Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Message Notes

1. Fruit is a result of the root.

John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

What is my source of peace? What is my source of joy? What is my source of strength?

We cannot get the produce confused with what produces it.

God wants to build the structure in us to carry the weight of what he wants to produce in our lives.

2. Feed the root first.

Fruit is nourished by feeding the roots.

Don’t wait until harvest season.

Grass that is watered too much dies during the heat because the roots never deepen.
Green in one season doesn’t indicate strength in another. Your roots have to be deep.
The time to push deep is when everything is going well.

Matthew 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

3. Strength for the expected.
“and does not fear when heat comes,”

It gets hot every year. There are things in our lives that we know are going to be tough just because it is life. We do not have to fear those things but can flourish while others are paralyzed by fear.

What are the things in life that we know will inevitably happen?
School, Relationships, Marriage, Kids, Work, Getting old. etc.

4. Strength for the unexpected.
“and is not anxious in the year of drought,”

There will always be unexpected times in our lives. Our root system has to be deep in order to thrive in the unexpected.

A tree surviving a sudden wind gust has everything to do with how well the roots have already been established.

5. Fruit in every season.
“for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Galatians 5:16-24 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

We cannot be fair weather followers but disciples who have pushed our roots deep into the ground and can produce fruit in every season of life.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

1. What stood out to you or meant the most to you from this week’s message?

2. Why is it easier to focus on the fruit (the end result), rather than the roots that made the fruit possible (the work and effort that went into it)? Why does the fruit usually get more attention than the root?

3. Is it easier to maintain spiritual practices on a daily basis (such as prayer and Bible reading), or to get into spiritual practices when things get difficult? Why is that?

4. What are your routines to help ensure you are continually watering your roots?

5. Why does “expected” trouble (things that are known to be challenging) take us by surprise?

6. Are your roots deep enough to endure/sustain….? How can we be better prepared for unexpected trouble that is bound to happen eventually?

7. What can we do to make sure we bear good fruit (the fruit of the Spirit) in every season, whether the season is difficult or easy?

8. What would you like to do differently as a result of this week’s message?