Ephesians 3:16-19 … I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. In addition, I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long, high, and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Mark 4:30-32 …What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth, yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.
Matthew 13:3-9 … As a farmer was scattering seed in his field, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But, when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Proverbs 20:4-6 … Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing. The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?
Introduction: Aaron Bruce’s story – what’s in the cup?
- Reality Check – God’s reality is not your reality.
- Mustard/garden plant – have you boxed in yourself?
- There are people who will plant weeds in your garden.
- Be honest with yourself about your purposes.
- You want faithful people around you – does God have a faithful friend in you?
- Good soil free of rocks.
- Good soil free of weeds.
- Good soil that is well watered.
- Good soil that is well fertilized.
- Good soil that is carefully sown.
- Strong enough to shed the husk and remove the thorns.
- Strong enough to gather strength among the crop.
- Strong enough to hold up when there is a drought.
- Strong enough to hold up when weeds come up.
- Strong enough to hold up in the storm.
- Luke 13:6-9 … A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard: I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree for three years and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil? Sir, the man replied, leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not ….
- Grow the right kind of fruit – Jesus said that you don’t get figs from a thorn bush – your fruit is from your “father”.
- Grow healthy fruit – what are you feeding your fruit?
- Grow healthy fruit – are you letting it mature?
- Grow healthy fruit – allow it to bless others.
- Grow healthy fruit – reproduce yourself.
- Choose to have quality fruit and share it.
- Choose to reproduce what Jesus has produced in you.
- I resolve that good won’t be good’nuf if it can be better, that better won’t be good’nuf if it can be best. This year will not be about another year lived, but how well I lived the year.