1. Spiritually, what plant best describes where you’re at in your journey right now: Tumbleweed? Crab apple tree? Weeping willow? Towering oak? Other? Explain.
2. Jesus said: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8 NIV). How does Jesus say we are to show that we are His disciples? Who is glorified when we do this?
3. Jesus: “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last!” (John 15:16 NIV). Who chose whom according to this verse? For what purpose did Jesus say He chose us? How long is this fruit to last?
4. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV) reads: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Talk about how you’ve experienced (or not experienced) the truth of this verse in your life.
5. Colossians 2:6 (Philipps) says: “Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on living in him—in simple faith. Grow out of him as a plant grows out of the soil it is planted in, becoming more and more sure of the faith as you were taught it, and your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness.” And in Psalm 1:2-3 (TEV) we read: “They find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do.” Based on these verses, discuss what you would tell a new believer God says in His word about the secret of growing deep roots? Share some examples from your life or the life of someone you know who lives out what these scriptures say.
6. Jesus said in John 12:24-25 (NASB): “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life will lose it…” What does this verse say will happen if you give your life to Christ – and what will happen if you don’t? How does a grain of wheat bear much fruit? How do we lose our life in Christ and bear much fruit?
7. Jesus said in John 15:5 (NIV): “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. But apart from me you can do nothing.’” What do you do to abide (remain connected to) Jesus? Discuss your experience of bearing fruit in Christ and contrast it with the experience of trying to bear fruit apart from Him. Give an example of a time in your life when it was hard to wait for the fruit and the impact your fear and doubt had on the waiting.
8. How have you sensed God speaking to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?