All That Really Matters
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
Immortal, Compassionate and Ever-Present God, Who created everything seen and unseen, just knowing that I can talk with You this morning is amazing in itself, but realizing that You love me so much that You gave me the life of Your Only Son; Lord, that kind of knowledge is almost too amazing to comprehend.
Heavenly Father, no one loves me like You do — not my friends, not my parents, not my children, not even my spouse. No one is as good to me as You, and I wish there were words to express how very thankful I am for all You have done to give my life meaning and purpose. But God, there are no words that can grasp the gratitude I feel in my heart toward You for Your grace in my life. I praise You great God and I love You with all my heart. Thank You for all You are and forever will be.
Dear God, the Bible teaches me that You have adopted me as Your blessed child. As a parent leads a son or daughter, please teach me how to care for those things that are most valuable in life — those things that really matter. Give me the spirit of prayer, that I may live in constant communion with You. May holiness, obedience, and righteousness be my main goals in life. Show me Your will and push me to follow it, so that I may become a missionary of love and encouragement to a world in need.
Now, I pray, that You would bless those in my special circle of concern, especially those who grieve; those who struggle with personal problems; those who feel alone or neglected; those who are about to face surgery; those whose lives are touched by illness or despair; those who are hungry or tired or scared. Specifically, I pray for (pray 3 minutes for those God puts on your heart)……………. May each of them feel the embrace of Your strong and comforting arms, and may they never forget the assurance that nothing can separate them from Your unconditional and never-ending love.
These things I pray in the name of Him who died so that I would live, and Who taught me to pray,
“Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever. Amen.”