It’s Time to Grow

Description

We are taking this year to go back to the basics and become rooted in Jesus, so we can flourish in life. (Colossians 2:6-7, Ephesians 3:17-20) A tree’s roots draw the nourishment it needs from being rooted in the soil. Our roots draw the truth of God into our lives. The soils represent the ways of God and the roots represent the paths with which we draw God’s ways into our
lives.

Clips

Alright, everybody welcome to Valley Creek Church. We are so glad that you are here with us today. Whatever location you may be at Denton, Flower Mound, Louisville, the venue and extension site watching or listening online somewhere in the world, can we just we welcome each other together for a moment? I know some of you probably think why you make us do that every week, because it reminds you that we are one church that meets at multiple locations, that everything we do is bigger than what you see and we get to in a sense kind of multiply and saturate the city with a hope and the love of Jesus by having different campuses that reach different groups of people in different parts of the neighborhoods and towns and all that stuff, and so today is a really big deal as a church. We get to celebrate as our Denton Campus is launching their fourth service. So Denton Campus, we are so excited for you. We are so grateful that you have been reaching people in the city. In fact, we as a church altogether because here is the deal. There is a whole lot of people that show up at Denton Campus because they were invited by someone who goes to Louisville or who is in the venue or who is in Flower Mound.

It’s one church that meets at multiple locations and so we are excited as we launch our fourth service in Denton because we got to create more space for more people to keep experiencing the hope and the love of Jesus and so for everyone one of you who invites somebody, who goes to an inconvenient service time, who gives, who serves, who is just kind and loving to people on a weekend, I want to say to you thank you. This is what it is all about. This is why we exist. So at all our campuses, give it up for Denton fourth service. Reaching people, changing lives, that’s why we exist. To reach the lost and help them become kingdom leaders, one next step at a time through the hope of Jesus, and so I love what god is doing in this place. And I am so glad that you are here with us today. You see, it was about a year ago towards the end of the fall last year that what we did — we took a whole weekend and we did a church-wide survey.

We spent a whole weekend and we just asked you, handed our survey to everybody that was here and we asked you that kind of a spiritual growth survey. We just say, tell us where you are. Tell us what’s happening in your life. Tell us about your journey with Jesus. Tell us what’s going on. It was multiple choice, you are only supposed to pick one answer. Many of you couldn’t listen to instructions and you picked multiple answers for each one. But the point was as we passed it all out, we just asked you questions about your journey with Jesus and we took all that and we collected it and we put thousands of surveys that you gave back to us. We put all in a big database and we looked at it and we prayed over it and we spend a bunch of time talking to god about it and we kept just saying okay, lord, what are we here. What is everybody saying back to us about where they are as a whole and then what is it that you are speaking into our church in this next year, and so as we got ready to entering into 2018, we looked at those surveys and we listened to god. And we felt like god was inviting us to take an entire year of just going back to the basics.

Based on what you told us about where you were in your life, we felt like god was inviting us to be aware of that and take an entire year to just go back to the basics of what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus. And that’s where this whole concept of get rooted in Jesus so you can flourish in life came from. You see, we said that we didn’t want to identify with Jesus, we wanted to follow Jesus. We wanted to spend an entire year going back to the basics of actually building a relationship with him and we said that just like a tree rest upon, receives from and trust in the soil, we want to be people who rest on, receive from and trust in Jesus. And based on a lot of the survey info, we said if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes it’s easy for our hearts to drift. Sometimes our heart can get caught up not because we are bad and we want to get distracted but just life like it happens and we get distracted and we lose focus and then next thing you know wake up and we are kind of like I don’t know how I really got here. I don’t love where I’m at. I would love to get back on track but I don’t even know how to do that and so we kind of realize all that because the truth is you are rooted in something.

