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Getting Close to God (9 of 28)
Series: SUCCESS: WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN I HAVE IT? (JOSHUA)
Dr. Chuck McAlister
-- Farmer repeatedly invited a friend to come to his apple orchard to taste his apples and to make some fresh cider.
-- Friend always refused.
-- Finally -- farmer asked: "Do you have something against my apples?"
-- Friend: "Well, I've tasted a few of your apples and they are very sour."
-- Farmer: "Which apples have you tasted?"
-- Friend: "Why, those that fell along the road over your fence."
-- Farmer: "Yes, those are sour .... I planted those to discourage the thieves who would come to plunder and rob from my orchard. But, if you come into the center of my orchard, you will find a different taste, for that's where the sweetest fruit grows."
(A) On the edges of Christianity .... some sour apples: conviction of sin, self-denial, suffering, persecution.
.... These are there to discourage the hypocrites -- those who would follow Christ out of selfish motives.
.... Also sour apples on the fringes of Christianity for those who live in disobedience.
.... But in the middle of the orchard -- there are sweet fruits.
* The closer you get to God -- the sweeter the joy.
(B) Children of Israel .... eating sour apples for forty years in the wilderness ....
1- Experiencing the consequences of their own disobedience .... living in carnality.
2- Crossing the Jordan .... drawing closer to God and the sweet fruit of His presence.
3- We've watched them as they have gotten closer and closer to the heart and will of God .... closer to the sweet fruit of possessing the victory God intends for them -- and for us!
Chapters 1-5 .... The first step in claiming and possessing the victory God intends for us .... A willingness to obey God .... Step #1 -- WE MUST OBEY!
Chapter 1 .... THE CALL TO SUCCESS .... Let God define victory and success for you .... He'll show you what He expects .... ...
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