Rashional Thoughts: Simple decision to abide in Christ key to true success in life; requires intentionality and protecting the relationship

Why do we tend to make the simplest things the most complicated? That’s what popped in my mind as Pastor Bill Wilks of NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville, shared on May 24 about the true key to success.

Preaching from John 15:1–11, Pastor Bill reminded us that the key to success is simple:

“To live out God’s will for our lives to the fullest and to bear much fruit for Him.”

Achieving the goal simply requires abiding in Christ, he said.

     1. Abiding in Christ results in spiritual fruit (vv. 1–6).

“It means not letting anything come between our relationship with Christ … And it must be cultivated. … It is intentional.”

As the fruit is cultivated, the Father removes the fruitless branches and prunes the fruitful branches.

“He prunes us by conviction and by discipline. … He wants our lives to bear much fruit.”

     2. Abiding in Christ results in answered prayer (v. 7).

“When abiding in Christ, we discern what God wants and that becomes what we want. To pray in the name of Jesus is to pray consistent with His character, in His will. It’s not about using the phrase ‘in His name’ as a magic wand to get what we want.”

     3. Abiding in Christ results in God’s glory (v. 8).

“The key to glorifying God is bearing fruit. Are you living to let people see Christ in you?”

     4. Abiding in Christ results in great joy (vv. 9–11).

“The difficult things of life cannot take away our joy as long as we abide in Him.”

It’s not really anything we can do in our own strength, Pastor Bill explained. “Simply abide in Him and the fruit naturally grows in us (Rom. 15:13).”