Leon Fontaine - Producing An Amazing Life
When you think about God, you have to understand that you can trust Him. You can trust God. One of the most horrible teachings in the world today is the off line teaching of sovereignty. And we know the word sovereign means God is all powerful. But one of the worst causes of Christianity not being able to go mainstream is because the world can't trust God based on the Christian's teaching. The world listens to Christians say God loves you but He might let cancer come in to teach you something. God loves you but He might take your mother away because He needs another flower in heaven. And then at the funeral, God's ways are higher than our ways.
You wouldn't believe the amount of people that I speak with who can't come to church because some preacher told them, their mom died because God needed her in heaven. Or because their baby died but God's ways are higher than our ways. Meaning, God caused this death and on and on the list goes. That teaching comes from Greek mythology. And because so many of the new Christians in the New Testament as it went from the Jews to the Greeks, to all the other, to the whole Gentile nation many of them mixed their religions and their religious beliefs because the Greeks believed that the Gods were fickle. They could change their minds anytime they want.
So, if you study Greek mythology, you'll know that you better please them. You better keep them happy because if you don't keep them happy, they're gonna cause hell in your life. And this thinking was transferred into the church. And so today, it just proliferates everywhere. That if something bad happens. Well, because God's in control. We just don't know why. God's not in control. Now, we know that God is in control of the overall timetable of this earth. This earth is on a certain timetable. And when the devil's time is over. Jesus is gonna return. He's gonna be thrown away. We're gonna have a new heaven. We're gonna have a new earth. So we know that He is in overall control of the timetable of the earth, of etcetera. But you, He's not gonna stop you from running a red light or slapping your wife or stabbing your husband. He's not gonna stop it.
You have a will. And so your will is so completely powerful because you are sovereign. God is sovereign, all powerful. But He made you in His likeness and image. And you are completely sovereign over your own life. You get to choose what to believe. You get to choose what to do. What you believe in and what you do has consequences. So if you don't them right, you can go to jail. You can spend the rest of your life gone. You can destroy every relationship. You can destroy every business. Your world can be walked out the way you want to walk it out. And so, so many people think that God is in control. And if God is in control, He's the worst manager I've ever seen. He's letting 30 million babies die of starvation, 66 million getting killed in abortions. And I mean, the list goes on and on and on and on.
When we think that God is in control, we create all sorts of crazy doctrines. And so, yes, God is in ultimate control. Meaning, if you give your life to Jesus Christ, there's nothing the devil can do to stop that. He is, you know, so you're giving God control of so much of our lives as we become people of God. So today, I want to talk to you about producing an amazing life. Like, the Bible Jesus Himself does a teaching. And in this teaching, He shows us that the only way to produce great results in life is to be connected to Him. He calls it abiding in the vine. He calls it that He is the vine. We are the branches. And as long as you are connected to the trunk of that tree, the same sap that courses through the trunk goes into the branch and then you produce fruit. This fruit is called the results of your life. And God wants the results of your life to be good in every area.
In John 10:10, Jesus said I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly, amazingly. And so, and then the verse or the line before that says Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus said but I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly. I'm gonna say something really controversial. Actually, I let Jesus say it. When Jesus says I am the way, He is not saying I am a way. I am the way. And that word way means I am the path. I am the road. And this path, this road is the only way you will find God and live a truly abundant life. See, we want to water it all down. We want to think that, well, there's many paths to God and you can have that path. You might want to find Hinduism. You might want to follow Islam. It's all the same God. And but you see, you can't go there because Jesus Himself didn't say I'm a way. He said I am the way. I am the path. I am the road. There is no other way.
Why is it the world makes us feel bad when we say, "Well, we serve Jesus. I know there's probably other ways". No, there's not. There's one way. You say, "Well, we're just being arrogant". We're not being arrogant. We happen to find it and we just want to tell people we found it. There's lots of things in life that there's only one way and they're not called arrogant. You know, gravity does one thing. You go down. You can't tell gravity, "Well, you think you're special. It's just one thing". No! You can't play soccer on the ceiling of this, or the roof of this building. It's crazy. If you go off the edge, you will go down. I just don't know if I believe that. There's got to be another way. There is no other way. Gravity is a principle that works, and it works every time. It's not gonna make an exception with you.
