Summary: Bearing fruit in the present tense of your life.
SPARED ANOTHER YEAR
"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." St. Luke 13:6-9 (KJV)
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, isn’t strange that the same problems and perplexities that we went to bed with iare the same problems and perplexities we woke up with in the morning. We are injected and infected with the same cancer cells of calamity and confusion. Oh yes, the same tumors of trouble last year have now become malignant this year.
Isn’t it strange that alley cats and street dogs have a better chance of survival than you and me?
However, God has spared you another year! Somebody ought to get excited – God has spared you 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 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 you to do. What you must do IS GET INTO WHAT GOD IS UP TO. God did not make you, create you -- so that you could OCCUPY UNTIL YOU DIE. Oh yes, 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. Yes! My brothers and sisters, the fact that you and I are still here means that God is still working on all of us!
TRANSITION TO THE TEXT: 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.
God expects to find some fruit hanging on your tree!
I need to tell you like my pastor back home says, “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 owner kept receiving a REDUNDANT REPORT.
II. A REDUNDANT REPORT This tree had no fruit.
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 meant that the tree was protected. The vineyard was enclosed round about by a hedge or a fence to keep the wild animals from ravaging the fruit on the trees. You are aware that those of us who have given our life to Jesus Christ -- enjoy the protection of God. Come here Job! Satan testified that God had made a hedge around Job, and around his house and all that he had! This tree had the advantage of LOCATION. (song: Jesus Be A Fence…)
The second advantage that comes to mind is the fact that the tree was PLANTED!
It was not a product of chance or coincidence! No! The tree had been planted in the vineyard!
It had been planted, this suggested that the planter had a purpose in mind for the planted (the tree). However every time the Owner came to the tree with a REASONABLE REQUEST, the owner kept receiving a REDUNDANT REPORT. The Bible says, the owner kept coming to find some fruit of faithfulness, some fruit of family togetherness, some fruit of fellowship, some fruit of fasting and praying – For three years – that’s a total of 36 months, 156 weeks, 1095 days, 26, 280 hours, and 473,040 minutes.