Summary: 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 last year! Out with the old and in with the new. But, isn’t it strange that the same problems and perplexities that we went
SERMON---ANOTHER YEAR---Luke 13:6-9
Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, `For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 " `Sir,’ the man replied, `leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ "
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 last year! Out with the old and in with the new. But, isn’t it strange that the same problems and perplexities that we went to bed with in 2000 are the same problems and perplexities we woke up with in the morning of 2001? The year 2000 has injected and infected 2001 with the same cancer cells of calamity and confusion. Oh yes, the same tumours of trouble in the year 2000 have now become malignant in 2001. Isn’t it strange that cats and dogs have a better chance of survival than you and I However; God has spared us another year! Somebody ought to get excited - God has spared you and me another year!! 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 make things happen for ourselves in the world physically, but not spiritually.
When I was a young boy growing up in a place called East Finchley, North London. My Mum and Dad were quite poor and all I ever got to wear was second hand shoes and very often a hole would appear in the soles, so my Dad used to put a piece of stiff cardboard inside the shoe to prevent me wearing a hole in my sock.
That is where my Mum and Dad differ from my God. God does not want "hand me down" attitudes and "second hand commitments". My God does not want us to cover the holes in our lives and neither does he want us to live in another person shoes, when we do, all we end up doing is making excuses and living in the shadows of why we can’t- DO BETTER- ACT BETTER and just BE BETTER. This year as in all the previous years of our life, God is calling us to be His Disciple Oh yes, through Gods Grace and His Mercy we have been spared so, that this year, we can start all over, set things straight and reshape our lives.
GOD HAS SPARED YOU ANOTHER YEAR.
Just like that one leaf that hangs on the tree in the wintertime when all the others have fallen down. God has left you and I here another year for a divine purpose. God has given us more time. The fact of the matter is simple: God has something for us to do. What we must do is let God into our lives. God did not make us or create us so that we could ’OCCUPY UNTIL WE DIE’. God has something for us to do, and if we don’t do it! If we don’t contribute! If we don’t share it, then all will miss out on it and no one can benefit. It is right that we let ’GOD OCCUPY UNTIL WE DIE’.
OF THE TEXT:
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. So 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. He did not plant any type of tree; he planted a tree that was valuable (Fig trees were a valuable class of tree). They were the ’Rolls Royce of trees’! So what is God saying to us today? He is saying that we are no less valuable. Now, if God VALUES us, why do we ’DEVALUE’ God. The fact of the matter is that God expects something from us.
All we need to understand is that the "certain man” is God the Father. The "fig tree’9 is a new Christian. The "vineyard" is the local church. The "dresser" is Jesus Christ. A fig tree requires special conditions in order to flourish and grow, it needs a special place called a vineyard, the soil needs to be rich and well fertilised, plenty of sunlight and someone to tend it. if we were caretakers of that vineyard and had supplied the ideal growing conditions for the fig tree we would have a right to expect good fruit. God has placed us in a very well tended vineyard, the conditions for growing are perfect and we as Christians must either bare fruit or expect to be cut down. God will not waste space with a tree that does not bare fruit! There are many reasons why we don’t bare fruit, but each reason is usually the result of SIN, and the longer sin is tolerated the more permanent is likely to be the result. Sin is like a horrid tattoo being placed on our hearts and in some cases very difficult to remove