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There's Life in the Tree 11-16-02 First sermon Preached at the River

Notes & Transcripts

There’s Life in the Tree

11/16-17/02

Prayer

Ps 1

      I want to be that tree -- don’t you?

Praying recently with pastors

Talked about how the Season over America has changed -- How many of you know . . . . .

      •     Stock Market/Economy

      •     Terrorism/War

      •     Iraq

In the natural things are different

We began praying 'Lord, What season are we in?’ in the Spirit

     

Why is that an important question?

      •     We want to be like tree planted -- bearing fruit every season

      •     How many know -- go thru seasons in our walk

      •     When you Know your season -- it’s FREEING

      •     You understand how to INVEST for the next season

      •     As pastor -- knowing the condition of the sheep

      •     Understanding what are the battles/challenges we face in this season

Asking Lord what season

     

      Felt Like he said, we’re in a winter season

I started to meditate on that -- Lord,  what does that mean?

So tonight/this morning I Want to talk about the winter season

What happens to tree

      •     What was lush looks barren

      •     Leaves are gone

      •     What looked like a rich bouquet is now a lamp post

     

But Even though it can look bare

                        BUT there’s LIFE in the tree!

In fact, winter season is a good thing

      •     season of rest

      •     Preparation for spiring

There’s a Purpose of season

      •     Ecllesiastes

      •     To prepare you for the next season

      •     There is a purpose behind the season, if it’s short circuited, it can be disastorous.  Ex: Premature spring -- freeze your buds off.

      •     foundational to launching us into our destiny.

Also interesting, Seasons doesn’t start by the calendar

      •     It starts when it it’s ready to start and finishes when it has accomplished what it was intended to accomplish.

     

(I want to walk in the FULLNESS of time -- not premature/late)

There are things that are AWESOME about every season -- including winter

There are things that I LOVE about winter:

      •     I love snow --

      •     FIRST snow is always the best

      •     Aren’t you glad God created snow?  Could have been ice-cubes.

DON’T like extended snow

      •     It wears on you

      •     Snow in March or April is a real bummer.

Doesn’t mean we don’t need grace within winter

      •     Smudge Pots

      •     Need to light your Holy Spirit smudge pots

      •     Body of Christ needs to be a safe place for people in winter.

So how does winter work in our lives?

     

1.    It EXPOSES What’s ALREADY THERE.

      •     Leaves gone on tree

      •     When it’s bald . . . . .

      •     See the structure of the tree clearly

      •     See the 'holes’ where the branches aren’t quite strong enough

      •     See the tangled places that overlap and need to be pruned

      •     See things hidden in summber by leaves

Relationships are a place that become exposed

Relationally

      •     Husband/Wife --- Honeymoon over -- toilet paper roll

      •     People you work with

      •     Ministry Relationship

            *     Outreaches situations: That person didn’t rinse toothpaste out of sink.  They testify all God’s done -- witness like a maniac -- pray the paint off the side of a barn -- yet don’t rinse sink.  Hypocrites -- How can they minister?

      •     Folks -- I don’t mbean to burst you bubble -- we all have feet of clay.

      •     Turn neighbor, “I got dirt feet!”

      •     We ALL do!

      •     Over years in ministry -- had ministry heroes -- incredible men and women of God.  Got close to many -- all got feet of clay.  WE ALL DO!

      •     We’re HUMAN -- that’s how life works.

      •     Winter just exposes what’s already been there

II Winter shows us new places where God wants to heal us and set us free

Winter will expose things in your personal life

      •     Layers of healing -- God peels back new layer -- WHAT?  That’s there?!?

      •     See areas where there are holes

      •     Things that you managed all by yourself, become obvious

      •     LORD!  This is an emergency!  You need to come down here right now and fix this.  I just discovered . . . .

      •     As if God didn’t already know?

      •     It’s merely sesason for next level of healing.

SHOCK! ! ! ! !

      •     Hole in branches -- relationships

      •     Panic: turn on one another

That 'hole’ was there all along -- leaves just covered it up

Is 8:12-14a "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear wht they fear dn do not dread it.  The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread, and HE will be a SANCTUARY” NIV

False conspiracy strategy of enemy --

      •     Relat

      •     Parenting -- overreact -- rebellion --

      •     Teacher -- Gault

When strutural needs -- holes in relationship -0- deficits in our lives revealed . . . .

****

Nation

      •     borders exposed

      •     Maybe everyone in world doesn’t love America

      •     Economy --

      •     Places in our foundations that need healing

     

Winter exposes real needs in our lives -- places we need to shore up -- prune -- take care of

DON’T blame branches

What do we do in a place of winter?

      John 15

      ABIDE in vine

Why?

III Winter Reveals the FAITHFULLNESS of God on a deeper level than we’ve ever known

There’s LIFE in the tree

Sure the leaves may be gone -- fruit’s just a memory -- you felt so complete -- but now you LOOK LIKE A COAT RACK

     

      But There’s LIFE in the tree!

