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Below you will find the sermon notes to the message I preached at Beausejour Community Church on the first Sunday in 2012. As a side note, this message is actually the 2000th sermon that have preached since my first message some 20 years ago. If you want to download a printable version of these notes, you can click HERE. Or if you want to listen to the audio message yourself, click HERE. May it challenge you to go deeper, grow stronger, and bear more fruit in this New Year…
SERMON #2000: GO DEEP, GROW STRONG, AND BEAR FRUIT
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Community Church – Jan. 2012)
INTRO TO TOPIC:
I love the New Year – there’s something great about being able to turn that calendar page and start new and fresh. It’s a great time to reflect on the past, and look forward to the new and exciting things the Lord wants to do in our lives in 2012…
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: What resolutions will you make for 2012?
The top 5 resolutions people make last year were:
- · 5. stop smoking
- · 4. make more money
- · 3. improve relationships
- · 2. exercise more
- · 1. lose weight (the number one resolution!)
- Don’t get cynical about making resolutions! It’s a Biblical concept…
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2).
- There may be floods and storms in this New Year, but the Lord is with you!
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
- God is getting ready to do new things in our midst.
- He says: Choose to forget about the former / old things from last year!
- He wants to bring rivers into your desert experiences and bring you refreshing!
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14).
- What is the one thing we need to do at the beginning of this New Year?
- Forget the past, reach forward, and press on!
VISION FOR 2012:
THE BIG IDEA: As we’re heading into this New Season, God is calling us to go deep, grow strong, and bear fruit.
- GO DEEP:
“1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” (Luke 5:1-6).
- Too many Christians are content with a superficial, shallow Christianity.
- When we follow Jesus and launch out into the deep, God will bless us!
- If we want to be strong and bear fruit, we need roots that go deep. Deep into what?
- GO DEEP INTO GOD’S LOVE:
“17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Eph. 3:17-19, NLT).
- We need to press in for a deeper relationship with Jesus. (worship/prayer)
- This is the most important thing we can do in this New Season!
- Paul said his greatest desire was: “That I may know Him.” (Phil. 3:10).
- Do you know and believe the love that God has for you? Do you know that He is for you and not against you, that you are loved by God, and accepted in the beloved?
- A simple message to start this New Year – God loves you, yes – even you!
- GO DEEP INTO GOD’S WORD:
“The rocky soil represents those who hear the message with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. They believe for a while, but they wilt when the hot winds of testing blow.” (Luke 8:13, NLT).
- In this story, Jesus says that those whose roots don’t go deep will fall in times of testing.
- I want to challenge you to go deeper in the Word this year – take the 5 minute challenge!
- GO DEEP INTO OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ONE ANOTHER:
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11).
- God is calling us to go deeper in our relationships with one another. He wants us to love each other the same way Jesus loves us: totally and unconditionally, all the time!
- I want to challenge you to make relationships a priority this year.
- Get involved in home groups this year – where we can love one another, pray for one another, and help each other’s troubles and problems.
- We need godly friends to help us stay strong in the Lord! (fellowship).
I can tell you where you will be one year from now: It all depends on what books you read (including most importantly the Bible), and what friends you have speaking into your life.
- GROW STRONG:
Over 30 times in the Bible God tells us to be strong and courageous. Several times God spoke this to Joshua as he was getting ready to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land:
1:6: Be strong and of good courage.
1:7: Only be strong and very courageous.
1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
- One of the keys to becoming strong is knowing that God is with us always.
- It is evident God wants us to be strong and courageous, but how do we grow strong?
“but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32b).
- If we want to grow strong, it starts by going deeper in our relationship with Jesus.
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
- If we want to grow strong, we need to get into the Word. More on this next week!
- BEAR FRUIT:
Ultimately, God not only wants us to go deep and grow strong – He also wants us to bear fruit.
If you have a healthy, strong tree with roots that go deep, and a trunk that is strong, it will bear fruit. See picture:
What kind of fruit are we to bear?
- THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
- God wants us to become more and more like Jesus every day (discipleship).
- THE FRUIT OF THE HARVEST:
“Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:35-36, NLT).
- God wants us to reach out to people and share the good news with them (evangelism).
- THE FRUIT OF MINISTRY AND SERVICE:
“God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT).
- God wants us to discover and develop our gifts and use them to bless others.
- Are you using your gifts? Are you serving in the church? (ministry).
- We need people to get involved serving in the children’s ministry and worship this year!
CHALLENGE: TODAY IS YOUR ‘BRAND NEW DAY!’
God is calling us to go deep, grow strong, and bear fruit. Let’s forget the past, and press forward into all of the new and wonderful things the Lord has for us in 2012!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/