You are resting on, receiving from and trusting in something in your life. The problem is that we often do that with the wrong thing. You can be rooted in money, in your work, in an addiction, in a hobby, in your kids, in sports, in school, in the world, in religion. The problem with all those things is they never deliver on what they promise. So they leave you feeling dry, they leave you feeling weary, they leave you feeling burden. It’s like trying to plant a tree in concrete. It’s going to wither and die. And a lot of us what we realized is we identified with Jesus but we weren’t necessarily rooted in Jesus, so there was a lot of withering that was happening in our life. And so really we started this whole theme. It was the entire year. We pretty much, if you have been tracking with us, we stopped everything. We didn’t think about the future. We didn’t move in any direction. We stopped even as a team talking about what was to come and the days we just we are taking entire year of going back to the basics and we had these two theme versus Colossians 2:6 and 7.

It’s just show then just as you receive Christ Jesus’s lord continue to live in him. Rooted and build up, you roots go down, your life will be built up in him, strengthen in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. And then the second theme verse, the other place in the Bible where the word rooted is used is Ephesians chapter 3 where Paul praised and he says, I pray that you being rooted and established in love. He says, I pray you would be rooted and established in Jesus. That you together with all the sense would have the power to grasp how wide and how deep and how long and how high is the love of god for you that you would know this love that surpasses knowledge that you would be filled to the measure of the fullness of god, that god would do measurably more than you could ask or imagine. And we say, let’s take a whole year to do that.

And I know some of you when we started that you are like, yeah, it’s cool, it will be a cool sermon series in January and we’ll see what happens by March. Well, that’s September baby and we are still going because — I don’t why I said that but — because we knew that’s what god was asking us to do. So in a sense if you go to the first image for me, here is what we said. We just said you need to take all verses in the Bible. Matthew 6:33, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and everything else will be added unto you. Psalm 37:4, delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Proverbs 3:5 and 6, trust in the lord with all your heart and all your ways, lean out on your own understanding, acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. In other words, if you get rooted in Jesus, you will flourish in life. And that has been the focus. So we started in January and I realized that lots of you have joined us since then. We started in January and we talked about five roots. Five pathways of connection. These are not religious exercises. They are pathways of connection because god invites us to a relationship.

And so let me just remind you what they were. The first one is engage the scripture. Notice, it doesn’t say read the Bible because you can completely miss Jesus and read the Bible at the same time. The point is to engage the scriptures. We don’t work on the scriptures, the scriptures work on us. They are living and active. We put them inside of us and they begin to change us from the inside out. And we said the reason most of us don’t like to engage the scripture is because we think the Bible is the story of what we have to do and we forget that it is a story about what Jesus has done. The whole way you engage the scripture is not from the self-focused perspective but a Jesus-focused perspective. What does this tell me who he is and what he has done. And so all year we focused on engaging the scriptures. We created rooted journals that you can still get. They are available on the café every weekend. Every month we have given you a fresh reading plan to say read a chapter a day and if you get behind, who cares, just start on the next day so you have a place to engage. Every Monday morning that every campus all year including the holiday Mondays, we have a rooted experience where you can come and engage the scriptures with other people and grow.

So we did it. We were serious about it. And the second root is talk with god or prayer. And notice it doesn’t say talk to god because the point of prayer is not just throwing the bunch of things up to god. The point is having a conversation with someone who loves you. And we said that prayer, it’s not about how you pray, it’s about who you are praying to, your Father. The prayer is not the last resort, it’s a lifestyle. It’s conversation not a religious ritual and because of what Jesus has done, we can walk right in and talk to go and he answers our prayers. And so what we have done all year is we have added fresh prayer points into our services and we have taken more time on the weekend to be engaged with prayer and we have our rooted experience every Monday where you can come with other people and pray. And then there was goodly relationship. And we said that this is like the tap root. It’s the longest one because if you get this one right, the rest of these will come and we said godly relationships are not Christian buddies, they are people who you talk about, learn about and become like Jesus with. No one really cares if you have a Christian body. We care if you have a godly relationship in your life that’s on a journey of following Jesus with you.

We said we were made for godly relationships that it’s in godly relationships we experience the tangible presence of Jesus and they keep us grounded and growing. When your root is tied in with some other people in this place that keeps you anchored no matter what happens, you won’t blow over. Proverbs 13:20, he who walks with the wise becomes wise and companion of fool suffers harm. Your roots are wrapped around somebody. The question is, are they wrapped around the right people? Because whoever they are wrapped around, you are growing in the same direction as that person. And so what did we do all year? We created lots of space for you to connect with different people around here and start building those relationships. The fourth root is just simply meet the needs you see are serving. We said that serving is the pathway to greatness. If you are humble yourself, god will lift you up. We said serving isn’t what we do, servant is who we are and Jesus takes our serving personally.