There are principles, spiritual principles. There are physical principles. There are mental principles. Break them at your own peril. Then if you still don't get this, He says no man comes to the Father but by Me. There is no other way. It's only Jesus. And so we can be loving and caring when we get to talking to people about this Jesus. But then they cannot say... See, everyone loves to say, "Jesus was a good man". If you read this scripture right here, He's either the most crazy guy you ever meet in your life or He's the Son of God. He made it and some of the statements He made were so conclusive. They were not inclusive. They were, it was concluded. He is the way. He is the life. That He is the truth.
And so Jesus is the manifestation of truth. The revelation of truth. And we have to understand because so many people they kind of try Jesus and then when they don't get Him, they're gonna try Oprah and Brené Brown and all this other people who actually find truths in the Bible that work. But they always leave Jesus out because that is the divisive topic. To say tell someone there's the only one way. You know, if there's only one way to get everybody off of a ship and on to the boat. There's just one way. Get into the lifeboat. I think there's another way. Ah no, it's cold in the Titanic. This ocean is so cold. You're gonna last 60 seconds in the water. There's only one way. The lifeboat.
Well, I just think that you're a little bit arrogant in trying to tell me what to do. And you're trying to tell me there's only one way off this ship that I'm gonna survive. Well, you can call me arrogant or you can do whatever you want but it is the truth and you don't need to soften the truth. I talked to a pastor a little while ago and he said to me, he said, "You know, when you preach, like how do you preach"? I said, "I preach the Word". Yeah, I know. But man, the Word's got some harsh stuff in there. I don't think it's current when He says some of the things He says. Oh, so you're changing the Word? Well, I mean. Sure, you are. You're softening the Word. So that applies to everybody. So everyone just feels good about them self.
I said, "Can you imagine if a guy got on the Titanic deck and just say, 'Hey, everybody. You know, the ship is going down. And I know some people say the only way is a lifeboat but it's not the only way. And so you just think about it, see what you want to do. We're all gonna be okay either way. Everything's gonna be fine either way'. Everything's not gonna be fine either way. It is sinking. It is going down. And then if you don't choose the right way, this got consequences". As Christians, let's stop soft pedaling. Let's stop softening it. No, I don't mean be arrogant. I don't mean grind someone down. I don't mean get an attitude. No, no, no, no. I just mean that this confidence be in you because you won't get a life if you don't understand how special this Jesus is.
Someone said, "Oh, yeah. I don't know that many Christians Leon that really have it together". Well, what do you mean by have it together? Well, they live, you know, like Jesus. I said, "I know a ton of people who live like Jesus". Now, they don't live perfectly like Jesus, but they live with love as their motive. They live honoring others. They live with the real relationship with Christ. They love. They have problem after problem like the whole world does. Problems in finances, someone's stabbing them in the back, a neighbor, you know, trying to sue them for this. The world's got stuff. But this Jesus is there. I know tons of people who have figured out how to stay connected to Jesus.
And I want you to understand that, let me read a little bit of John 15 and I'm gonna give you some homework this week. Read John 15 chapters 1 to 17. I'm gonna read it to you from the Expanded Bible. Here's what it says, John 15 chapters 1 to 17. "I am the true vine, Jesus said. Here in the bracket it says contrast Israel, the unreliable vine. Then Jesus says my Father is the gardener, the farmer, the vinedresser. He cuts off or takes away every branch of mine,?in me that does not produce fruit". All right. And then He says whose lives bear no indication of a relationship with Christ. And He trims, cleans, prunes.?This verb implies both trimming and cleaning every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.
