WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Bear Fruit, Or Else!
"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" (Luke 13:8,9).
In our text, the Lord Jesus gave a parable of a barren fig tree. The owner wanted it cut down but for the intervention of the vine dresser. The parable is directed at men and women who are living in sin but judge themselves more righteous than people who had suffered gruesome deaths in the hands of callous people (the Galilaeans in the hands of Pilate and the eighteen axed by the Tower of Siloam). Israel, God’s fig tree were fruitless or bore bad fruits of following their own pernicious ways and were still priding themselves as God’s people.
What a contradiction! With more time to amend, Israel failed and faced the consequences. They were cut down; they lost the privileges and were scattered all over the earth. As believers, God expects good fruits from us because it is the only indication we are still abiding in the vine. If there is no fruit, good works, then the faith is dead. As the vine dresser pleaded with the husbandman to allow him carry out necessary application of additional manure to enhance productivity, promising that after he had done all, if the tree remained unfruitful, there would be no better option than to cut it down, so is Christ Jesus tenderly pleading on behalf of sinners. We should take advantage of Christ’s intercession and amend our ways. We must not deceive ourselves. "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" (Romans 6:1). Let us return to the Lord and begin to bear fruits that befits godly repentance. One thing is very clear however: the plea for mercy does not last indefinitely.
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah ended up in destruction because their cups of iniquities became full. They had sinned beyond limits permitted by God. So it is with those who erroneously believe that God will be lenient with them forever.
Thought for the day: The door of salvation does not remain open indefinitely.
Bible Reading in one Year: PSALM 44-50