When we serve somebody, he says we do it literally as onto him and so every month we have had a serve-the-city day at the next step center. You just saw the video. You can jump into any point in time. We have serve teams, all that stuff to give you space and then the last one is invest your time, hardest root. Time is the god of our age. We worship time more than anything else. You say, I don’t worship time. Anything that is inconvenient or outside of our comfort zone, we quickly push away because we say we don’t have the time. But you will always make time for what you value. I mean in the first century church, Acts 2:42 says, they were devoted to the apostles teaching, scriptures; to the fellowship, godly relationships; to prayer, talking with god; and breaking of the bread, serving one another. I probably got those backwards in the order but you hear what I am saying. All four of those and it says they were devoted. The word devoted means to continue to do something with intense effort despite difficultly.

In other words, it says because they were willing to invest their time even though it wasn’t comfortable or convenient. What happened? They engage scriptures, talk with god, build godly relationships, certainly met the needs they see and so they flourished in life. It is impossible. It is impossible for a tree to flourish it if it’s rooted one hour a week. Now let me say it nicely. Some of you really expect to grow on your journey with Jesus by being here every other week for an hour. Just think about a tree. Put a tree in soil every other week for an hour. What’s going to happen to it? That’s why Jesus speaks to us in metaphors and pictures. He is not trying to shame and condemn us. He is trying to give us a visual so we actually understand what’s happening in our spirit because he wants us to flourish. You see, this is the basics. You say, what’s the basics? This is the basics.

Like how are you going to follow Jesus if you don’t know what he said, if you don’t talk to him, if you don’t hang out with other people who like him, if you don’t serve the people he serves and if you don’t want to give any time to him. Let me say like this. How can you have a relationship with anybody in your life if you don’t listen to what they say, have a conversation with him, hang out with the people they like, serve them or invest your time in them. So this is the basics. So we started this year and we got this going and the root started growing and your roots are growing. That’s what’s happening. We put all the effort into it and they are growing and then what we did is now we are here in the second half of the year and go to the next slide for me and what we have done is we have now talked about the layers of the soil. We have said, okay, those are the roots that we’re supposed to put down but what are we actually trying to draw into our life? We said the first thing is just simply forgiveness. In Jesus, you are completely forgiven and fully free. Say, I am forgiven. Say like you mean it. Yeah, you are. Your past no longer finds you and when you understand you have been forgiven, it changes how you live.

And when you believe you have been forgiven, all of a sudden you have a faith to believe that you are righteous. Righteous simply means that in Jesus you have right standing with god. Say, I am righteous. Say it again. Yeah, you are. It means your relationship with god is forever right because of what Jesus has done. He doesn’t just forgive your past, he completely restores your life. And when you understand you are righteous, it changes how you live. When you start to believe that you have a faith to believe it. You have god’s favor. You see, in Jesus you have the favor of god. Say, I am favored. Say it a second time. Yeah, you are. Because of what Jesus has done, god is supernaturally working on your behalf. He is releasing his goodness into your life and has set in motion, which means god is not just with you, he is actually for you and when you start to believe you have the favor of god, it changes how you live. And when you get that, you get to the deepest root and the deepest root is love. In Jesus, you are fully known and fully loved. Say, I am loved.

Say it one more time. Yeah, you are. Yeah, you’re. And that’s the deepest root. In Jesus, you are fully known and fully loved. Not only does god love you, he actually likes you. And when you understand that, it changes how you live. This is the basics. Some of you have said, wow, this series have been so impactful in my life. You know why it’s impactful? Because it’s basics. It’s not theological jargon. It’s not looking for some random passage in the middle of revelation or Ezekiel, it’s the basics. And it’s the stuff we walk away from because we think I got that already. Really? Because if you got that, you’d live totally different. If I got that, I’d live totally different. Here is my question, how are you really going to follow Jesus if you don’t believe you are forgiven, been made right with him and have his favor and live in love? This is the basics.

