This Sunday, Pastor Jason revealed 2019’s theme verse. This has been a tradition at Harvest for several years, one that serves to anchor the new year as we grow our faith and focus our pursuit of the Lord in daily life. As Jason pointed out, anchors both prevent us from drifting too far and provide opportunities to explore what is right in front of us despite the strength of the current we might be floating in.
“Drift happens naturally and quickly. It’s the natural byproduct that happens when we don’t have an engine that dictates the power of our lives or the course of our lives.” —Jason Dickenson
The anchor for Harvest fellowship this year is John 15:16 (NIV), “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
This year’s theme verse shows three clear points, vital to walking out our faith in relationship with Christ.
- You are chosen. THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE CHOSE YOU.
- You’re not leftovers. You were lovingly and painstakingly created. It’s not like elementary school dodge ball.
- You were chosen. (See I Peter 2:9)
- This knowledge should motivate you to seek the purpose He has for you—what kind of fruit are YOU intended to bear?
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- You should be fruitful. Too many people today attend church but don’t bear any fruit—or we’re producing fruit, but is it the right kind? (See Matthew 7:17)
- Fruit has a shelf life, but we’re asked to produce fruit that will last. We don’t want to be a church that produces fruit for just a little while.
- As Jason said, “We need a church that will produce lasting fruit; fruit that will really make a difference, fruit that will change lives. …The only way to produce lasting fruit is to stay connected to the vine.” This is the most vital part of the verse for Harvest in 2019.
- John 15:15 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
- You are favored. What you ask from the Father in my name will be given, but it’s not a genie in a bottle.
- “This is how it works,” Jason said, “as we stay connected to the vine, as we get to know God more and his heart, here’s what happens: His heart becomes our heart.”
- “As you get closer to God, you begin to desire the same things that He desires. …You might think it comes from you, but it comes from the heart of God.”
- Psalm 37:4 shows us this perfectly. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we place a priority on our relationship with Him, the things He wants become the very things we want.
- How can God refuse to grant us the things we ask for when they’re already the things He desires for us?
“Church, let’s spend 2019 living lives that matter.”
Yes, we have to work and pay bills and raise kids and do all the things that make up our everyday lives. But rather than build these temporary kingdoms, giving them first priority, let’s make our relationship with Christ first priority this year. Let’s acknowledge God’s place on His throne and let that reflect in every aspect of our lives.
We’ve become a church that loves our city. We know that God can do anything, more than we can ask or imagine. Now let’s ask Him what it is He has chosen us for. What has He chosen you for? What kind of fruit does He ask you to produce?
Certainly, if you ask, He will respond and grow those desires within you. The fruit you will bear by remaining in Him won’t spoil. It will last longer than your time on this earth!
Love Jesus. Love each other. Love your city.
Harvest, Go be the Church!
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