Summary: THE MAIN THING JESUS WANTED HIS DISCIPLES TO KNOW AND DO CAN BE BOILED DOWN TO THIS >>> PRODUCE FRUIT. Every plant that “Hits the dirt and dies is designed” by God to do one thing, reproduce.
A Sermon on Gardening
Give everyone a seed as they enter the building.
ATTENTION ill >>> I planted my garden this week.... I love to see things grow but mostly I like to eat what grows.
SHOW plan tin cup.<<<< TAKES WORK - TIME EFFORT - WATER FROM GOD << HE CREATED IT ALL
"Nothing grows under a banyan tree." This South Indian proverb speaks of leadership styles. The banyan is a great tree. It spreads its branches, drops air-roots, develops secondary trunks and covers the land. A full grown banyan may cover more than an acre of land. Birds, animals, and humans find shelter under its shade. But nothing grows under its dense foliage, and when it dies, the ground beneath lies barren and scorched.
The banana tree is the opposite. Six months after it sprouts, small shoots appear around it. At twelve months a second circle of shoots appear beside the first ones, now six months old. At eighteen months the main trunk bears bananas which nourish birds, animals, and humans, and then it dies. But the first offspring are now full grown, and in six months they too bear fruit and die. The cycles continue unbroken as new sprouts emerge every six months, grow, give birth to more sprouts, bear fruit, and die.
Some leaders are like the banyan trees. They have great influence and their ministries are widely productive and beneficial. However, they do not prepare for the transitions which will allow for the emergence of other leaders. They only equip followers, not leaders.
-- Layne A. Lebo. From the files of Leadership.
ILL>>> ( find ILL )A purposeless life vs a Purposeful life -- “A reason to live”
Last Sunday was Easter and the Sunday before that was Palm Sunday. This Sunday let’s listen to something that Jesus wanted us to know right before He died. The last words of someone we love are special. We remember them forever. After we grieve for a while those last few words become precious memories. On the way to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus took a walk down a long country road.
As Jesus and the disciples walked together down that long dusty road, above the crunch of footsteps on gravel He explained what He wanted them to do.
THE MAIN THING JESUS WANTED HIS DISCIPLES TO KNOW AND DO
CAN BE BOILED DOWN TO THIS >>> PRODUCE FRUIT.
Every plant that “Hits the dirt and dies is designed” by God to do one thing, reproduce.
So how do we bear fruit? #1
Victorious living and effective soul-winning service are not the product of our better selves and hard endeavors, but are simply the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are not called upon to produce the fruit, but simply to bear it.
I. Remove the dead wood. Cleansing 1-3
A. See the one true vine = Jesus ( not Israel = OT vine) -- Know God!
1. Jesus is the trunk (last of 7 “I Am” statement in JN. )
a. 6:35 = “I AM the bread of Life”
b. 8:12 “I AM the Light of the World”
c. 10:7“I AM the Door”
d. 10:11 “I AM the Good Shepherd”
e. 11:25 “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”
f. 14:6 “I AM the Way the Truth and the Life”
g NOW “I AM the True Vine”
2. The Father tends the plant
a. He loves us and wants us to be healthy.
b. He loves us and wants us to produce fruit.
B. See the 2 branches v 2
1. Branches that no fruit -- He takes away! God’s Judgment! Saved but refuses to grow.
ILL >>> The Christian walk is much like riding a bicycle; we are either moving forward or falling off.
ILL>> In Bruce Wilkinson’s book Secrets of the Vine he asked audiences all over the world how they would describe the level of fruit bearing among Christians. There responses are consistent. They conclude that nearly half of all Christians bear little or no fruit. Only about 5% bear a lot.
a. What is keeping you from bearing fruit? Are you dead to God?
ILL>> Rebellious Teens ignore authority -- blank stare -- loud music -- = REBELLION
Let the father tend to you!!
b God will judge the dead wood. - Be afraid of the day when He stops dealing with you.
2. Branches that bear some fruit - He prunes. -- saved but in sin (Cuts away the dead part) v2-3
a. Cutting and cleaning -- are you willing?
ILL>> Ralph told me the best way to grow okra is to whip it. ..