king’s presence and you don’t come in submission and bowing. Do you know what happens? You lose your head. And it’s saying in this verse of Scripture that when you come before the King, you come as a friend, but you come because he’s also the king, capable of meeting your answers, meeting your needs. And this is what I found. Even though I think it’s okay for me to raise my head and open my eyes when I pray. I then decided, you know what? I’m going to keep bowing. I want to keep bowing before my king because I want to say even to myself, even though he calls me friend. He’s still my lord. And I want to practice this presence of abiding in the Lord, recognizing that he has the authority over my life, that if Jesus wants to say goldfish can solve the problem, goldfish can solve the problem. I’m just going to abide. Because this is the promise that he gives, that his joy may be in me, and my joy may be made full. And I don’t have to work to bear this fruit. But as God conforms within me, as I abide in him, fruit will just bear in my life. But there comes a place in your life where you’ve got to just trust that.

Where you say to yourself, you know, I’m sick of doing it on my own. I’m sick of proving the worth, you know, that hasn’t been working for me. And I’ve been robbed of my joy of Jesus says this, that I’m just going to give everything. I’m going to give everything to who he is, and I’m just going to trust in what he’s saying in this moment. And all I want to do is abide. So what does abiding look like? Abiding is about a consistency in Christ. Abiding desires to connect with God in the avenues through which he’s created for you to connect with him. To take his word and allow it to change your heart. To take his teachings and allow it to change your life, to pray and to fellowship and and to worship. To realize he’s sovereign over everything and use those opportunities just to connect. To abide in him means that we belong. And therefore we should be. And as people, we understand that as we begin to do this, we reproduce the joy for which God has created in this world. Meaning the opposite of that this morning. If you have no joy in loving others for Christ, if you have no joy in praying to God, if you have no joy in doing good for the Lord. If if you lack time in praying, if you lack the opportunity to connect with God, if if you lack joy.

A solution this morning is that you’re just simply not abiding. It’s not about artificially producing this in your life and just saying, you know what? I’m happy Jesus said he loves me. I’m just happy, you know? It’s just fake. You come to verse nine and verse 6 to 16 and you say to yourself, ask yourself gut check time. Am I really just joyful in the Lord? Or I just look at these words and say, yeah, I know that. The answer for us. It’s just abide. Can see John in these pages when he’s writing these chapters. You know, he couldn’t write everything that was dealing with Jesus in these verses, and he probably didn’t write everything that happened in the upper room. But when he got to verse 13 or chapter 13 and chapter 14, he was writing these horrendous things that’s happening. He’s saying, man, if if the believers are tracking with us in this passage of Scripture, they’re going to be feeling the same way that we’re feeling just lost and devastated. And I don’t want them to know there’s the secret that Jesus gave to us. And it’s not this list of rules in the midst of complexity. It’s just simple minnows. Rest in his presence. Abide in him. If you’re saying you’re a follower of Christ with no joy and no happiness. Here’s the solution this morning. Abide in him. Stop living religiously. Stop living concerned with your problem, and start living with a concern for just your creator. Jesus.