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The Cross and Fruitfulness (2 of 4)
Series: At The Cross
OPENING: Two engineers, one from I.U. and the other from Notre Dame, were out in a yard standing by a flagpole, vigorously discussing something. A student from Purdue happened by and asked what they were arguing about. "Oh," replied the student from I.U., "we were discussing how best to determine the height of this flagpole and what equation to use."
"That's easy enough," declared the Purdue student, and he took the pole out of the ground, laid it down on the grass, pulled out his tape measure and declared: "It's 10' 6" long."
As the student from Purdue walked away, the engineer from I.U. turned to the one from Notre Dame and declared: "Isn't that just like a guy from Purdue. You ask him for height and he gives you length."
APPLICATION: We live in a world where heavenly things confuse our earthly minds.
ILLUS: We see unseen things (2 Cor. 4:18)
We conquer by yielding (Rom. 6:16-18)
We find rest under a yoke (Mt. 11:28-30)
We reign by serving (Mark 10:42-44)
We are made great by becoming little (Luke 9:48)
We are exalted by being humble (Mt. 23:12)
We become wise by being fools for Christ's sake (1 Cor. 1:20, 21)
We are made free by becoming His bond servants (Rom. 6:10)
We wax strong by being weak (2 Cor. 12:10)
We triumph by defeat (2 Cor. 12:7-9)
We find victory by glorying in our infirmities (2 Cor. 12:5)
But perhaps most difficult of all for us:
We live by dying (John 12:24,25; 2 Cor. 4:10,11)
I. John 12:23-25 is a hard saying.
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
Jesus is basically telling His disciples that to live they need to die. That's not a comfortable teach ...
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