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Everyone wants to be productive and live a full and fruitful life. We want to know that we add value, that our life is making a difference in the lives of others and that we are leaving our “footprint” on the pages of history. I believe this desire to produce and be productive is actually by design and right in line with Jesus’ will for us. But our productivity must be according to “God’s way”.

This summer we are going to explore fruitfulness and faithfulness and God’s favor. We will see how they all three work together for the good in our lives and help us discover a deeper relationship with Jesus. Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for “Lasting Fruit”. It is also 5th Sunday, a time for us to take Communion together and save for our future with our 5th Sunday Building Fund offering.

It is Membership Sunday! Come help us welcome and pray for our new families who are joining the church!

Communion

Men’s Breakfast

June 26th, 2013

Calling all men!  Join Pastor Scott for an early breakfast beginning tomorrow and every Thursday at 6 or 7 a.m.!

Waffle House @ 6 a.m.

RJ’s @ 7 a.m.

Mensbreakfast

Ice Cream

Bring your favorite Ice Cream topping and join us Wednesday night @ 7 PM!

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Watch or listen to this weeks sermon online at believersstatesboro.com.

John 15:1-9 (NKJ)

Everyone wants to be productive and live a full and fruitful life. We want to know that we add value, that our life is making a difference in the lives of others and that we are leaving our “footprint” on the pages of history. I believe this desire to produce and be productive is actually by design and right in line with Jesus’ will for us.

Jesus Desires For Us To Be Fruitful!

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain (last) … John 15:16 (NKJ)

What is Fruitfulness?

The word fruit, or a variation of it, is used fifty-five times in the New Testament and refers to a variety of results. Each one of the following is considered by God to be fruit: Repentance (Matt. 3:8; Luke 13: 5-9), practicing the truth (Matt. 7:16-21; Col. 1:10), answered prayer (John 15:7-8), an offering of money given by believers (Rom. 15:28), Christ like character, and winning unbelievers to Christ (Rom. 1:13). The fruit of Righteousness (Phil 1:11) and the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

Simply put, fruit is a byproduct. Something that is produce. When you go to the grocery store to buy fruit, what department is it in? The Produce Department. So, the fruit that we are producing is a byproduct of the way we are living our lives. Our lives are producing some sort of fruit, be it good or bad.

The Fruit Doesn’t Lie

The fruit will always reveal what type of tree it is being produced from. It never lies. It identifies!

Matt 7:15-20 … A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit… Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. A good tree will produce good fruit. A bad tree will produce bad fruit. The same is true of us. You cannot tell what is in the heart of a man by looking at him. It is by the fruit produced in his life that you will begin to see a picture of his heart.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the perfect example. We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, so you would expect that with something that powerful living in us, that he will produce some type of byproduct, some type of good fruit in our lives! (Gal 5:22-23) On the contrary those that are living according to their sinful nature and the standards of our society will naturally bring forth something else. (Gal 5:19-21) Let’s focus on the “Good Fruit” and see why Jesus desires for us to produce.

NEXT STEP: Take a garden tour, and honestly evaluate my fruit production.

Fruitfulness Pleases God

“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (Col. 1:10).

Jesus reserved His severest judgment for the unfruitful tree. He cursed it because it did not bear fruit. “Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it and found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ Immediately the tree withered” (Matt. 21:19).

Jesus did not do this to show off but to make a point: He expects fruitfulness!

Does this mean that we can expect the curse of God on our lives when we are unfruitful?

Certainly not, but it does show us the seriousness of God’s expectation that we live fruitful lives that please Him. Though not cursed, the law of sowing and reaping still applies.

  • Unfruitfulness can cause us to lose some of the joy and excitement that comes from walking in the will of God. Unfruitfulness may cause us to miss something special that God wanted us to have. (John 15:6)

· The nation of Israel lost its privilege because of unfruitfulness. (Matt. 21:42-43).

Self-Satisfied and Self-Absorbed

Self-satisfied and self-absorbed, is a trap that we as Believers can fall into.

· Paul proclaimed that the gospel bears fruit and grows. “All over the world the gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been among you since the day you heard it…” Colossians 1:6

· The fruit of a believer is another believer. Paul said he wanted to preach in Rome “…In order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles” (Romans 1:13 NASB). Paul also referred to the first converts at Achaia as the “first fruit of Acharia” (1 Cor. 16:15 NASB).

Fruitful and Blessed

Psalms 1:1-3 paints the perfect picture of a fruitful man. Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

Why Does Jesus Desire For Us To Bear Fruit?

“These things (Fruit Production) I have spoken to you,

that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

The Promise That Comes With Abiding In The Vine.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire,

and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7

“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

The Secret To Productivity

4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him,

bears much fruit; for with out me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

NEXT STEP: Memorize John 15:5

Realize that Jesus is the source! “I am the Vine,” / “You are the branch.” John 15:1-10

“You’ll do fine, as long as you abide in the vine.”