See, Jesus is His Word and a relationship with Him continually helps you to prune. Put off and put on. Now, this is what renewing the mind is in Romans chapter 12 and Ephesians chapter 4. It talks renewing the mind is putting off old thinking, putting on the new thinking. Where does this new thinking come from? I hope it comes from Jesus the living Word. And because this is how you're gonna produce, to bear fruit means to have results. And it's saying here God want you to have results in every area. He wants you to have results in your emotions, results in your physical body, results in how you look at life, how you handle life, how you know what decisions to make, in every area of your life, He want you to have results. But He says the only way you'll get results is if you abide in Jesus.
Now, this is kind of a really cool thing because here it says that a branch further on this verse. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself. So if I'm a tree, and there's a branch, cut it off. It falls off. You pick it up. Oh, we're gonna just put this in the house so I can protect the fruit. You have now cut it off from bearing fruit. Now, a lot of people think, well, when you're a Christian, you just automatically bear fruit. No. You can give your life to Christ and heaven can be your goal and heaven will be where you go when you die. But I know this from experience that there are many weeks and sometimes months to my chagrin that I have literally stop having a relationship with Jesus, stop having a relationship with His Word, and life got tough and I wasn't getting results in this area and fear began to push at me.
I began to work in my own energy and try to get the results myself. Which is always manipulating people, manipulating situations, trying to control situations, trying to find my own peace not realizing that because I have not been in relationship with Jesus. I've not been abiding. And how do you have a relationship with Jesus? Well, John 1 says that He, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This is incredible thing in Christianity. When you give your life to Jesus and He comes into your heart, as you read God's Word. Okay? You're learning about Jesus. And it can be a simply theological exercise until you have your Doctorate of Divinity in Religiosity, and you know what the Bible says or as you read you can be opened to His Spirit.
Say, "Jesus teach me. Let me learn about You". And if each day it's a relationship with Him, you are connecting to the vine, to the trunk, and His peace courses through you. His joy courses through you. Where is His peace and joy for Christians? It's in your Spirit. And what are we doing? We are renewing our mind. We're establishing our heart in peace. And the Bible says further on in John 15, a branch cannot produce fruit alone by itself but must remain in the vine, must remain attach to the vine. And Jesus says, I am the vine. You are the branches. And He goes on to say, if you do this, this is where you're gonna have the greatest joy. As you go down to verse 17, He's gonna say do what I tell you to do. Abide in me.
You see, we just think that reading the Word is all we have to do. No. When He's talked, when the Bible says continuing my Word. It means to read, to understand, and to obey. We don't like the word obedience because we live in democracy. We don't obey. We vote. And if we vote, we can decide what we want to do. But it's not saying here if you love Me, just go do what I say. He's actually, He's not making a statement. Those who love Me, obey Me. Because they love Me, they want to please Me. The enjoy being with Me. And they began to realize that His brilliance, His Word, His revelation is the key to this amazing life.
But the problem for many of us is, is that we begin to try as Christians on our, with Him. And for the first little while things go great. But if something doesn't happen fast enough, we go back to the way we were. We go back to what we trusted in before. If we follow Christ, we get results. When we disconnect from Christ and we go back in to our own energy, our own thinking, our own emotions. And we start try to manipulate situations, try to make people do what we want, try to get our relationships to where they are, try to make the money come in but we do it without Him. We are literally disconnecting our results from Him. It doesn't mean you're disconnecting and you're not gonna go to heaven. It just means you're disconnecting from His Word. You're disconnecting from this relationship with Him.
And so this peace starts to leave. This joy starts to go. The results you used to get begins to move away and now you're on your own. And so now you think, "Well, I'd tried Christian". No, you didn't. You're disconnected. Don't disconnect yourself. And He goes on to say that when you stay connected to Jesus, His Word, that you just can't wait to spend some time in His Word or listening to a teaching or reading a great person who write great books. I love listening to preaching every day. I find that the voice inflection and the presence of God just seems to come off of preaching.
