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Traditionally, the New Year is a time of new beginnings. It is a time when we make a commitment to do better this year than we did on last year! Out with the old and in with the new.
But, it won’t be strange to us, that the same problems and perplexities that we will go to bed with to night, will be the same problems and perplexities that we will wake up with in the morning. We have done this year in and year out, for many years.
Wouldn’t it be great if this year could be the beginning of "Christian life" such as we have never known before?
God is bringing that proposition to the table today for all of us.
God has spared us another year! Somebody ought to get excited – God has spared you another year!!
And in this New Year, God wants a new you!! God wants you to develop a new pattern for living. Far too many of us know how to style and profile physically but not spiritually.
GOD HAS SPARED YOU ANOTHER YEAR.
Just like that one leaf that hangs on the tree in the winter time when all the others have fallen down – God has left you here another year for a divine purpose. God has given you more time.
The fact of the matter is simple: God has something for us to do. What we must do IS GET INTO WHAT GOD IS UP TO. God did not make us, create us -- so that we could OCCUPY UNTIL WE DIE.
God has something for you to do --- and if you don’t do it, if you don’t contribute it, if you don’t share it, then we all will miss out on it and not benefit from it.
But, GOD HAS SPARED YOU ANOTHER YEAR. My brothers and sisters, the fact that you and I are still here means that God is still working on all of us!
"He spoke also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit on it, and found none. Then he said unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he, answering, said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."
Today, we find ourselves in a vineyard – this owner planted a tree and expected the tree to progress, to grow – He expected to find some fruit on the tree.
I. The owner of the tree made a REASONABLE REQUEST. It was his tree and he expected this fig tree to have done better than in previous years.
This man planted a fig tree. In Biblical times, fig trees were valuable. This man did not plant any type of tree – He planted a tree that was valuable.
Fig trees were a valuable class of trees.
The owner expects to find some fruit hanging on the fig tree.
God expects to find some fruit hanging on your tree!
One pastor said, “You can’t PINK SLIP GOD and then still expect a BONUS CHECK of His BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS.
God wants some fruit from you!
The owner expected some fruit to be on the tree– it was a REASONABLE REQUEST. However every time the Owner came to the tree with a REASONABLE REQUEST, the tree was unproductive and barren.
II. That simply meant that this tree had no fruit to offer.
The thing that strikes me the most is this tree had some advantages.
The first advantage was LOCATION; the tree was planted in a vineyard. Being in a vineyard
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