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Summary: PART 3 A lot of this sermon series is like the study the Vine & Branch Study

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The Vine & Branch Study

Part III

Am I A LEAF LOVER

OR A FRUIT FANATIC

How successfully do you set priorities for your life from the perspective of what God?

Wants? Do you see your priorities changing as you mature to as a Christian?

Think of leaves as those things in your life often even good things that sap your energies times and talents but aren’t ultimately important to God. Name a few.

1.Strongly disagree. 2.Slightly disagree. 3.Unsure.4.Strongly agree

___I spend a lot of time and energy on activities that further God’s kingdom.

___I look for opportunities to use my gifts and talents in ways that will bring glory to God.

___I am willing to undergo real change in order to shape my priorities to better match God’s.

___I can say with confidence that I put God before any person or possession.

___I understand that busyness for God and acclaim from other believers aren’t the same as spiritual productivity.

To prune means to remove plant parts for a purpose. Gardeners prune to improve a plant’s health or appearance, to increase the size of its blooms, or to produce more fruit.

Pruning is always future oriented - the cutting now results in gains later.

Gardeners prune to improve a plant’s health or appearance, to increase the size of its blooms, or to produce more fruit.

Jesus said, Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”(John15: 2) Based on this verse:

a. Who does the pruning?__________________________________

b. What gets pruned? _____________________________________

c. What is the goal of pruning?

Christians, should expect to be pruned?

3.Pruning helps us to reorder our priorities. What Does Matthew 6:33 tell us was Christ’s priority for His follower?

4. When God prunes us it often takes place through tests and trials. The distress we experience helps us identify affections, activities, or attitudes That God is trying to prune. Have you ever experienced a trial that you later realized was directly related to your clinging to something that God Was trying to prune away? Describe what happened.

5. Read James1: 2-5. What two benefits does James link to the testing of our faith?

a. It produces ___________________________ in the believer,

b. Which in turn promises to make us perfect and___________________.

6.Read 1 Peter 1:6-8. What key benefit (more precious than gold) does Peter say results from testing?

The _____________________________________________________of

Your ______________________________________________________.

The act of pruning is how God works in our lives when we’re bearing fruit, and its goal is to bring us more fruit. Read Philippians 1:12-14,

a. What kind of fruit came of Paul’s trials? ________________________

b. Paul recognized the connection between his hardships and the fruit that resulted. Have you ever been able to make a similar correlation?

Pruning is always for our good and is custom-suited to our individual need. Read 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10.

Paul allowed God to use his “thorn in the flesh” for greater ministry potential (v.7). Looking back, do you see now how a personal limitation that you surrendered to God was used for greater fruitfulness?

How do you see God pruning you now in areas that correspond to how you feel personally called and gifted to serve Him?

Through pruning, God shapes our character and conduct. Here are some commons focal points for His shears:

Your commitment to God (Job 13:15).

Your values (Matthew 6:19-21).

Your money and possessions (Matthew 6:19-21,24).

Your gifts and talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

Your relationships commitment to God (Job 13:15) (Luke 14:26).

Your sources of significance (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Your time (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Abraham, the man who gave his son God. {Read Genesis 22}

a. What did God ask Abraham to do (Genesis 22:2)? ______________________

b. How quickly did Abraham respond (Genesis 22:3)? _____________________

In Genesis 22:12, God reveals the purpose of the pruning: “Now I know that you _______________God, since you have not ______________your _____________your only son, from me.”

Has there ever been a time when God wanted you to serve Him in a given area but a key relationship left you unwilling to do it? What happened?

Of everyone who means the most to you personally, who would be your “Isaac”?

The apostle Paul understood the unseen but lasting results of pruning. His advice to all growing Christians who are confronted by the Vinedresser’s shears could be summarized in three words: rejoice, relinquish, and rest.

1. PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13.Instead of anxiety, I can ________ in His power and love.

2. PHILIPPIANS 4:4. Instead of complaining or criticizing, I can ___________in His plan. a. Have you been successful at this? Why do you think God asks it of us?

b. Can you think of a time when you criticized the messenger if God’s pruning rather than responding to God?

PHILIPPIANS 3:8. Instead of resisting, I can ______________ this area to Him.

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