POTLUCK TODAY: Followed by a worship service at Timbers Nursing Home at 2:30 P.M. Please stay — we need you!
FEEDING AMERICA: This past week Richard Hoyt, Bill and Patty Gibson, and Karl and Julie Marcussen spent part of a day working with this truck. They distributed 5,200 pounds of food to people in our area that are in need. We are considering sponsoring this truck with our congregation later this year meaning we provide manpower to be a part of a mobile outreach to distribute food. Let us know what you think of doing this.
SECRET SISTERS is a program for ladies in the congregation to share in getting together, giving each other gifts, sharing interests and projects. Tracey Brewer has had experience with this and would like to know how many women in this congregation would be willing to participate. See Tracey and she will tell you more about this great program.
LAURE MATHIS BRYANT, who is the granddaughter of Harold and Pauline Mathis, is battling cancer. There are flyers on the bulletin board in the lobby about a benefit being held to help the family with financial issues. Take a look at it and contact Pauline who is with us Sunday night and Wednesday night if you wish to help.
INTRODUCTION — God is the vine dresser.
A. One who created the vine, sustains it, prunes it.I. JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE.
B. God created us, provides, sustains us — Acts 17:28.
A. Matthew 7:16-20 — there are lots of other kinds of vines.II. TWO KINDS OF BRANCHES
1. Mohammad, Bahá'u'lláh, Buddha, Marx, DarwinB. We need to be part of the TRUE vine!
2. Political, union, service, recreational
A. Does not refer to denominations or Catholicism.III. YOU ARE A BRANCH. OF WHAT?
1. Church has not been established yet.B. Branches that are part of the vine produce fruit.
2. Other systems fail the fruit test.
3. Satan also produces fruit.
1. Romans 6:19-23C.Unfruitful branches wither and die.
2. Galatians 5:22-23
3. James 4:13-17 — how we use our time is fruit.
4. Mark 16:15 — bringing others to Christ is fruit.
5. Acts 2:41-47 — meeting needs is fruit.
6. The congregation facilitates producing fruit. (Read Revelation 1:10 to 3:22)
1. Having a name is not a branch — Matthew 7:21-23.
2. John 15:6
3. Matthew 25:31-46 — sheep, goats, showy religions
4. James 1:27 — baptism is a beginning, not an end.
A. Political party, business, union, club, recreationBE A CHRISTIAN — BE A FRUITFUL BRANCH!
1. 1 Corinthians 1:12 — how about you? Hagee, Pope, etc.B. Philippians 4:13 — read verses 11 and 12.
2. What kind of fruit do you bear?
C. Romans 11:16-24 — listen to our attitude in Christ.
1. We do not do it on our own.
2. Romans 11:20 — we are grafted in.
3. Romans 6:4-5 — Buried by baptism, planted.
THE BACK PAGE
TODAY'S DISTURBING MESSAGE
If you have heard a lot of sermons in your life you have undoubtedly heard a message on the vine and the branches. The normal procedure in such lessons is to say that we as Christians are supposed to be rooted in Christ, which is the vine from which we get our message.
Much of the lesson on the vine and the branches comes from John 15:1-17 which is the basis of our lesson today. What disturbs me about this message is not the picture of Jesus being the vine and God being the vine dresser and us being the branches, but the picture of the two kinds of branches that are pictured. A good percentage of us here have grown tomatoes. We may not know a lot about grapes, but most of us know that suckers appear on tomato plants. What do we do with the suckers? We cut them off, do we not? Why? Because we know from experience that the suckers take energy from the plant, but they never produce tomatoes. I do not think they had tomatoes in Jesus' time but everyone knew about grapes. Unproductive vines were cut off and discarded. We can understand this example.
Matthew 7:16-19 finds Jesus telling us that unproductive trees and branches will be cut off and burned. We know that the vine (Jesus) is true. If we are not bearing fruit it is not the vine or the vine dresser that is the problem. These passages go on to tell about bad branches. Matthew points out that some of the branches make strong religious claims and Jesus refers to them as evil doers. Matthew 25:31-46 talks about goats and sheep.
John 15:6 tells us that unproductive branches (congregations, individuals) will wither and die and be burned. All around us we see congregations dying. This is a brotherhood issue, and we need to take seriously our mission and reason to exist. Holding services is not bearing fruit according to James 1:27. Study the references in this lesson and pray for our congregation and for each of us and our role in the Lord's work.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Sign saying from www.sayingsforchurchsigns.com
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.