Monday - 12/21By Jon Peacock
Read John 15:8“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Response / Questions1. To who's glory does our fruit bearing shine upon?
2. Does this motivate you or demotivate you? Why?
3. What might "much fruit" look like in your life this Christmas? Write them out.
4. The evidence of "much fruit" is the litmus test of who we are truly following and who we truly belong to. How does this understanding of "true" discipleship impact your desire to "remain in Christ"?
5. Through prayer and confession, take 5-10 minutes now to return and remain in Christ.
Tuesday - 12/22By Daniel Larsen
Read Hebrews 13:15-16"Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Response / Questions1. When was the last time you thought of praises to God as “fruit”? As the end of 2015 approaches what can you praise God for in this calendar year? Pray these things back to God as an acknowledgment of His power in your life.
2. The Christmas season has MANY opportunities to “do good” and “share what you have,” however, it is important to remember that it is not by works that we are saved, or brought closer God’s love. These "works" are meant to be byproducts of the joy, faith, and hope we ALREADY have in Christ Jesus. Hold this truth in your heart and each serving opportunity will take on a whole new dimension!
3. Take some time to think about just one area of your life right now that is pleasing God. Name it and write it down on a piece of paper, or in your Bible. Next; is there any one area of your life that may be preventing your relationship with God from being all that it can be? Write that down next to your first thought. Now, ask God into each of those areas in prayer. Pray for continued growth and encouragement for that area producing fruit in your life, and for His presence to invade the area that needs an infusion of His power and grace.
Wednesday - 12/23By Mark Wittig
Read Ephesians 5:8-10 & John 1:4-5“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”
“In him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Response / Questions1. As you think about the light that Jesus brought into the world on the first Christmas, how can you, like Jesus, be a child of the light this Christmas?
2. If someone else looked at your life this week, in the midst of all the Christmas prep and work and family and chaos, what fruit of the light would they see? What can you do today to bear more fruit of the light?
3. Christmas can stir up hard things—it can magnify that which is broken in our world and lives. What area of your life is most dark this year? How can you let the light of Christ shine into that darkness?
Thursday - 12/24By Jessica Bowman
Read John 15:16"You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name."John 15:16 helps each of us get a clear vision of what God has for our lives.
Response / QuestionsWe are not believers by chance. We are purposely loved so that we can respond to His love.
1. I bet you have exciting plans for today! Engage the world wherever God puts you today. Actively live out Christ’s love wherever you go. Where does God want you to 'go' today? (Figuratively speaking, not literally)
God wants to be doing something special through your life.
2. As you are surrounded by family, friends, neighbors, what fruit can God help you bear so you can remain in Him? (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)
When we have His word in us and we are in Him, then we can ask anything. He will hear us.
3. Is there any special thing the Lord has put on your heart to pray for right now?
Friday - 12/25By Tommy Bowman
As Jon shared in his message this week, Jesus wants us to win. We were made to wave the W flag!
As I coached my team of 1st graders this fall in soccer we were encouraged not to keep the score. But were not fooling the kids. They know their is a score. They know there is a winner and a loser. “Coach Tommy…what’s the score?” “Coach…are we winning?” they would ask me. They inherently knew there was more to those games than enjoyment and participation. They knew there was a winner and a loser and they wanted to win.
Likewise in our lives here on earth, we weren’t created for wandering. We were created for winning. In 1 John 5:4 we see that our faith in Jesus puts an eternal check mark in the “W” column. Speaking of our faith in Jesus it says “This is the victory that has overcome the word!”
In 2016, will will you bear much fruit? Will your branches look green from a distance but be absent of fruit up close? Will your branches be thin and bear? And while the love of God pursues you and the work of the Spirit produces fruit - you choose whether or not to grow to be evergreen...
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