And so I listen to messages every day. And as I listen to them, it does something to me. I do it just to feed myself, to stay connected, just feel energized and then I love reading the Word. Let's close with this thought. When you decide to follow Jesus, you can go ahead and just do what you can for yourself and try to find every promise for you and try to get yourself your needs meet for you and break the strongholds on your life whether they are beliefs or emotional problems or addictions or whatever is going on in your life. You can just follow Jesus trying so hard to change your whole life. And there's nothing basically wrong with that. But the Bible says God loves you. And the reason that we can love Him is because He first loved us. And so you need to get up each morning and declare God loves me. God is in love with me. I am so special to God. There's something about confessing it out loud that is so powerful. Just, I'm loved. God loves me. And then He gives you this command. You go out and start loving others.
Now, this sounds so nothing. Let me say something. You will never experience the love of God like you want to until you try loving others. Now, the word love means to value. It means to value. When you value someone, then you want to help them. When you value that person, who's sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire and you're late, but you just feel a nudge. Even if you don't, I want you to give that man a quick hand. But if you don't value him, then you value your time. You value yourself more than him. But when the Christian world begins to love others, it simply means they begin to value others.
Why do you think people volunteer at church? Because they value the people that come. They value your kids. There's people out there, you know, they've been working whole week. But they're in there teaching four-year old's and 12-year old's. Why is that? Are they trying to earn a brownie points with God or a new star on their chart? No, they value children. There're others back there you'll see a man with the radio in, security. Just taught to walk these hallways and keep everything safe and make sure everyone gets help. There's people out who are parking cars in the coldest weather with their beards frozen stiff. Why do they do that?
See, people say, "Well, they're just trying to look good. They're trying to get accolades. They're trying", well, maybe that's your own heart because usually, you know, to the pure all things are pure. And to the impure, all things are impure. But that's, he's valuing the people coming to church. He's valuing what's going on. When you begin to reach out and value others and love others as a believer. You begin to experience the love of God in a level that you've never experienced before. Keep confessing He loves you and see His love in the Word. But the practice of loving others is a command from Jesus. He says if you love me, then love one another. But we've got to gossip about one another. Find fault with one another. Did you see what the guy did over there?
You know, I remember one time judging this great big guy and he was just being a jerk around me and just being condescending and all that's going on. I'm ready to rise up and give him my face right back. I'm gonna, you want to belittle me right now in the situation. I'm an expert of this. I've got my degree. I can belittle you in no problem. And so I'm ready to give a piece of my unrenewed mind that morning. Then all of sudden, boom, I valued him. And instead I said, "Dude, are you doing okay? You're okay, man"? And he's just fighting for control because something had messed with his life that day. And he just opened up and started to talk about the hell that he had walked through that morning.
And you see, if I'm just gonna be in my flesh, we call it or just, but if I can value him and try to love him, bring meaning and purpose, and I had a phenomenal conversation with him. If you want to sense and know this joy and this love as a believer, start valuing people, start loving. Every day think of just a kindness you can do wherever you are. Get on the phone and phone someone that comes up to your mind and just tell him, I'm thinking about you right now so I'm phoning you. When I hang up, I'm gonna pray for you. You know what, when someone does that to you, it touches you. If you'll do that to me, it goes, "Wow, they're thinking about me and they're gonna pray for me when they hang up this phone".
How hard is that? But it's a, and a way of loving and appreciating and valuing the people around us. Your life will move from whatever level of depression you're in, because when you begin to serve God's people, when you begin to love the world that's out there as unlovable as some of them are, something changes in you. And the joy that you had goes to another level. And the more you do this, the more this, you will learn to, as you give this joy, it just rises up greater and greater until everywhere you go, you're just acting like Jesus. Being kind, being loving, being caring. Trying to defuse that situation rather than your flesh rise up. It is an amazing life because then you stay connected to the vine. You're acting like Jesus. You're knowing Jesus. And everywhere you go, you're serving, you're giving, you're valuing others.