A. IN PREVIOUS LESSON WE HAVE DISCUSSED ABUNDANT LIVING.
B. BASED ON JESUS' DISCUSSION OF John 15:1-12.
a. The secret of living is bearing fruit.
b. The secret of bearing fruit is abiding.
c. The secret of abiding is obeying.
C. WHAT IS THE SECRET OF OBEYING?
A. THE LEVEL OF FEAR.
1. We know what will happen if we don't obey ( Eph. 5:5-7 ).
2. Certainly a place for a fear of the Lord to motivate to obedience
( Acts 10:1-2, 34-35; Phil. 2:12; Heb. 10:26-31 ).
3. Jesus would have us progress beyond fear as the only motive for obedience
4. Jesus desires our relationship to be much closer( John 15:15 ).
a. A "slave-master" relationship is based upon fear
b. But a relationship based upon "friendship" is what Jesus wants.
5. Fear can rob us of the real joy of serving God( 1 John 4:18 ).
B. THE LEVEL OF SELFISHNESS.
1. We obey because of what we know we will get in return.
2. This attitude was manifested by Peter on one occasion( Matt. 19:27 ).
3. The difference between the level of "fear" and the level of "selfishness" can be
easily demonstrated in our children.
4. Many Christians never rise above these two levels of obedience.
5. But there is yet a higher level of obedience.
C. THE LEVEL OF LOVE.
1. This is the highest level of obedience
2. This is where we obey God because we love Him, and will continue to obey
Him no matter what the circumstances or outcome will be
3. This is the level of obedience upon which Jesus wants us to do His will
( John 14:15; John 14:23a ).
A. GOD ALWAYS DESIRED THAT HIS PEOPLE OBEY HIM OUT OF LOVE.
1. So He wanted the nation of Israel to obey Him
( Deut. 6:4-5; 7:9; 10:12-13; 11:1 ).
2. And so Jesus wants His disciples to obey Him( John 14:15 ).
B. THE VALUE OF OBEDIENCE OUT OF LOVE CAN BE EASILY SEEN...
1. While we may initially obey out of fear, or out of selfishness...
2. Fear does not sustain faith. We forget( Matt. 24:37-51; 1 Thess. 5:1-6 ).
3. Material blessings sometimes cloud our vision, so selfishness doesn't always
work( Luke 8:14; 12:15 ).
4. Only when we are motivated by love will we be faithful in our obedience in
good times as well as in bad!( Acts 21:13; Phil 1:20-23; 2 Cor. 5:14-15 ).
A. AS WE MATURE IN JESUS WE WILL LEARN TO OBEY OUT OF LOVE.
1. For the more we love Him, the more we will obey Him
2. The more we obey Him, the more we will abide in Him
3. The more we abide in Him, the more we will bear fruit
4. And the more we bear fruit, the more we will experience the "abundant life!"
B. CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU LOVE JESUS ENOUGH TO OBEY HIM?
( John 14:15 ).