Pastor Jon Cobler Church of Living Water Olympia Foursquare Church

February 19/20 2011 Saturday/Sunday

Part 4
TEXT: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV) ← I. ABIDING IN HIM A. Once we are born again, our spiritual life is directly dependent on our relationship with Jesus. ← ← (I am the vine; you are the branches.) ← B. Fruitfulness is the natural result of relationship with Jesus. ← ← (...but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…) ← ← C. The alternative to abiding is fruitlessness. ← ← (As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.) D. The natural result of a Christian whose life is built on the foundation of security and sanctification is spiritual maturity leading to a fruitful life. E. Pictures of fruitfulness: Psalm 37:4; Psalm 23:4; Psalm 1:3; John 14:12; Galatians 5:22–23 ← ← ← ← ← For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV) 1 II. UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GROWTH ← A. We need to trust the wisdom of the Gardener.

1. God has crafted you for success (for fruitfulness) according to His purpose for your life. ← ← 2. EXAMPLE: Certain plants will thrive in some places and wither in others. ← ← 3. Are you willing to adjust your expectations to match what God has created you to be? ← ← Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. ← (John 12:24–26 ESV) ← ← ← ← ← 2. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up. (Psalm 5:3 NKJV) ← a. Direct: place physical objects in a certain pattern for a particular purpose. ← 3. Consistency is crucial for spiritual growth -- It’s better to change your plan than never have one at all. 4. The most important ingredient for every Christ-follower is the Word of God. ← ← a. The nutrients of the Word of God are activated in you when you act upon the Word. ← For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:23-25 ESV) B. We need the proper “nutrients” for growth. 1. You have heard the term “Garbage In, Garbage Out”…so the question to ask is “What are we putting into our lives that will foster spiritual growth?”


← C. We need the proper environment to grow. ← ← 1. Nutrients are vital, but what other support systems are in place? ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← C. Our spiritual growth may happen seasonally, with varying intensity and in different ways. Just remember, if you are alive – you should be growing! 1. Spiritual growth is just like eating -- not every day is a Thanksgiving feast, but if you stop all together, you’ll wither and die. 2. A solid life is a growing life. a. The Naturalist who is most inspired to love God out-ofdoors by being in a natural setting. b. The Sensate who loves God with the senses -- through awareness of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound. c. The Traditionalist who loves God through ritual and symbol. 2. Different ways that people grow spiritually: (from “Sacred Pathways” by Gary Thomas)

d. The Ascetic who prefers to love God in solitude and simplicity. e. The Activist who loves God through contributing toward justice and the enhancement of life in the world. f. The Caregiver who loves God by loving others.

g. The Enthusiast who loves God with mystery and celebration. h. i. The Contemplative who loves God through contemplation. The Intellectual who loves God with the mind.


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