The secret to being productive and bearing much fruit in our lives is abiding in the vine. Having a close relationship with Jesus. Abide – “to stay at or with”; “to continue in” or “remain in”. (NIV uses the word “remain”.) To hang out with Jesus, stay with Him for the long haul, and never leave Him or forsake Him, just as he has promised to never leave or forsake you!

If you remove yourself, the branch, from the vine you can’t do anything for God, or produce any lasting fruit. “…with out me you can do nothing.” But with Him you can bear much fruit. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…” (Also see Phil 4:13) ( “…The battle is the LORD’S.” 1 Sam. 17:47)

KEY QUESTION: Is it your job and responsibility to “Bear Fruit” or is it you job and responsibility to “Abide in the Vine, Abide in Jesus” so that you can bear fruit?

NEXT STEP: Focus on abiding in the vine which will result in fruit.


Life Group and Family Devotional Questions

  1. Fruit is a byproduct of the way we are living our lives. Our lives are producing some sort of fruit, be it good or bad. If you were to give a progress report, what kind of fruit have you been producing?
  1. (Col. 1:10) How did Paul say that we please the Lord in every way? What if we think that we are doing ‘Good Works’ that please the Lord, but our works are not producing any fruit?
  1. (Colossians 1:6) The fruit of a believer is another believer. Are you seeing the fruit of new converts being added to the Kingdom of God? What are you doing anything to help or hinder this growth?
  1. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain (last) … John 15:16 (NKJ) What do you think Jesus meant by fruit that will remain or fruit that will last?
  1. (John 15:4-5) “You’ll do fine, as long as you abide in the vine.” How do you abide in the vine? What can you suggest to others to help them remain in the vine?

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Someone once said, “All God expects from us is Faithfulness?” The problem with this statement is that it is only half-true. Yes, God expects faithfulness, but He also expects fruitfulness. This summer we are going to explore fruitfulness and faithfulness along with God’s favor, and we will see how they all work together in our lives. Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we learn that we are called to bear fruit.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain (last) … John 15:16 (NKJ)

 

Plan to join us at Splash in the boro this Sunday @ 6:30 PM!

Splash in the Boro-June 23

Splash in the Boro-June 23

Summer Break

June 18th, 2013

Summer Break dates

 

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Listen or Watch online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

Training Camp

Proverbs 22:5-6 5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. 6 Start children off on (train up a child in) the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)

Psalm 78:4-7; Matthew 19:13-14

I. The Spiritual Condition of Your Child.

A. The Bible teaches that your child has a SIN NATURE.

Psalm 58:3; Romans 7:18

Children have a natural instinct to disobey and disbelieve God.

B. The Bible also implies that very young children are in a “PERIOD OF INNOCENCE”.

What this means is that even though they are born with a sin nature, God doesn’t hold them accountable because their understanding hasn’t developed.

2 Samuel 12:23

C. Children will eventually reach “THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY”.

I believe there is an age that a child’s understanding develops to the point to where he/she can grasp concepts of right and wrong, sin and punishment, faith and forgiveness.

II. Three Dangers to Avoid when trying to lead your children to the Lord.

A. Don’t presume that your child will come to Christ apart from your influence.

Colossians 3:21; Ephesians 6:4

Trying to influence your children to Christ will drastically multiply their chances of

getting saved.

B. Don’t pressure your child into making a decision he/she is not ready to make.

You must be careful and make sure that your child understands the basic facts of the gospel, and understands:

WHY they need to be saved,

WHO makes salvation possible, and

HOW to be saved.

We must remember that only they can make that decision themselves, and not us for them. We can only encourage them, help them, and instruct them.

C. Don’t push your child away by being a hypocrite.

This one is self-explanatory, and a lot of parents make this mistake. You will push your children away if you don’t back up what you say with what you do.

Next Step: Do my best in trying to influence my children to Christ, and not live a hypocritical life before them.

III. Four suggestions to follow

A. PRAY FOR YOUR CHILD.

James 5:16

You have an obligation to keep yourselves clean and pray that God will save your children. KEEP ON PRAYING UNTIL ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN HAVE COME

TO CHRIST!

B. TEACH THE BIBLE TO THEM.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19(NIV) 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

C. SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH THEM.

1 Corinthians 15:2-4

Here is the gospel in a nutshell: Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to pay for my sins and purchase for me a home in heaven.

D. ENCOURAGE THEM TO RESPOND.

ABC’s of salvation:

A – Admit that you are a sinner and you need to be saved (Romans 3:23)

B – Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to pay for your sins and purchase for you a home in heaven (Acts 16:31)

C – Confess – Call to God in faith and ask Him to save you (Romans 10:13)

Next Step: Pray for my children, teach the Bible to them, share the gospel with them, and encourage them to accept Christ every chance I get.

Will you make a commitment today to get as close as you can to Jesus and do what you can to win your children to Christ?

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Proverbs 22:5-6 5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. 6 Start children off on (train up a child in) the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)

Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 AM as Pastor Mike Oglesby shares with us about how to raise Godly children. We will also have baby dedication. If you would like to have your child dedicated this Sunday call the church office.

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