Presentation on theme: "GROWING SPIRITUALLY Lesson 13: Are You Growing?. Last Week: Developing Self-control Many of our problems are caused by a lack of self-control. The."— Presentation transcript:
GROWING SPIRITUALLY Lesson 13: Are You Growing?
Last Week: Developing Self-control Many of our problems are caused by a lack of self-control. The result may be that you feel: overwhelmed; defenseless; vulnerable; scared or uncertain. Self-control is essential to leading effective and productive lives. In order to develop self control, try the following: Identify your problem and admit to it. Put your past behind you. Challenge your feelings. Believe you can change. Avoid temptation. Trust in God’s power. Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 2
This Week: Are You Growing? This week’s lesson is a “conclusion” to our study on Growing Spiritually. It contains something old and something new. Most important for each of us, is the answer to the question: Are you growing spiritually? Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 3
Are you Productive? These days we are very conditioned to be productive. We work hard to become more productive. Too often though, we are working to be productive at the wrong things. Suppose you received your own personal “productivity report” every day, week, month, quarter, year…How would you measure up? What is God’s definition of a productive life? Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 4
A Fruitful Christian The word “fruit” occurs 56-67 times in the New Testament (depending on which version used). The use of the word “fruit” varies from meaning food to spiritual fruit. We embarked on a study about Growing Spiritually, and learned that in part, growing means bearing fruit (fruit of the Spirit). God wants to see this kind of fruit in our lives. This is His definition of a productive life. Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 5
God uses 3 tools to cause us to grow: Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 6 His Word (2 Tim 3:16-17) Through scripture, God teaches us how to live If you are going to grow spiritually, you have got to get into the Bible (Rom 10:17) His Spirit When we become a Christian, God gives us His Spirit as a free gift (Acts 2:38-39) His Spirit lives in us and will become as much a part of your life as you allow The circumstances of our life Circumstances happen; our lives are filled with events Some are good, some are not so good, and some are very hard God allows these circumstances to occur in our lives
John 15 Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 7 vs 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. NIV The proof that you are His disciple is that you bear fruit. vs 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. NIV God wants us to bear fruit, much fruit.
Cultivate Roots Jer 17:7-8 – 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” NIV If we want to be fruitful, we need to cultivate roots. One reason we need roots: to make it through tough times (a drought). How do you handle the “dry spells” in life? Col 2:6-7 – 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. NIV Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 8
The righteous cannot be uprooted Prov 12:3 – A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. NIV Righteous people can stand the heat of a drought because they have “roots”. In a drought, resources become limited and sometimes in life you have to do without things on which you normally depend. How do you cultivate roots? Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 9
How do you cultivate roots? Ps 1:2-3 – 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. NIV Roots are developed by reading and meditating on God’s Word. It is if we are a tree planted by a stream of water that never runs dry. As a consequence, you are able to bear fruit and never wither. Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 10
Luke 8:11-15 11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. NKJV Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 11
Eliminate the weeds If you want to bear fruit, cultivate roots and eliminate the weeds. What are the weeds in your life? Jesus mentions 3 in Luke 8:14: “Cares” (worries) are a preoccupation with everyday concerns. “Riches” (materialism) refers to the fixation on making money to buy more things. “Pleasures” (entertainment) are the things apart from God that we pursue to bring joy in our lives. These things distract you from Christ. They take our time, energy, money and ultimately they can interfere with us producing fruit. Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 12 Busyness?
Cooperate with God John 15:1 "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. NIV We will get “whacked” on whether we produce fruit or not. Do not be confused by this and cooperate with God. He “cuts off” the branches that bear no fruit. He “prunes” the branches that do bear fruit so that they will bear more fruit. We are to cooperate with God as He tends his garden. Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 13
2 Peter 1:10-13 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, NIV Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 14
Do these things What are the “things” Peter is referring to? These are the qualities listed in vs 5-7. (fruit of the Spirit) If we do them, we will never fall. (vs 10) If we do them, we will receive a rich welcome into Heaven. (vs 11) We are to be reminded of them continuously, even if we already do them. (vs 12) It is “right” to remind each other of them (vs 13) Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 15
Summary: Growing Spiritually Lesson 13 - Are You Growing? 16 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 you are growing, then you should be producing spiritual fruit. In order to sustain our growth: Cultivate roots Eliminate the weeds Cooperate with God Remember that we are to remind one another about these “things” (Spiritual fruit). If we have these qualities: We will never fall. We will receive a rich welcome in Heaven. 16
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Memory verse: Luke 8:15