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Summary: Fruit in the Christian life

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THE FOUR STAGES OF FRUIT BEARING

JOHN 15:1-8

I REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I BECAME A POLICE OFFICER AND HOW PROUD I WAS OF THE FACT THAT I WAS FOLLOWING THROUGH WITH A DREAM I HAD SINCE CHILDHOOD. MY DADDY WAS A STATE TROOPER IN NEW ORLEANS WHEN I WAS ABOUT FOUR YEARS OLD AND I CAN REMEMBER WATCHING HIM GET DRESSED TO LEAVE FOR WORK. HOW PROUD I WAS TO SAY THAT MY DADDY WAS A POLICEMAN. MY UNCLES WERE ALSO STATE TROOPERS AND LATER WHEN I LIVED WITH MY GRANDPARENTS THEY USED TO COME OVER THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND THAT MAY BE WHY I LIKE TO DRINK COFFEE SO MUCH. YOU SEE THEY WOULD COME OVER AND SIT ON THE PORCH AND ASK ME TO FIX THEM A CUP OF COFFEE SO THEY COULD REST A LITTLE WHILE. WHEN I BECAME A POLICE OFFICER MYSELF I FOUND THAT IT WAS MORE TO BREAK THE MONOTONY THAN TO REST, BUT THEN THAT’S ANOTHER STORY. I REMEMBER SITTING WITH THEM ON THE PORCH DRINKING MY GRANDMOTHER’S COFFEE AND LISTENING TO THEIR STORIES OF ALL THE THINGS THEY SAW AND DID AND IT EXCITED ME. I MEAN I HAD THE SAME BLOOD FLOWING THROUGH MY VEINS AS THESE GREAT PROTECTORS OF OUR NATION DID AND I WAS PROUD THAT MY FRIENDS SAW THE POLICE CARS PULL UP AT MY HOUSE AND NOT TAKE ANYONE AWAY IN HANDCUFFS BUT INSTEAD JUST COME TO VISIT.

1. MY GREATEST DESIRE AS A POLICE OFFICER WAS TO LEAVE A MARK ON THE WORLD AND THAT IT WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE WHEN I LEFT IT

2. FOUR KINDS OF POLICE OFFICERS OUT THERE IN THIS WORLD TODAY

A. THOSE WHO DON’T DO THE JOB THEY HAVE SWORN TO DO

B. THOSE WHO JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS AND DO AS LITTLE AS THEY CAN

C. THOSE WHO FULFILL THEIR MISSION

D. THOSE WHO THINK THEY CAN MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

CHRIST JESUS SPOKE TO US IN THE GOSPEL OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE TO BEAR FRUIT IN OUR LIVES AS EVIDENCE OF THE MIRACLE THAT HAS BEEN PERFORMED INSIDE US. TURN IN YOU BIBLES TO JOHN 15:1-8

THERE ARE FOUR STAGES TO CHRISTIAN FRUITBEARING JUST AS I CAME TO LEARN THAT THERE WERE FOUR KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.

1. THOSE WHO BEAR NO FRUIT

2. THOSE WHO BEAR FRUIT

3. THOSE WHO BEAR MORE FRUIT

4. THOSE WHO BEAR MUCH FRUIT

AND EACH ONE OF US FALL INTO ONE OF THOSE CATAGORIES. WE MAY NOT BE PLEASED WITH THE LEVEL OF FRUIT WE HAVE IN OUR LIFE BUT WE DO INDEED ALL FALL SOMEWHERE IN THESE CATAGORIES. JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE; GOD IS THE GARDENER AND MEN ARE THE BRANCHES AND IN VERSE TWO OF THIS TEXT IT DOES INDEED SAY THAT MEN ARE JUDGED ON THE BASIS OF HOW THEY RELATE TO JESUS THE TRUE VINE.

A. EITHER UNFRUITFUL OR FRUITFUL BRANCHES OF THE TRUE VINE

B. EITHER UNATTACHED (V.4-6) OR ATTACHED BRANCHES OF THE VINE ( V. 7-8)

WELL WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BEAR FRUIT IN OUR CHRISTIAN LIVES BROTHER MIKE? HOW CAN I KNOW IF I BEAR GOOD FRUIT FOR THE KINGDOM? IN SEARCHING THE WORD OF GOD I BELIEVE THAT HE DOES HAVE AN ANSWER AND THAT HE WILL REWARD US WITH KNOWLEDGE IF WE WILL ONLY ASK HIM. SOMETHING THAT I HAD GOD SHOW ME ABOUT ALL THOSE MEN AND WOMEN LEADING THOSE GREAT CRUSADES THIS WEEK. WELL REALLY ON MONDAY BECAUSE AS I HAVE ALREADY TOLD YOU MONDAY IS THE WORST DAY OF THE WEEK FOR A PASTOR, GOD SPOKE TO ME AND SHOWED ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE GREAT PREACHERS AND TEACHERS OF OUR TIME.

THE PEOPLE FLOCK TO HEAR THOSE PREACHERS AND TEACHERS BY THE THOUSANDS AND IF WE WERE TO LOOK AT THEIR MINISTRIES OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR, PEOPLE GO TO LISTEN TO THEM BY THE MILLIONS. WELL I WAS FEELING PRETTY DOWN ABOUT

THE STYLE OF DELIVERY GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME AND THE FACT THAT IT SEEMS I’M ALWAYS SKINNING THE CAT AND NEVER JUST ABLE TO PREACH THOSE REAL LOVING MESSAGES. HEY I WANT TO BUT IT JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE IN ME AND I CAN’T COUNT THE NUMBER OF TIMES I HAVE GONE TO GOD AND ASKED HIM TO GIVE ME THE ABILITY TO PREACH WITHOUT RAISING MY VOICE OR WALKING UP AND DOWN THE AISLE.

1. WELL MAYBE GOD IF YOU WOULD JUST LET ME BE LIKE THEM OTHER PREACHERS I COULD REACH MORE PEOPLE FOR YOU?

2. LORD I TRY AS HARD AS I CAN BUT IT JUST SEEMS LIKE WE’LL NEVER FILL THAT CHURCH UP AND THESE PEOPLE DON’T EVEN HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS OR MINISTER TO THOSE PEOPLE WHEN THEIR LIVES ARE FALLING APART

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