A. OUR PREVIOUS LESSONS HAVE DEALT WITH ABUNDANT LIVING
a. The secret of living is bearing fruit( John 15:8 ).
b. The secret of bearing fruit is abiding( John 15:5 ).
c. The secret of abiding is obeying( John 15:10 ).
d. The secret of obeying is loving( John 14:15 ).
B. WHAT IS THE SECRET OF LOVING?
A. THIS TRUTH DEMONSTRATED IN HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS.
1. Husband and wife, Friendships.
2. Love of the brethren comes from knowing our brethren.
B. SO IT IS IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND JESUS.
1. Especially when we understand Their love for us( John 3:16; 1 John 3:16 ).
2. Only those who know God can truly love both man and God( 1 John 4:8 ).
C. KNOWING GOD IS THE FIRST STEP IN ABUNDANT LIVING.
1. By knowing God, we come to love Him.
2. By loving Him, we will obey Him.
3. By obeying Him, we will abide in Him.
4. By abiding in Him, we will bear fruit.
5. By bearing fruit, we will experience the joys of abundant living.
A. WE COME TO KNOW GOD THROUGH COMMUNICATION.
1. Is this not true in our human relationships?
2. Communication with God is a two-street.
a. He speaks to us through the Bible
( 2 Pet. 1:21; John 16:12-13; 1 Cor. 14:37 ).
b. And we speak to God through prayer( Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17-18 ).
3. Reading the Bible and praying to God can lead one to "the abundant life."
a. The value of God's Word in bearing fruit is described in Psa. 1:1-3.
b. The value of prayer was taught by Jesus in Matt. 7:7-11.
B. WE ALSO COME TO KNOW GOD THROUGH EXPERIENCE.
1. God keeps promises( 2 Tim. 2:11-13; Neh 9:7-8 ).
2. Together with God we accomplish work( Phil. 2:12-16; 4:13; Jas. 5:19-20 ).
3. Trusting God we have peace of mind and comfort( Phil. 4:4-7; 2 Col. 1:1-5 ).
4. Fellowship and faithfulness bring about strength of character( 2 Pet. 1:3-8 ).
5. Through Jesus we live a transformed life( 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Heb. 2:14-15 ).
6. Love and strength from the Lord( Eph. 3:14-19 ).
C. SUCH KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE CREATE IN US A DEEPER DEPENDENCE AND A GREATER LOVE( Psa. 116:1-2 ).
A. THE ROAD TO AN ABUNDANT LIFE CAN BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
B. WHY NOT ENJOY THE ABUNDANT LIFE JESUS OFFERS?
1. Give yourself a chance to know God by reading His Word.
2. Knowing God is the most important thing in life( Jer. 9:23-24 ).
a. For to know God is to love Him.
b. To love God is to obey Him.
c. To obey Him is to abide in Him.
d. To abide in Him is to bear fruit for Him.
e. To bear fruit is to experience "the abundant life" the Vine offers.
C. IF YOU KNOW OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU, HAVE YOU OBEYED?
( Mark 16:15-16; Heb. 5:9 ).