Maybe you had a clear vision of what things were 'suppose’ to be like in your life.  Maybe there’s a place of a majore unaswered prayer -- and it’s left a hole in your life. 

Sure the leaves are gone -- but There’s LIFE in the tree!

Singlehood

      Disappointment in relationship

Bro so-=s spiritual hero let me down

Maybe you’re like peter

      No one quite as zealous -- the leaves of your zeal and commitment filled the tree

`     no one quite as obvious when he sins

            And now you did it -- you blew it in front of others. 

      Your branches might look bare -- your dream may have died -- but There’s LIFE in the tree!

      I don’e understand Jesus, what you’re doing right now -- I feel the exposure and vulnerablity of winter

            But I’m holding on to YOU cuz There’s LIFE in the tree!

** Maybe God’s showing you a part of your foudnation that’s not based on Him, but other’s approval -- that’s what God did for me -- realize you’re missing something -- don’t look to branches -- look to the tree cuz There’s LIFE in the tree!

     

Temptation: Be a 'Snow Bird’ Move to Arizona

Problem: Trees don’t grow in Arizona -- only cactus

      We need to abide in vine -- connect to the trunk of the tree There’s LIFE in the tree!

Ps 1:

      •     Temptation in winter to look to the advice of ungodly -- look to world for perspective -- stock market -- public opinion for answers.

      •     The Way the world THINKS

      •     'Stand with sinners’ -- NKJV says "stands in path of sinners”

      •     Path --- direction -- literally the WAY the world ACTS.

      •     'Sits in seat of scornful’

      •     Easy when exposed to choose to look at things through scornful eyes.

      •     Judging others

      •     Judging ourselves

      •     Scorn is the OPPOSITE of faith.

BUT his delight is in the law of the Lord

      •     Law of the Lord -- delighting in that is sometimes a hard concept for us because we have NT New Covenant

      •     Need to remember that what God had revealed of Himself with theOT 0-- was Himself . . . Etc develop

      •     Law: ways of God -- reveals CHARACTER of God -- What He’s LIKE

Character of God

      •     Yes it’s winter -- but there’s LIFE in the tree

      •     I know MY God -- His nature -- character

      •     I’m not going to worry about the advice of world -- I’ve got the ear of the KING -- He knows my need -- He knows my heart.

      •     I’m not walking in path of sinners.  Not gonna go the direction of world -- SURE it’s winter -- It might look warmer in Arizona -- but I’m sticking right here -- there’s LIFE in the tree.

      •     I’m not gonna sit with scornful -- yes, the winter testsme -- yes, it’s cold and things in my life that I’ve loved may look dead -- but they’re not -- I’m not gonna complain about it -- slash at tree -- I’m gonna abide -- because there’s LIFE in the tree

      •     My delight is going to be in the law of the Lord -- In His character -- His ways. I’m gonna trust HIM.

      •     I know His characte -- I know His ways

      •     It may be winter, but there will be another spring

      •     So until then, I’m gonna abide.  Istickin right here because There’s LIFE in the tree!

FINALLY,

Jesus Knew there was life in the tree

Jesus HUNG on the tree

                  There’s LIFE in the tree

Winter seasons -- calledto embrace the cross

Need to come to place: 'not my will, but thine’

            May feel 'my God My God why have you forsaken me’

      WE’VE been there in living color with our son.

      "Into your hands I commit my spirit”

There are worse things than dieing

Jesus understood there was LIFE in the tree --

Why could Jesus say yes to THAT tree?

What was the key?

      Look with me to a familiar passatge of Scripture

      Heb "For the JOY set before Him” -- Heb 12:2

Set JOY

Yes, it may be winter

      Yes it may be tough

Okay -- so maybe it didn’t go as planned

      You gave me this vision for fruitfullness

      •     Don’t you remember all the dreams, visions and scriptures you gave me Lord?

The promise is still there

                  The sap is still coursing through the trunk

It might look dormant -- might look dead -- but it’s just sleeping

It might even look like there are better options elsewhere -- but don’t be deceived

      There’s LIFE in the tree

Abide: John 15

Close: many of us are in winter seasons -- you just didn’t know it.

Remember how Pastors talk -- what season --- As soon as I understood -- peace

      •     I wasn’t kicking against winter

      •     I was coming into agreement with the Holy Spirit on it.

      •     I knew the strategy

Surrender to Him in place of winter

Best thing we can do in winter seasons is invest in Him

      •     Don’t fight Him

      •     Trust Him

      •     And as we do, we’re going to emerge into an abundance of FURITFULLNESS in Spring.

Some see pruning -- surrender to Jesus

      "But Lord, that was my favorite branch!”

Job 13:15 "though you slay me, yet I will trust you”

Yes, it’s winter --- but there’s LIFE in the tree

*****

Proclaim Hope

He’s here -- hasn’t left you -- you’re safe

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