Summary: Learning to grow in Jesus
Sermon in the sack- watermelon seed.
It is a favorite summertime food.
It can be eaten raw, as a drink, grilled, and many other ways.
One vine can produce up to 100.
It comes in red or yellow, and in many shapes and sizes.
Faith the size of this seed will move mountains. God wants to do mighty things in your life. He wants to plant His seeds into your heart.
Adults- what do you see? A seed? A melon? One vine filled with watermelons? I see a garden filled with vines that are filled with watermelons all from this one seed.
How do we mature through Christ?
Maturity starts in our thinking. (15)
It all starts with our thinking. Jesus’ first question always was and always will be, “Do you believe?” It never changes. Often times we don’t mature with the Messiah because we are afraid to make a mistake. We are afraid of failure. Look at His promise in this verse. “Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also.” The promise is God will show us. He will use His Spirit to guide and lead us. This may come through conviction in our spirit. Jn. 14:15; Rom. 8:26
Look at verse 16- Paul doesn’t let us off of the hook. “In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.”
So how do we mature in the Messiah?
We start thinking right. (9)
This is the seed stage. All of the knowledge is stored in this seed. But it hasn’t come out. We have to go through the process of obtaining knowledge.
So how do we think right? Realize that it is not about me. Tell your neighbor, “It’s not about you”. Your past may be bad, but Paul’s was good. My past isn’t so good. It seems to me easier to give up a bad past than a good past. Paul said, I was the man among men. But it wasn’t good enough. I was right with man, but wrong with God. We must recognize that no matter how good we are, it still isn’t good enough. The flip side is that no matter how bad we are, we are never out of God’s reach.
Jesus said in Mt. 16:24, “If anyone wants to come to Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Your first step toward God is how you think. You must deny yourself. Let your past fall at the foot of the cross. Learn from it, but give it to Christ.
It is a process to which the first step his head knowledge. You must be able to think like Christ.
(Transition) Spiritual maturity doesn’t come with knowledge, it comes when you apply and live the knowledge.
Our thinking leads us to experience. (10)
This is the fruit phase. If this seed doesn’t turn into a vine and produce fruit, what good is it? Did you hear me say that one vine could produce up to 100 watermelons? Does that remind you of the parable of the 30-60-100?
Once our thought process is in place, our actions should follow. Paul’s words were, “that I may know Him.” It wasn’t good enough for Paul to know about Him.
The next step of the phase is practicing what we preach. We must become doers of the word and not hearers only. Putting the Bible into practice is a difficult thing to do.
Paul wanted to experience Jesus personally for himself. Do you feel that way? It is good to know about Jesus. But what good does it do to know that Jesus fed the five thousand when your children are hungry? What good does it do to know that God parted the seas when every door that you approach is closed? What good does it do you to know that Jesus can forgive you, but you never receive His forgiveness, and experience His grace? Mature believers yearn for a deeper experience with Christ! That is why we pray. That is why we read God’s word. We pray and read earnestly and eagerly looking for Him!
Paul talked about experiencing the power of His resurrection. Our world is hungry for power. I am afraid that our western mindset has misconstrued God’s meaning of power. Often times God’s power is very authoritative. Often God will take control and dominate. But the power of Christ’s resurrection had to allow Jesus to be tortured, spat upon, stripped, beaten, and killed. He was treated like a criminal. Often times the power of the resurrection is shown in the taming of your tongue. In the control of your anger. In calming your reactions. Don’t overlook and underestimate the Power of God on your life in these areas.