Reaching Your Full Potential – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Reaching Your Full Potential

Matthew 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

See also Luke 13:6-9

I. The Farmer’s Plan

Luke 13

  • 6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
  • 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

The farmer didn’t plant the tree to block his view of I-95.

He didn’t plant the tree to give his children a place to build a treehouse.

He didn’t plant the tree for firewood, or to add curb appeal to his house.

He planted that fig tree because he was seeking fruit.

The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 demonstrates this exact same plan and desire.

  • The plan is to see a crop planted, grow strong and healthy and become a source of benefit for others.
  • The plan is not to sow a bunch of seed and the fowls eat it up. – vs. 4; 19
  • The plan is not to sow a bunch of seed and it land on stony ground and be wasted.
  • The plan is to sow seed in the thorns and thistles and get choked out before it can grow.
  • The plan is simple – to see the crop reach it’s intended potential.

SEE Ephesians 4:11-15

II. The Furnishings Provided

A. The Sower – that’s the preacher; the evangelist; the pastor; the missionary; the soulwinner;

B. The Seed – that’s the Word of God

C. The Soil – that’s the heart that’s been prepared by the Holy Spirit to understand and receive it

III. The Fruit Produced – vs. 23 “…which also beareth fruit…”

There were three different levels of fruit produced.

Some an hundred fold, some sixty, and some thirty.

I want to look at three ways that separate the thirty fold from the hundred fold.

A. The Desire

Producing fruit is a command.

The problem with many people that are saved is they simply lack the desire.

They fail to see the importance.

  • Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

People don’t reach their full potential because they are satisfied being a half-grown.

QUOTE: The will is the deciding factor in everything we do. In every sphere of life, it settles the alternatives.

  • Frederick P. Wood

How much time and effort do you spend trying to grow and maximize your potential?

B. The Digging

  • Luke 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

This digging process is extremely uncomfortable.

This is where God takes mine and your security blanket and strips it from us.

Digging around that fig tree was disruptive, it was deliberate, it was disconcerting.

  • This is what happened to Moses at the burning bush.
  • This is what happened to Nehemiah.
  • This is what happened to

C. The Dunging

Notice the past part of verse 8 – “…and dung it.”

That is EXACTLY what it means. Manure.

The point here is this – God will have to insert the unwanted; the undesirable; the unappealing into our life many times to get you and I to reach our full potential.

  • This is what happened to Joseph.
  • This is what happened to Job.

ILLUSTRATION: I had a meeting week before last with a retired Brigadier General. He and I were discussing our life’s choices and experiences and what brought us to where we are currently in our life. We both discussed the absolutely key and essential role that a crisis played in our life. Most people have simply never experienced a life-changing crisis.

A crisis that literally re-writes your DNA. Changes you fundamentally as a person.

Conclusion: Can I urge you to not wait for a life-changing crisis to have to occur in your life in order for you to fulfil God’s plan for your life? That man in Luke 13:6 came out three years in a row to find fruit on that tree. He was patient and he was longsuffering. But then he got ready to take drastic steps to keep it from “cumbering the ground.” Wasting space.

I can’t think of anything worse to be said of a Christian than that they were just wasting space.

Wouldn’t you like to reach your full potential for God?