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. 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?’ “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”
Luke 13:6-9 NIV
In the passage just before telling this parable, Jesus was speaking to a group of people about repentance of sins. He used this parable to illustrate the importance of repenting of our sins, as sin separates us from God and prevents us from bearing fruit in our lives.
This really got me thinking how we, as humans, tend to hold things off until the pressure is on. We hold off dealing with our sin, we hold off on following our calling, we hold off on spending enough time with God, or really putting effort into reading our Bibles. We become so in tune with getting through each day that we miss out on hearing His whispers, while the enemy shouts his way through our lives. We are so busy doing life that by the time we look again we realise that we’re still stuck in the same motion, the same rhythm.
For a tree to bear fruit, it’s needs to be nourished, cared for, fertilized, it needs food. So do we. We need to invest in spending time in God’s word, spending time with Him, hearing His words over our lives and with Him guiding our steps.
I love that we serve a God of second chances. He may watch us for years bearing no fruit in our lives, but He still loves us unconditionally and will forgive us if we just turn to Him and repent. This is illustrated in this parable when the man kept coming to check for fruit, until one day after 3 years, He puts pressure but still gives him a second chance of another year to fertilize and allow the tree to bear fruit. His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness.
As we step out of 2019 and into 2020 let’s choose to fertilize, nourish and care for ourselves so much that we bear healthy fruit in our lives. I pray that in 2020 we make it a commitment to spending more time in God’s Word and in His presence. Let’s spend some time digging and repenting of our sin, getting rid of all that which is too heavy for us to carry. Let’s realize the beauty of God’s forgiveness and soak in the depth of His love for us. Let’s sow His righteousness in our lives. This is how we fertilize, nourish and care for ourselves. This is what brings us every step closer to the very best that God has in store for us.
I want to leave you with this verse as we head into the New Year:
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord , until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
Hosea 10:12 NIV
I pray the very best for you and your families in 2020, May God’s will be done and may He place His desires in your heart.