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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Spiritual Growth Sin Nature Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-07-18

Scripture: Matthew 13:37 ; 1 Peter 1:23

Author: Stephen Kingsley
9

ILLUSTRATION

As the pastor of two churches I've always wanted to have a garden, but somehow most springs I do not find the time to till the soil and get one planted, so out in back of the parsonage is a plot of ground of wonderfully fertile soil, which is growing nothing but a nice crop of weeds.

I used this garden to teach my son an important lesson. The conversation went something like this. "Son, is my garden growing a crop?" 

"No Dad, nothing got planted in the garden again this year."

"You're right, but look again. Is the garden growing anything?"

"Well, yes," came the reply, "It is growing weeds."

"Exactly!" I said, "And, if good things are not intentionally planted in your life, by nature, you too will only grow a nice crop of weeds."

APPLICATION

Since the fall of Adam, every person is born into this world with a sinful nature. That means we are only capable of producing a crop of weeds. However, we can all produce a good crop with the help of Christ, the sower of "good seed." 

"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;"  (Matthew 13:37)

A Starbucks Prayer

Prayer Fruitfulness Devotion

Source: Personal

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-09-26

Scripture: John 15:5

Author: Chris Horton
11

ILLUSTRATION

I volunteered to feed a group of 49 high school boys for four weeks as we toured across the United States.  Needless to say, this required endless visits to Sam's Clubs and Costcos.  And the visits were always rushed, involving multiple carts and a lot of grabbing things off the aisle, moving as fast as I could towards check out. There seemed to never be enough time and there was always the very real possibility that in my rush, I would forget something important and the meal would be a disaster.  

APPLICATION

Sometimes I find myself approaching my prayer life in this fashion.  Always hurried, including as much and as many people as possible, with the nagging feeling that something or someone may be left out; rushing for check out so I can begin the work.

Instead of Costco or Sam's Club, maybe our prayer time should be more like a visit to Starbucks with a friend; a time to develop a relationship.  After all, Christ didn't ask the disciples to pray for Him or a hundred other concerns. Rather, He told them it was the time they spent with Him, abiding with Him, that would bear the most fruit.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Women Compete to Be Bitten by Mosquitoes

Competition Glorify God Fruitfulness

Source: Newser, Posted Jul 15, 2015 11:26 AM CDT

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-07-20

Scripture: John 15:8

Author: By Newser Editors, Newser Staff
2

ILLUSTRATION

Many of us watch what we eat, exercise and refrain from harmful lifestyle choices for the sake of health, happiness and longevity. Now there’s a new motivation for living well: to attract as many blood sucking insects as possible! This sounds pretty bazaar, unless you happen to live in Berezniki, Russia, and you’re vying for the title “Most Delicious Girl” at the annual Russian Mosquito Festival.

The object of this annual contest is to determine which of the scantily dressed women can attract the most mosquito bites in the course of 20 minutes. A recent winner boasted of more than 100 bites. How does one train for such a completion, you might wonder? According the fest’s organizers those who have the best luck, “eat well, don’t drink and don’t smoke.”

APPLICATION

What is your motivation for living well? Most of us live well in hopes of avoiding all of the negative consequences of not living well, i.e. hangovers, unnecessary stress and drama, waste of time and/or money, health related concerns, social standing etc. Did you know that Jesus offers us a new motivation for making wise lifestyle choices? Jesus said, "When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father" (John 15:8).

You may not win the "Most Delicious Girl" award by living to glorify God, but you just might earn the right to stand before Him and hear, "well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21).

The Necessity of the New Birth

New Birth Spirituality Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2015-05-20

Scripture: John 3:7 ; John 3:5

Author: Stephen Kingsley
1

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The Age of Jitsunen

Aging Fruitfulness Servanthood

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-09

Scripture: Psalms 92:12 ; Proverbs 20:29

Author: Bob Greene / Illustration Exchange
1

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The Widow's Gift Multiplied

Giving Fruitfulness Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:7

Author: Raymond McHenry / Illustration Exchange
7

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How Am I Spiritual

Spirituality Spiritual Gifts Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-15

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12: ; Romans 12:6

Author: Editors, HOMILETICS
5

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Moldy Bread In God's Kitchen

Discipleship Spiritual Growth Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-11

Scripture: Ephesians 4:11 ; John 15:1

Author: Muhammed Ali
7

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Ever Fruitful

Fruitfulness Aging Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-19

Author: D. James Kennedy
2

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Fresh and Green

Aging Faithfulness Fruitfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-18

Scripture: Psalms 92:12 ; Isaiah 46:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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