It’s a New Year and typically most individuals tend to reflect and evaluate the previous year while making goals and plans for the coming. In terms of reflection, each person processes and reflects on the year gone by differently. Me for instance, I always look back and think about all the persons who died and are no longer with us. I ask myself, why did God take that person’s life and spare mines? They were the same age as me and in some cases younger than me. Yet still I am in the Land of the Living, but they are gone? In some cases, I am sure I was even more disobedient than them, yet here I stand. What did I do to receive God’s mercy and grace to retain this breath of life?
With this backdrop in mind I would like to title today’s blog post – Lord, Why One More Year?
Luke 13:6-9 (NIV) 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing 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.’
This parable depicts the owner of the vineyard as God and us as the tree. So, if you were the owner of this vineyard what would you do with this tree? Would you cut it down if year after year no fruit was being produced? I think most of us would cut it down and very quickly to. But our God is rich in grace and mercy towards us.
This extension of life has been granted for one sole purpose. It is for us to bring forth fruit! Everyone must bring forth fruit in their measure else they run the risk of being cut off from this life. In the coming year God will be doing his part by tilling our soil and adding the spiritual fertilizer around us. It is now up to us to do our part and soak in as much of the heavenly nutrients as possible to produce much fruit (Matthew 3:8, Luke 12:48).
Our spiritual Return on Investment (ROI) is so important to God He warns us twice in this piece of passage. Once by saying if we don’t bear fruit after given an additional chance He will cut us down (v9). It was also alluded to in the preceding verses of Luke 13: 1-5. In fact, from Luke 13:1 straight until verse 9 Jesus was addressing the same topic with the same audience.
Luke 13:1-5 (NIV)1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Jesus started this conversation of why He was granting one more year of life by looking at all those who died previously. He was telling the Jews, “you are looking at those who died gruesomely and believing they were more sinful than others”. Jesus was advising that they stop thinking this way. Sin is sin and there are no levels of it in His eyes because all leads to death. Therefore, stop sinning and repent and become productive in the kingdom of God, else you will be cut down. This might be a hard saying but it is all true. In another scripture it even mentions if we are lukewarm God will take action against us.
Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV) 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
But today fellow believers is not about ‘doom and gloom’ but being cognizant of all scripture and embracing it for our benefit. If we forget the things of the past and press hard (Philippians 3:13-14) into 2018 I have no doubt that all of us will be able to complete our heavenly assignments and be fruitful. Therefore, let’s rejoice in this moment and sing praises to our God. He has kept us alive by His loving-kindness to bring honor to His Mighty name. Hallelujah!!
Let this year be the year of bringing forth fruit – financial, emotional (Love, Mercy, Forgiveness) and above all spiritual.
Note: As a follow on to this post please also read : Lord Show Me My Works
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Your Brother and Servant in the Lord