Sermon Study Notes: Abide

We invite you to go deeper in your personal reflection and response to this week's sermon through these study notes and application questions. Take some time this week to read the sermon texts in their full context and study out on your own what we have been learning together at gathering.  If you have not had a chance to listen to the sermon, or if you need help as you work through the study this week, you can listen to the sermon here: Abide

Sermon text: 

John 15:1-6

Other readings: 

  • Philippians 1:6 

  • Luke 10:28-32

  • Matthew 7:7-11

Application questions:

  • Are there things that you know to be true about God but struggle with seeing how to apply those truths to your daily life? How will realizing that discipleship must go beyond gaining knowledge and into experiencing God, change how you view the truths that you've not yet applied?

  • While every day as a Christian will not be a huge experience, experiencing the love of God is an important part of discipleship. If it has been awhile since you have experienced or felt this love, spend some time in prayer this week asking God to allow you to experience it. 

  • Read Philippians 1:6, how will realizing that you are not ever going to be as committed to your discipleship as the Father is committed for you, affect the way you live this week? How will you continue to bear this in mind when you feel stressed an anxious throughout the days to come? 

  • In John 15 it speaks of the cleanliness of the branches. Pastor Kort pointed out that this cleanliness is something true about us (the branches) but it has nothing to do with anything that we did. The vinedresser (God) does the cleansing work.  Spend time resting in and thanking God for the work that He has done in your life this week. While, this may be a truth we all acknowledge and believe, make sure that you are transitioning from just understanding the truth, to resting in and experiencing it in your life through prayer and quiet rest in God.


You have a dwelling place, Jesus himself. - Kort Marley 

Discipleship is not hard but impossible without a vibrant relationship wth Jesus. - Kort Marley

In some ways, the whole point of the Exodus was Sabbath. Let my people go, became God's rallying cry, that they might worship me. At the heart of liberty - of being let go - is worship. But at the heart of worship is rest - a stopping from all the work, all worry, all scheming, all fleeing - to stand amazed and thankful before God and his work. There can be no real worship without true rest. -Mark Buchanan

The question from Jesus is not How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? Instead, Are you in love with [me]? Perhaps another way of putting the question would be Do you know the incarnate God? In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God, a heart that forgives, cares reaches out and wants to heal. In this heart there is no suspicion, no vindictiveness, no resentment, and not a tinge of hatred. It is a heart that simply wants to give love and receive love in response. It is a heart that suffers immensely because it sees the magnitude of human pain and the great resistance to trusting the heart of God who wants to offer consolation and hope. -Henri Nouwen 

Through [abiding] we can keep ourselves from being pulled from one urgent issue to another and from becoming strangers to our own heart and God's heart. [Abiding] keeps us home, rooted and safe even when we are on the road moving from place to place, and often surrounded by sounds of violence and war [Abiding] deepens us in the knowledge that we are already free, that we already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everyone and everything around us is suggesting the opposite. - Henri Nouwen 

I go to God with a promise, which is in reality a cheque issued by God Himself on the bank of heaven. He cashes it for me, and then I go and use what He has given me, to His glory... I think I can say that seldom many minutes elapse without my heart speaking to God in either prayer or praise. - Charles Spurgeon 

I have spread the Bible on my chair, kneeled down, put my finger upon the passage and sought of God instruction. I have thought that when I have risen from my knees I understood it far better than before. - Charles Spurgeon

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible to be alive without breathing. - Martin Luther  God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than  the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. - Johnathan Edwards 

God made us: invented us as a man invents and engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. C. S. Lewis

There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God. The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart. - John Calvin  Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. - Charles Spurgeon

The care of the soul is 'a matter of the highest importance' beyond anything which can be brought into comparison with it. - George Whitfield  To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find hi, the greatest human achievement. - St. Augustine 

The love of Christ both wounds and heals. It fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart. I want the presence of God Himself, or I don't want anything at all to do with religion... I want all that God has or I don't want any. A. W. Tozer 

But what I would like to say is that the spiritual life is a life in which you gradually learn to listen to a voice that says something else, that says, You are the beloved and on you my favor rests.... I want you to hear that voice. It is not a very loud voice because it is an intimate voice. It comes from a very deep place. It is soft and gentle. I want you to gradually heart that voice. We both have to hear that voice and to claim for ourselves that that voice speaks truth, our truth. It tells us who we are. That is where the spiritual life starts - by claiming the voice that calls us the beloved. - Henri Nouwen 

Our prayer is that this sermon study guide will help you in your spiritual growth. As you read and pray through these passages, we encourage you to take your study into community as well. Talk to your friends and family about what you are learning and make sharing your faith by the power of the Holy Spirit a part of your growth in Him.

We have a playlist on Spotify, including some of the songs we will be singing together at gatherings this Summer. If you'd like to listen to these songs at home or on the go you can listen on Spotify here.