Bloom where you are planted

Topics:

I. We are planted to bear fruit

* God sent rebellious Judah into exile to influence people with Shalom!

  1. Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jeremiah 29:5-7).
  2. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples" (John 15:8).

II. We need to pull deceptive weeds

* God warns His people not to heed the deceptive prosperity prophets!

  1. "For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,' declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:8, 9).
  2. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward (2 John 7, 8).

III. We trust God for a hopeful harvest

* God has a gracious plan of restoration and reward for our future!

  1. "For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile'" (Jer. 29:10-14).
  2. We give thanks to God . . . because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel (Colossians 1:3a, 5).

Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, June 30th, 2024

Life group flow and discussion questions

"Bloom where you are planted"

An important Guideline of Life Groups: The human family is precious to God and He desires people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9), so Christians are here to be a positive influence in a broken fallen world. Discuss how your Life Group can be a "city of light on a hill" (Matthew 5:14-16).

Getting Started:

  1. How do we as "strangers and exiles on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13) bear spiritual fruit in the lives of people?
  2. Are you making the most of the "station in life" you find yourself planted in now by blooming with joyful love for your OIKOS? How can you grow in this?

Discussing Truths:

  1. Why is it important to view each day as a divine opportunity to make a difference in someone's life (Galatians 6:9, 10)?
  2. What is your understanding of the Hebrew word, Shalom? How can we seek the Shalom of our community and how should we pray for its Shalom (Jeremiah 29:7)?
  3. How does Philippians 2:14-16 apply to us in "blooming where we are planted"?
  4. What do you use as a guide to determine whether a person is a fruit-bearing Christian of a deceptive weed of falsehood (Luke 6:43-46)? Are you a good fruit inspector?
  5. How is Daniel's life a good example of living above reproach as an exile in a dark and sinful world?
  6. Would people describe you as a person with "Living Gratitude" in your heart (Colossians 3:15)?
  7. How should we apply Jeremiah 29:11 to our own lives?

Now What? Application:

  1. What can you do this week to invest in the eternal hopeful harvest of souls?
  2. How are we spiritually like the exiles of Judah: "Living in Babylon and staying on Mission" for our Lord? Will you bloom where you are planted?