Our Friday devotions keep getting better, today (9th March 2018), Pastor Magangi graced us with his presence and with such a wonderful message he challenged us to question if we are bearing fruit.
His message was drawn from Luke 13: 1-9, the story of Jesus with the people where he shared about the parable of the Fig tree. He shared three main points:
1. Divine Patience with Unfruitfulness has a limit
2. The gardener(Jesus) has pleaded with the master to give you one more year.
3. The responsibility of fruitfulness is yours.
Pastor Magangi explained that the people who sat with Jesus had the misconception that lack of calamity justified their worth and lack of sin. Just like what some of us feel, that we are living right because we don’t experience the struggles have. Kind of like thinking we are justified by works. Jesus said the contrary,” Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 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? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
In short, what Christ was trying to tell them, that calamity or lack of thereof is not important, what they should focus on is the state of their hearts and faith in relation to repentance. He used the parable to show them the truth of the state of man. Jesus always used a natural event to explain a supernatural reality, in this case, being that without repentance you cannot be justified before God.
The master(God) expects the fig tree (you and me) to produce fruit and that is why he planted us. Some people believe that after salvation our work is done. No, in fact, he expects us to bear fruit in three ways:
Grow in Godly character
Do good works to others
Win souls for him(evangelism)
God is patient and so he gives us time to grow and begin to bear fruit just like master waited for 3 years. His grace is poured out on us and so sometimes we may take longer than expected to bear fruit, regardless God is patient with us. The tragedy is thinking that we have all the time in the world to continue living in sin and rejecting repentance since Gods punishment hasn’t arrived. We assume that because we are living an okay life, God is happy with us.
We need to realize that Divine Patience with Unfruitfulness has a limit, just like the fig tree after the 3 years the master questioned the gardener and instructed him to cut it down. Sadly, we do not have a time frame that we can work with so that we produce fruit. We need to repent and serve God so that in and out of seasons we are ready for Jesus return. The question then is,” what if I have been unfruitful, what happens to me?’
Luke 13:8 says, ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”
The wonderful thing is that the gardener(Jesus) has pleaded on our behalf that we get one more chance to make things right, to seek repentance and to bear fruit.He promised the master that he would dig round it and fertilize it, in short, he would walk with you and root out the weeds in your life, fill you with his spirit, guide you through challenges, bring people who will impact your life greatly… he would do all this so that you can bear fruit. If we are being honest with ourselves, that is what he did on the cross for us, he gave us one more chance to repent and do it right.
Lastly, the spiritual reality that we need to embrace is that the responsibility of bearing fruit is wholly dependent on you. Jesus has and will do his part to guide you but you have to choose to serve him, to repent, to die to flesh each and every day and in the process, you will bear fruit. You have the choice to read this message and sit on the knowledge or you can choose to repent of your sins and begin to allow God to lead you into a new season where you purpose to bear fruit.
God has given you and I one more chance to bear fruit, he loves us so much that he is willing to try this again with us but remember we do not know the time he will return to see if we are ready for him.
Our challenge is to take responisibility of our faith and purpose to bear fruit .
Have a wonderful and blessed weekend