And if you have missed any of those nine messages — five in four — go back and watch them online. And you say, so how does this all work together? Go to the next slide for me. Let me just show you like this. Here is what I want you to think. When a tree is rooted in soil, what are the roots doing? The roots are going down into the ground to draw what it needs into its life. When you use these roots, what are you doing? You are sending them down into the life of Jesus to draw forgiveness, righteousness, favor and love into your spirits so you actually believe it, so actually you start to live it. Psalm 25:4 says, show me your ways and teach me your paths. These are the ways of god. These are the paths of god. This is god’s way. You say, that’s crazy. It is crazy. It’s crazy that god’s way is that in Jesus I am fully forgiven, been made right with god, have his favor and then loved not because of what I do but because of what Jesus has done. That’s his way.

So First Corinthians 1:18 says, for the message of the Cross is foolish to those who are perishing. But to those of us who are being saved, it’s the power of god. It’s his way and these are his paths. These are the paths of how we draw this stuff into our lives. Matthew 4:19, come follow me and I will make you. If you follow me and walk in my path, you will draw my ways into your life and you will flourish more than you could ever dream. Just think about it, just take forgiveness. You engage scriptures. What’s happening? You are hearing about god’s forgiveness for you. You don’t need to hear anymore about the power of sin in your life. You need to hear about the strength of Jesus’s forgiveness in your life. You talk with god, what happens? You confess, lord, I messed up and he says I know and I love you. Look at my son. This is what he did for you. You have godly relationships. They say, hey, bro, I know you messed up but that doesn’t define you anymore. You start serving other people.

All of a sudden you lay down your life for them and it reminds you Jesus laid down his life for me and it takes a whole bunch of time to actually start believing that. Does that make sense for you? That’s why these things matter and that’s how it all works together. You have to have roots to draw the truth of god’s love into your life. And because we don’t have roots, we don’t really believe this stuff. You say, but I don’t want to read the Bible. Then don’t read the Bible, engage the scriptures. It’s a great idea. I don’t want to talk with god. Why? Ask yourself why? Because there is probably a faulty belief system in there that one of these is often, you think he is mad at you or you didn’t come through in the way you wanted to last time. Whatever it is. Listen these are his ways, these are his paths. So now what? So now what? That’s a lot.

I was reading through my notes this week for all year like just looking, I was like, Jesus, we talked a lot about rooted in you and flourishing in life. You say I missed half of them. Go back and watch them online. They are all on the website. Now what? Now it’s up to you to put some action with your faith. See in the kingdom of god, faithfulness matters and commitment counts. And I don’t know about you but I have been growing this year. The singular focus of reading the chapter a day with all of my friends that are reading the same chapter and talking with god differently than I have and having all the relationships where you just get real with god and get real with people and just serving other people and I’m like, I am feeling myself stronger than I have been. I am seeing fruits show up in my life. I am watching sin patterns of different things in my life be broken off and you are like thinking, I don’t even try to get rid of that and it’s just gone. Why? Because that’s what happens when you get rooted in Jesus.

And you say, well, how do I know if I am actually growing? Well, it’s really easy, just look at the fruit. This is the only new thing I am giving you today and I love for you to write these down. These are five things that you can just look at to say, am I growing? Are my roots growing? Here is what you need to look at. First thing is this, are you growing in the fruit of the spirit? If you are getting rooted in Jesus, you will be growing in the fruit of the spirit. What’s that? Galatians 5, love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. In other words, it’s the character of Jesus. If you get rooted in Jesus, the fruit of Jesus starts to show up in your life. And so if you want to know if your roots are growing, is there more love, more joy, more patience, more self-control? I am not saying, are you perfect? I am saying, can you see growth in the fruit of spirit? Second thing is if you are growing, you are growing in your love for god. Love the lord of god with all your heart, mind, soul and just try and listen to me when your root starts going down into Jesus, and you realize who he is and what he has done, you can’t help but love god back.

