6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: The first message on a series about the Fruit of the Spirit; it reveals the secret to fruit bearing.

Series: The Sweet Life

Message: The Source of the Sweet Life

Text: John 15:1-11; Galatians 5:22-23

Every spring when we lived out west we would get in the car and drive about forty-five minutes east to a place called Brentwood. It is an agricultural town with all kinds of orchards and farms.

Our destination was a strawberry farm. Getting out of the car we would arm ourselves with baskets and head for the rows of plants that were pregnant with big beautiful strawberries all red and ready for us to pick.

It never took long to fill several large baskets full of berries; in a matter of minutes we had enough to take home and more to share with our friends and neighbors.

As we headed back to the car our hands were stained with strawberry sweetness and our lips were red with the nectar from the occasional berry that just had to be tasted.

There’s just something exciting and rewarding when you hold in your hands a delicious piece of fruit that is waiting to burst forth with a sweet taste that you expect to tickle your senses!

As we start this series on The Sweet Life I couldn’t help but think of those strawberries, in fact I even have some here that I want to share with you, big red delicious mouthwatering strawberries…

(Cut some strawberries up and pass them out to people near the front)

Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?

Does your life resemble a delicious ripe strawberry? Would people say that you’re life is attractive, inspiring, encouraging and a delight to be around?

Let’s find out. Turn with me to Galatians 5:22. Let’s read it together….

Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Let’s take an inventory:

1. Would others say that your life is typified by selflessness?

2. Would others describe you as exuberant about life?

3. Do you project serenity even in difficulty?

4. Are you able to wait without complaining?

5. Are you known for compassion, a good heart and the ability to stick with things?

6. Are you tender towards others?

7. Would you be described as a person who has his passions bridled?

If answering positively to those questions is the test of living the sweet life what would you say is your sweetness factor?

I have to confess this morning that my sweetness factor could use some help.

How about yours?

Has the sweetness gone out of your marriage because it has gone out of your life? Have you become just as callous and complaining as the people you work or go to school with? Has sarcasm and obnoxiousness replaced the sweet nectar of encouragement and helpfulness?

Imagine what your life and relationships could be like if you recovered or discovered the sweet life? Imagine how you could change the world around you if you truly became known as a person who exhibited love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control?

Would you like that to happen in your life, or in your relationships?

I would! But where do we start?

Let’s start by:

Discovering the Source of Sweetness In Your Life.

John 15:1-11….

John 15:1-11(NIV): 1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

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