May 12, 2020 – Leave It Alone for One More Year

Read Luke 13

“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” Luke 13:7 


I read a devotional this morning by Dr. Henry Cloud. It was entitled, “Churches that Heal.” He spoke about this parable in Luke 13 which is about a man who had a fig tree that did not bear any fruit. The man said to his servant, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground.” The tree had no value without fruit. It was just “taking up space.” 
The servant said to his Lord, “One more year. Let me dig around it and fertilize it and then let’s see if it will bear fruit. If after a year of care, it still is not bearing fruit, then, well, we’ll cut it down. But if after that year, we see fruit on that tree, that tree will continue to live and produce fruit for years to come.”
The master agreed. The master is God. He is looking at many on this earth who should be bearing fruit but are not. He is considering cutting those trees down, but He decides to wait. He wants to take one last effort in their lives and hearts to dig around, to find out the issues and reveal the sin, to cleanse and fertilize the tree and see if it will bear fruit.
There are many people in our world who are not producing any fruit for the Lord. There are other people who want to write them off. Truly, the master looks at those men and women who are not bearing fruit and considers taking them home. Without fruit, they have no value to others or to the church of God. Still, God is patient. He is not willing that any should perish and waits to see if they will begin to produce fruit. We need to be patient as well, and allow God to work in the hearts of those who are disobedient, and who are not living like we think they should, knowing that God is not finished with them.
This is an illustration of our country. We are about to be judged by God. There is little fruit left and little reason for this country to “cumber the ground.” But God is giving us more time. The virus is a sign that God’s patience is about to end, yet he gives us another time period to see if we will bear fruit. There is a question before this nation. “Why should God allow this nation to cumber this ground?” Why should we be given the great blessing of this land? There may come a time, and it could be very soon, when God will decide that we will no longer exist as a nation. 

Digging around the tree is one of God’s ways to see what has happened to the root.  God always judges His people first. This nation has been and has proclaimed itself to be “one nation under God.” It is only right that God would begin this process of pruning this country that we call the land of liberty, a nation that has made its boast, “in God we trust.


An Exercise to Increase our Faith: What were the truths that we have in the past held to be “self evident?” Why has God blessed the United States of America? Do the reasons for His blessings still hold true? What can we as a church and as a people  do to call our nation back to those truths? 


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