First John 4:19, we love because he first loved us. When you receive that love, oh my goodness, you just want to give it back to him. The third thing is, are you growing in your love for people? If your roots are growing, you are growing in your love for people. Why? Because if you are getting rooted in Jesus, you start to love what Jesus loves. Jesus loves people, man. John 13:34, new command I give you, love one another. As I had loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all people will know you are my disciples. In other words, he says, if you are loving other people, the fruit of being rooted in me is so evident in your life that everyone knows you trust me. We say, I want people to know I trust Jesus because I call myself a Christian. That’s not how Jesus says we know. None of us can judge each other salvation or heart posture but we are called by Jesus to be fruit inspectors and he says that we know who really follows him by a growing love for people.

So all of a sudden you become passionate about the mission of god because that’s what he is passionate about. The fourth thing is you will grow in your generosity. If you are really getting rooted, you can’t help be generous. You say why? Because Matthew 10:8 says, freely you have received, freely give. Think about a tree. A tree freely receives from the soil, it bears fruit and then it gives all that fruit away. A tree doesn’t eat its own fruit. We spend all our life trying to grow fruit to keep it in our bushel. You are a tree. You can’t eat the fruit. So what does god say? He says, freely have I given you everything, your time, your talent, your treasure, your finances, your gifts, your passions, your abilities. I have given all of that to you and when you start to believe it’s from me, guess what, you start to generously give it away. Because you know the more you give, the more you grow. Listen, a tree can’t keep growing more fruit if it’s already has too much growing on it. So lot of us sit around there and we are like why isn’t my life growing and god is saying, hey, man, because you got to create some space for me to grow new clusters. But we are like, nah, I don’t want to give it to that guy. I know but that guy probably needs it. Remember when Zacchaeus met Jesus, they go and have this encounter in his house because Jesus liked him, didn’t just love him. They hung out together and it’s great conversation. First thing Zacchaeus does is he stands up and he says, look, lord, here and now I give half of everything I have to the poor. You’re like that dude is crazy. Yeah, he was crazy in love with the grace of god. Generosity, is the only normal response to god’s grace.

It is impossible to truly receive grace and not be generous. And then the last one is that you will just grow in your obedience. If you sat here at all during this message series and you thought, man, John is saying Jesus did all the stuff, we don’t have to do. Yeah, he did because the Bible says. So you can read that on your own. But here is the reality. When you get rooted in Jesus, it changes how you live and you will become obedient to the ways of god why, because Titus 2 says grace teaches us how to say no to ungodly living and worldly passions and live up right, self-controlled lives in this present age. In other words, it says the grace of god says, I don’t want to live in the ways of the world anymore. I now want to live in god’s way. John 14:15, if you love me, you will obey my commandments. He is not saying, prove your love for me. He is saying hey, when you start to understand how much I love you, you will love me back and it will be easy to obey what I ask you to do.

Wow. We are drawn by grace and we are changed by grace. Anybody, whoever tells us you that grace is just freely get what you want and go live your life doesn’t understand grace. Grace always changes you. Because why? Because you went from being rooted in concrete to rooted in the soil. Are you with me on that? Let me tell you one more story that we have kind of used in the pattern of this series. You see, the truth is for all of us. You can be rooted in religion or you can be rooted in Jesus. Let me tell you the difference. One day Jesus goes to a Pharisee, a religious guy’s house. His name is Simon. And Simon throws a dinner for Jesus and some people and in this dinner party and it’s all happening and while this party is happening, in walks this woman who used to be a prostitute. And she has this alabaster jar of oil, this expensive perfume that she has got from her previous lifestyle.

And she comes in and she finds Jesus and she goes right to him and she breaks the jar on his feet and she weeps over his feet and kisses them and wipes them with her hair. She is just pouring out this extravagant love for god. And while that’s happening, Simon is looking at this woman and it says he thinks to himself if Jesus was a prophet he would know what kind of woman she is that she is a sinner. I have two questions for you. First question is, how did that woman know where that house was? Second question for you is, how did Simon know she was a prostitute? Could it be that she had been there before under the cover of darkness? It’s amazing how fast we want to throw stones at other people because we are terrified they are going to throw them at us. And he has bad theology. He says if he knew what kind of woman she is that she is a sinner.

