Presentation on theme: "How Does Your Garden Grow October 11. Think About It … Agree or disagree … In today’s study Jesus explains – how our spiritual gardens should grow and."— Presentation transcript:
Think About It … Agree or disagree … In today’s study Jesus explains – how our spiritual gardens should grow and – what controls what grows within them. “A garden is an awful responsibility. You never know what you may be aiding to grow in it.”
Listen for the actions God performs as the “gardener” who tends the vines. John 15:1-3 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  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.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Consider the three personalities spoken of in the passage, God the Father, Jesus, and believers.
Branches Need Pruning How does the gardener tend to the branches that bear fruit and the branches that do not? What is Jesus’ role in this analogy? Consider the purposes of pruning actual plants – train the plant how to grow. – maintain the health of the plant – remove diseased portions. – improve the quality of the plant
Branches Need Pruning What are some common types of pruning that Christians need? What are some ways in which God accomplishes this kind of pruning in our lives? Each type of pruning helps to train us to bear fruit that represents the Gardener.
Listen for results of a genuine relationship with Christ and the results of not remaining in Christ. John 15:4-8 " Remain in me, and I will 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.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me,
Listen for results of a genuine relationship with Christ and the results of not remaining in Christ. he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Branches Must Stay Connected Let’s identify the various elements of the analogy and their meaning. What did Jesus say the branches must do in order to bear fruit? ElementsIdentityMeaning Vine Branches Fruit
Branches Must Stay Connected What does it mean to “abide” in Christ, to remain in Him? What results do you see in this passage from a genuine relationship with Christ? Consider the following case study …
Case Study A young minister had completed his seminary training and was serving in his first full-time pastorate. This church was significantly larger than the two churches he had served as pastor during his student days. Nevertheless, the young minister was confident. He had received good training and believed that he had all the skills needed to lead a church effectively.
Case Study Several months into his new pastorate, the young minister described his vision for the congregation. He presented a plan that was designed to result in a 50% increase in attendance during the next year. The pastor also appointed a long-range planning committee to study the needs for additional buildings.
Case Study The pastor’s vision and plan met with little opposition, a fact that he interpreted as support. Nine months later, however, the expected attendance increase had not materialized; attendance had, in fact, declined. The young minister became very discouraged and considered resigning from his position as pastor. How might our passage be used to provide helpful counsel to this young minister?
Branches Must Stay Connected Why do some Christians (not only pastors) try to serve Christ depending only on their own resources and skills rather than depending on Christ’s power? What kind of fruitfulness does Jesus mean when He says, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit”?
Remain in the Gardner’s Love What kind of skill have you learned by watching someone else repeatedly perform the skill? How was this method of learning more effective than just reading a book about the skill? Listen for How Christ teaches us by His example.
John 15:9-11 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Remain in the Gardner’s Love How does Christ teach us by example? What evidence does Jesus mention about abiding in Christ’s love? When do you struggle with loving others the way Jesus has loved you? What is the connection between abiding in Christ’s love and obedience to Christ?
Application Be aware of events in your life as part of God's pruning – both good and “bad” events can be a part of that growing and improving process – Look back over recent events – How has God taught you things, drawn you closer to Him as a result of these pruning events? Thank Him for His loving shaping and molding of your life to be more like Him
Application Ask God to show you ways in which you can be “abiding in Him” more – Trust Him to produce fruit in your life – Ask Him to make that fruit “abundant”
Application List ways in which Christ has made your joy complete. – provisions – protection – blessings – relationships Thank God for the joy He gives