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This Year Grow Through Prayer (1 of 4)
Series: A New Year of Growth
INTRODUCTION: Years ago archeologists found a seed inside a 5000 year-old petrified canoe on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. They took that seed, planted it in the dirt, set it in the sun and watered it and within a few days they had a delicate pink lotus blossom. The seed that went to sleep when the pharaohs did was alive. Botanists can describe, document and film that seed coming to life but they can't explain how it happens. They can't explain how that mysterious spark of life that has lain dormant in that seed for all of those centuries is suddenly stirred. It is God who makes things grow. God makes plants grow from seeds to flower to fruit.
Paul drew an analogy between plant growth and church growth in I Corinthians 4:6 "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." He went on to say that it is God "who makes things grow" (Vs.7). But we have to do our part. We have to put ourselves in a position where God's seed can be planted in our hearts, watered, fertilized, and warmed by the sun so that God can do His thing.
ILLUSTRATION: A man walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin, pressed the buttons labeled, "coffee, double cream, and sugar." No cup appeared but the nozzles went into action sending forth coffee, cream and sugar. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain, the machine turned off. The man said, "Now that's real automation. This thing even DRINKS it for you." That's how some people want their faith. They want to make a deposit, put in some money and let the rest be taken care of automatically. But there is no such thing as automated growth and blessing. A relationship with God requires the effort of personal discipline.
Are you content with your spiritual progress over the last year? Are you satisfied that the fruit of the spirit have ripened to full maturity in your life? On a scale of one to ...
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