Sermon Outline

I’m Grown – Growth is in More Than Just One Direction

Pastor Stephen Hayes

Sunday November 20, 2016

 

Theme – Growth is continually happening with God’s children.  Even though we may not be aware of it, we are growing on the inside so that – at the appointed time – we will produce fruit on the outside.

Hidden growth

  • Growth happens in more than one direction.

  • We don’t see substantial growth above the ground until there has been mature growth beneath the ground.

  • Jesus did not officially begin His ministry until He was about 30 years old.  However, we know He was studying and preparing Himself as early as 12 years of age (Luke 2: 41-52).

  • Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding (John 2: 1-11).  Even though Jesus was mature and ready to commence His ministry, He needed a “nudge” from His mother.  This is another example of how becoming mature is a process.

  • Likewise, Jesus’ disciples were being prepared for the Great Commission during their three years of following Jesus.

God makes us grow

  • A well known adage states, “It takes God a long time to do something suddenly.”

  • It is God who enables all things to grow.  God controls the process of growth.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

  • 1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

  • Hebrews 12:2 – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

  • Philippians 1:6 – “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

The Old Testament story of Joseph is an example of continuous growth

  • Throughout his life, Joseph was favored by God in good times and bad times.

  • Genesis 39 begins the story of Joseph in Egypt.

  • It is estimated it was a 13 year period of time from when Joseph was sold into slavery until he became a leader in the Egyptian government.

  • Even though Joseph may not have been aware of it when he was in prison, God was at work preparing for Joseph’s fruitfulness.  Genesis 41 tells of how Pharaoh was having dreams.

  • The long process Joseph endured enabled him to develop patience and perseverance.

The growth analogy of a grape vine

  • Timing – growth requires patience.  It takes time for a grape vine to produce fruit.

  • Pruning – a sign of submission.  New growth does not occur on last year’s vine growth.  We must submit to the pruning process in order to continually be used by God.

  • Sunlight – being positioned under the full glow of God.  There is no shadow with God’s light.  James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

  • Soil – the vine must be planted in the right place (soil) to become fruitful.

  • Ripe – grapes look ripe before they are actually ready to be picked.  It is not until the grape is fully ripe that it is ready to be eaten.  Habakkuk 2:2-4 “Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come.  It will not tarry.”

Our own growth process

  • Genesis 50:20 – “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

  • As we go through our growth process in life, we are to both act and react as would Jesus.

  • We will certainly encounter difficult circumstances from time to time.  At those times we should know that God is still producing growth in us – even though it might not be visible on the surface of things.

Reflective Questions for I’m Grown – Growth is in More Than Just One Direction

  1. Can you give an example from your life where you were growing on the inside, but were not aware of it at the time?

  2. How did that hidden growth help mature you?  Do you believe you developed a greater appreciation for the value of patience during that process?

  3. Are there currently any circumstances in your life where you perceive hidden growth is occurring?  What, do you think, is being developed during this time of hidden growth?