Anticipating Your Personal Breakthrough
John 15:1-5 (NIV) 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
What gets in the way of “change”?
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (CEV) You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.
James 5:16 (NLT) Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT) Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
If vine branches were human lives, what pain would be associated with pruning? What tools? What fruit?
What are the primary things that get in the way of change for you? One of the items Shane listed? Something else? Share this with your small group and ask for their support in prayer to make lasting changes with Jesus.
In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul talks about giving up our old way of life. Other translations say to “put off” or “throw off” the old self and to “put on” a new life. How do we go about putting off and putting on? Can the Christian ever attain a complete transformation in this life?
What are the positive and/or negative motivations which prompt you to live a Christian life? Where do you feel you are making progress in your Christian life?
Kevin gave three specific areas to focus on when you want to grow and make changes. On the inside blank page of your notes, write out what you’ll do in each of the three areas. Be specific – list steps you’ll take, who you’ll talk to, how you’ll know you’re making progress. Turn it all over to God and ask for his help as you take steps toward being the man/woman he’s calling you to be.
Parents: This week leading up to New Year’s Day is a great time to help your children set some goals. One way to do this is to read Matthew 12:30-31 and choose at least two areas that they will focus on. Work together to set age-appropriate goals or if that’s not right for your stage of life, set family goals. Some examples: soul – I’ll feed my soul by reading my Bible or a Bible story three days a week; strength – I’ll choose healthy snacks so I grow strong to serve Jesus; relationship – our family will speak kind words to one another as a way to honor Jesus.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.
In messages liberally sprinkled with humor and filled with straight – and sometimes tough – talk, Kevin reaches out to people with God’s message of grace and love.