Summary: This lesson is part of our "Baby Dedication Service" in 2016. Parents have been given special gifts from God in their children. Parents serve as "coaches" to lead their children to fruitful lives before God.
1. The first command for man in the bible is to be fruitful and multiply (p'ru u r'vu in Genesis 1.28)
2. Children are gifts and the fruit of their parents
Psalm 127.3-5 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
3. Parents are to lead their children to become fruitful -- Psalm 1.1-3
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4. The place of the fruit in our lives:
a. We are known by our fruit -- Matthew 12.33 (. . . the tree is known by its fruit.)
b. We glorify God by our fruit -- John 15.8
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
5. What kind of fruit are we bearing? Will our children bear?
I. A Principle for Parents: Give What We Have
Years ago, when East and West Berlin were divided, East Berlin was controlled by Communists and West Berlin was free. One day some people from East Berlin took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the west side. The people of West Berlin could have retaliated with dumping garbage back. Instead, they took a truckload of canned goods, bread, and milk which they stacked neatly on the east side. They placed a note on the top of the stack which read, "Each gives what he has."
* What do you have to give? The answer is in the type of fruit you are producing.
* What fruit will our children produce? What will they have to give?
A. We may prefer picking fruit over producing it.
1. We want to be consumers, not contributors.
2. We may fear that we will give away too much fruit and run out. We will discover that what we hoard for ourselves is never enough.(Widow of Zarephath and Elijah in 1 Kings 17.8ff)
Haggai 1.3-6 5 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
B. God's Promises to Provide -- Matthew 6.25-34
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
1. Enough for Today
2. Jewish prayer to ask God not to give too little -- one would become a thief; not to give too much -- one would forget God; to give just the right amount
II. A Product for Parents: Jesus' Formula for Successful Fruit Bearing in John 15
A. We Must be Connected to the Right Source (15.4-5)