Actually, Simon, she was a sinner but she had an encounter with a grace of Jesus, so now she is the righteousness of god in Christ Jesus. So Jesus looks at Simon and he says Simon — he knows what he is thinking — he says, Simon, there is two people and they both owe a money lender certain amount of money. One guy owes 50 and one guy owes 500. The money lender just has his day where he just decides to be super kind and gracious and cancels the debts of both of them. Which one will love him more? Simon says, the one who owed 500. He said, you are right. So you see this woman. I know you have. You see this woman. I came to your house bro. You didn’t give me water for my feet, you didn’t give me a kiss on my cheek and you didn’t give me any oil for my head. But since she has come in, she has not stopped wiping my feet with her tears. She has not stopped kissing my feet and pouring out fragrance upon me and she has not stopped honoring me with everything that she has. He says I tell you. He who has been forgiven much loves much.

But he who has been forgiven little loves little. The difference between being rooted in religion and being rooted in Jesus is understanding how much you have been forgiven. When you understand that you are a sinner in need of a savior, lost and broken, dying on your own, left to the darkness and dysfunction of this world and your Jesus came for you, you can’t help be like that woman. But when you are religious person, you sit there and you want to judge her and you want to look really good on the outside. See, that’s the problem with religion. Religion makes you look really leafy, but in Jesus you become really fruitful. Religion looks good from a far but it is nasty ugly up close. We’re not sure what to do with Jesus from afar but he looks better and better the closer we get. He who has been forgiven much loves much.

And so if you are struggling with this whole thing, just go back and remind yourself what he has done and it sets you down to this place where you start receiving his love and all of a sudden, boom, you flourish in life. You see I have no idea where you are? I don’t know what’s going on in your life and we can get so confused about this Jesus and what he should do in my expectations and all that stuff. Here is what I know. You cannot rush what god is doing in your life, but you need what god is doing in your life for the days ahead. That has been a word for our church all year. Next year will be the greatest year in the history of Valley Creek Church. Hang on, it’s okay. Hang on. God’s already starting to show us what it is. He is starting to open up the future force. It’s going to be the greatest year because I think it’s going to be the greater year in your life. But you are going to need the root structure to support what god wants to do or it will crush you. That’s why he is gracious and kind to you. You see, if you think about Jesus, what did Jesus do? Jesus came, laid down his life, died, was buried and rose again.

So even Jesus got rooted so he could flourish in life. And how he says, come lay down your life. If you want to follow me, pick up your cross. If you want to live, die. Die, die to yourself, be buried in him. And he will raise you again. This is why baptism next week are such a big deal and if you have been saved but you have not been baptized, why would you not want to get buried in Christ so you can rise to new life in him? You see, here is what’s fascinating to me about the whole thing. Whenever we think about Jesus and journey and scriptures, we always think about it individually. We think me and Jesus and that’s fine and it’s really important and it’s a part of the thing but god always thinks people. We think individually, god always thinks communally.

What I am trying to tell you is those two verses are theme verses for the year. They weren’t written to individuals. They were written to churches. So think about this. Here is what he is saying in Colossians 2, so then just as you church received Christ Jesus’s lord, you together continue to live in him. You all get rooted and built up in him, strengthen in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. Ephesians 3, the root it has — he is not writing that to an individual. He is not writing that to one person who is in a broken marriage or one person who has got an addiction or one person who is confused about life. He is writing that to the entire church at Aphesis, to a people and he says, I pray that you church would be rooted and established in love and would you have power together with each other to actually grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that’s an experience, it’s not knowledge, that you together would be filled to the measure of the fullness of god and that he would do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine and you as a people not in you as an individual.

Here is what he is trying to say to us. If you get rooted in Jesus, you will flourish as a church in the city. Most of us going to this year with — if I get rooted in Jesus, my marriage will get better. It will, but that’s not the point. The point is for us to get rooted together, to grab each other’s roots and pull them down and say this is who we are. This is who we are. We are a people that engage the scriptures and talk with god and build godly relationships and meet the needs of those around us and we invest everything we got because this is the only thing that matters in our 80 years on this earth and we believe we are forgiven. We believe we have been made right. We believe in his favor. We believe in his love and we are doing this together. We are going down so that we might come up not so that my life will be better but so the world will be better.

