Summary: Don't neglect your spiritual growth. Don't procrastinate doing the right thing to see growth in your life. God has provided everything we need, to grow strong spiritually and be fruitful.
Everyone who knows Jesus receive a new life and will experience spiritual growth.
• If we are connected to Christ, we can expect to grow stronger in faith, trusting Him; deeper in love with Him, and more fulfilled in our walk with Him.
• But not everyone experiences the same growth. Some are distracted by other earthly concerns, or lured away by selfish pursuits. So they drift further from God.
The wise man in Proverbs made this observation about a vineyard he saw.
• TWO lessons I want to draw from this - (1) don't NEGLECT your spiritual growth, and (2) don't procrastinate in doing the right thing.
He says, “I was going past a vineyard, and it was a mess. There were thorns all over the place, the grounds were covered with weeds, and the walls were falling down.”
• He was in anguish; you could sense his sadness over what he saw.
• Remember his context - in the ancient Middle East, to have a piece of land that is capable of growing crops is a priceless possession.
It is the family's livelihood. They can live on it, not just for one harvest, but for many harvests to come.
• If they work hard, they can become rich. They will see the fruits of their labour for generations.
• To be able to own a vineyard is the opportunity of a lifetime. It is the best thing you can have.
But sadly, the writer saw a field that was in ruin. It was lying there in desolation.
• The owner did nothing to his vineyard. He did not treasure what he has. He left it untouched. It was laid to waste, and what a waste it was!
• The owner could have been very blessed by now, but he lacked judgement, the writer says. He lacked wisdom. It was a big mistake. Don’t be like him.
(1) DON’T NEGLECT Your Growth
God has given us a new life in Christ. It's a blessed life. Treasure what God has given. Nourish it with His Word and we will flourish.
• We can only experience the fullness of God’s blessings if we do not neglect this new life that He has given.
The writer says, “I applied my heart to what I observed, and learned a lesson from what I saw.” (v.32)
• Something is not right about this. The vineyard could have been a thing of beauty. I could be seeing fruits, lots of them, in this field.
• It could have been a source of pride and joy, and also income for the owner. It could have been a blessing to everyone who comes by.
But the writer saw none of these. It was a far cry from what it could have been.
• Was it the result of a calamity? Was there a drought or a flood, or some disaster? No.
• Was it because the ground was bad? No. It was fertile ground, for it produced thorns and weeds in abundance.
The writer concluded - it was sheer negligence on the part of the owner of the vineyard.
• He was sleeping. He was in slumber. He was folding his hands to rest. (v.33)
• He has chosen not to do anything. His neglect was a choice!
The owner did not treasure his vineyard. He had no idea what he had. He was throwing away the opportunity of a lifetime.
• The field did not produce what it was capable of producing, but this man neglected it.
• What caused the ruin? Not the infertile soil, not for the lack of rain or sunshine, not because of any natural disasters. It was his choice.
• He chose to ignore it. His neglect led to the ruin. He did not bother. He did not treasure the opportunities he had.
PROLONG NEGLECT LEADS TO DESOLATION
• Is there anything important that you are neglecting? Your studies? Your worship of God on Sundays? Your daily time with God? Bible reading?
• God has given us all that we need to live an abundant and blessed life. Are we using the opportunities God has given us?
Don’t attribute the barrenness in your life to someone else or to your circumstances.
I have a friend who was misled into taking drugs and ruined his life. He was caught many times and imprisoned a couple of times. At one of the interview in the police station, the officer made an unfortunate and careless comment: “You are like this because your mom did not take good care of you while you were young.” [Something to that effect]
He jumped on it and hang on to this, and made this his life’s excuse or blame. I am like that because of my parents’ neglect. I’m in a mess today because of them.