The Tree and the Twig

Pastor Anthony LoCascio and Christina Li


2 Tim 1:5 “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.”


True discipleship is reproducing what you are. We become who we follow and then help others to become like us. Help us to follow Christ, to put on the mind of Christ, every day, every hour, every moment of every day.


Raise your children versus training your children. When you raise animals, all you have to do is feed them and protect them. You have to train up a child which is more than merely raising.


Prov 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”


Just as the twig is bent, so grows the tree. As a child is trained, so will he or she mature.


How do you reproduce Jesus in yourself? How do you work to reproduce Him in others?


As a child, Pastor remembers a pear tree that grew wrong. It was planted wrong and ended up growing crooked. He tried to fix it but realized that he would kill it if he continued.


As an adult, we need to be conformed to the image of Jesus, rather than the way we were raised.


Good or bad, there is an influence and impact of programming habits and thought patterns of thinking. It’s wired into the soul of a person. When it comes down to it, it’s the teaching of our children, to leave that not to politicians or schools. We must be responsible to teach our children.


It is in the understanding and lifestyle of the character of Jesus Christ. It is in the possession and cultivation of the fruit of the Spirit. Some things are caught, but this is taught.




Dorothy Law Nolte


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn patience. If children live with praise, they learn appreciation. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with fairness, they learn justice. If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.


Why is it that children catch bad words instead of good words? Why is it that children are more likely to repeat what they see you do rather than what you say? Why are attitudes so infectious? Knowing this, how can you be part of changing the atmosphere around you for good, rather than merely reacting to the bad? 


The world is trying to portray God’s rules and submission to His authority as bondage rather than His blessing and protection. Children need parents that teach that God is faithful and able and ‘that all things work together for good.’ Whose report will you believe? Faith must be taught in a child.


You must realize what kind of power you have in Jesus. While the rest of the world suffers, our God is a provider. God can multiply two loaves and fish. He can turn stones into bread. Your mentality must have confidence not in stocks or education, but in Jesus. God is the one we lean on and trust in.


Work hard and learn well, but know that this world will disappear someday. Store up treasure for yourself in heaven.


The Bible teaches us that we have spiritual things to deal with. There are philosophies and principles of this world. Don’t wrestle with flesh and blood. Our battle is a celestial battle, supernatural, spiritual. The battleground is between your ears. War declarations are Egypt trying to put you into bondage again.


Spiritual wickedness is being presented to you and your children. It’s organized, an agenda to enslave the hearts and minds of you and your children. It’s so subtle that you might not even realize it.


However, the weapons of our warfare are not natural.


2 Cor 10:4-6 “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 6 And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.”


Every barrier between you and Jesus must be torn down. Every barrier between you and obeying Jesus must be destroyed.


It’s time to dream. What is your dream, your vision? What do you want to do to glorify Jesus with your life?


Never stop being a disciple maker. If you have a teenager who is having a difficult time, you still have time to break down barriers between them and Jesus. You can still influence them in Jesus.


Strongholds, the Bible says to tear down, cast down, pull down strongholds. A stronghold is a fortified place. Extra care has been put into this, an extreme protection. The stronghold is the final, the thought is the entry. Satan starts with a thought. Thoughts come from other people, the media, the enemy of your soul. Thoughts need to come from parents, church leaders, God, the Bible. Your thoughts need to come from godly sources. Thoughts gathered together become knowledge, knowledge becomes images, images become a way of thinking, patterns are habits and cycles of thinking.


You make choices based on knowledge and bring action to these things. If your thinking is based on lies, disaster happens. Strongholds must be removed.


Prov 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”


You can imagine all kinds of false things. You might imagine that someone doesn’t like you because that person had a funny look on his or her face. Reality might be that the person has gas, but you might build a stronghold and decide you don’t like them because of a lie you chose to believe. Satan comes in and brings disunity and division.


Thoughts become intentions and then actions and words. What’s inside your heart will spread to your attitudes and words and actions.


If you have something against someone, go to that person. Let the Word of God keep you from building strongholds. The devil wants to enslave you, but you belong to God. You can have the blessings of God. If you do things God’s way, you will enjoy the things of God, peace, love, joy, hope.


What lies have you believed and acted upon? How did you mend things when you realized the truth? How can you guard against that happening in the future?


God answers prayer.


If you are deceived into thinking that the Egyptians are stronger, you will be enslaved. Your mentality will dictate your actions. Don’t allow your children to serve in the plans of the devil. Eve was deceived and acted in disobedience and paid the price.


The world says, ‘truth is relative and absolute truth is a bad thing.’ This is a lie! The world says it’s foolish to believe God created the world. Yet, the world has few morals and has forgotten to value one another as precious souls. The church is portrayed as the bad guy. The church is not the world’s problem. The church is the world’s answer to the problem. Children will be confused unless mom and dad remove that confusion. Being Apostolic is not a punishment, it’s a privilege.


Knowing that God’s way is best, how does that change your thinking, your attitudes, and your life?


This Bible study excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.


For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.


If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!