Listen, you can hear the passion in me because this is the point of the entire year. The point of the entire year is not you. I know and it’s not me. It’s us. Getting rooted so we can feed the world the fruit of the kingdom. If we Valley Creek, we get rooted in Jesus, we as a church will flourish in the city and the city needs our fruit. And when they eat the fruit that you grow by getting rooted In Jesus, the seed of Jesus is in it. When it gets inside of them and the light turns on and the sprout grows. And then they grow fruit and they pass it on and they pass it on. So it’s why the Bible calls the church of field.

He calls us a field. You say I just want to be an individual tree. No. Who cares about one individual tree that bears fruit? I want a field as far as I can see flourishing with fruitfulness. It’s a difference between an orchard and pet tree you have in your backyard. Let’s call it that. It’s at pet. You just — you know how it shows what are you doing with it. Half kill it most of the time you know like whatever, take it for a walk whatever you do. Want an orchard because the city needs it. Flourishing in life is not about you, it’s about living the life that Jesus lived, together in a world right now that’s so independent and rebellious and autonomous and everyone wants their own little Instagram business their own thing, checking out from everyone else around them, all that stuff is fine. The problem that’s not find is then we then apply that to the church in the kingdom of god. We are a people.

Church at Colossae, church at Aphesis, Valley Creek Church, get rooted in Jesus that you as a people may flourish in life. So I don’t know — I don’t know where you are? I know that it’s September. We got four months left. Maybe you haven’t started, maybe you have quit. It doesn’t matter. He is the god of new beginnings. Start today. It doesn’t matter how you started. You says bros and my first time here, well, welcome, it’s a great day to start walking with Jesus. It doesn’t matter how you start it. It matter how you finish and the next four months are going to be the four months of explosive growth in your life if you just lean into the space. I don’t know what your next step is. Some of you it’s salvation. It’s to finally say I surrender to Jesus and what he has done for me. Some of you it’s baptism and it’s next week and if that’s you, go to the info center as soon as service is ordered.

Be buried in Jesus that you may rise to new life. Some of you it’s to actually start one of these roots. Some of you, you quit and it’s time to pick it back up. Some of you, it’s to give for the first time and say I got fruit in my life but I never give it away. Maybe that’s why I’m not growing. Maybe it’s to go to the freedom gathering, get in the group, join the team. Maybe it’s just a come-up after service and humble yourself and say could you please pray for me because I need some help. I’m not even sure with what. Watch what god will do. John 15:5, if a man remains in me and I am him, he will bear much fruit. I am the vine, you are the branch. So get rooted in me and you will flourish in life because without me you can do nothing, but be barren, weary and dry.

So close your eyes for me for a moment. And let me just ask you, man, what do you think that the god wants to say to you today? What you are saying to us is Valley Creek church, I love you and I want you to get rooted in me so you can flourish as a people in a hurting and broken city. But since we are a people, we are made up of individuals. So what does he want to say to you? Maybe today is your day to put your faith in Jesus and say, Jesus, I surrender, I receive your forgiveness, righteousness, favor and love, set me free. Maybe today, your next step is to say, lord, I am going to take that step of faith and be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Maybe he is saying to you today to just trust him, to seek him first to watch what he will do. Listen, this is why we do community because no one follows Jesus alone. We walk together. Roots wrapped around one another. When you are almost about to blow over, it’s the root of the person next to you that pulls back down and anchors you and say no, I got you, I got you. The world didn’t take you down. That storm is not knocking you out. That thing is not breaking you down. I got you because I know when I am going down, you got me because Jesus has got us all. So lord Jesus, today we declare that we receive your commission to get rooted in you that we may flourish as a church. Individuals united by the spirit of god submitted to the lordship of Jesus on mission to change the world that we may flourish in this city. And give the fruit of kingdom of god to our husbands and wives and sons and daughters and parents and friends and coworkers and employees and neighbors and everyone we come in contact with. May we be the most fruitful people that we can possibly be and share your love with the world. We love you Jesus, supernaturally bring it to pass. In your name, we pray. Amen.

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