INTRO: God’s way of measuring is far different from ours. Just suppose Jesus were here… news of calamity, judgment on sin. “Except you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Disaster is falsely viewed as God’s judgment on sin.
REPENT OF WHAT? Fruitlessness, barrenness.
Leaves are no substitute for fruit, The one thing God wants from us, the one thing that GLORIFIES God is our fruitfulness.
John 15:8 It is fruitfulness that GLORIFIES GOD and marks us as DISCIPLES.
I. GOD HAS A RIGHT TO EXPECT FRUIT FROM US.
1. Because we are His PERSONAL PROPERTY. The fig tree owed its life to the owner. It is the owner’s right.
God has a right to expect a return on His investment –“we are bought with a price.”
2. Because of our PRIVILEGED POSITION. “Planted in a vineyard…”
There were many fig trees growing wild. But this one was planted in a vineyard to receive special care and nourishment. IT HAD A BETTER THAN AVERAGE CHANCE.. had every opportunity.
“scattered abroad..” Greek word for sowing seed. When Christian are scattered to different places, it is simply GOD SOWING SEED WHERE HE DESIRES A HARVEST.
WHERE HAS GOD PLANTED YOU? IS THERE ANY FRIUT?
3. Because of our PRIMARY PURPOSE.
What’s a fruit tree for? To bear fruit. that is not an unreasonable request.
Gen. 1:11,12. God made fruit, etc. to have a seed of like nature within it so it would reproduce itself
I John 3 says that we have God’s seed within us… so that we may bear fruit after our kind.
John 15:16. Jesus says He chose us that we might bear fruit.
I Peter 2:9. That we might show forth the glories of God.
II. GOD HAS A RIGHT TO EXAMINE US FOR FRUIT.
1. He came seeking fruit.
2. Every tree scrutinized. Psalm 26:2
3. Three straight years–takes thirty years for some of us.
4. WHAT KIND OF FRUIT? After ITS KIND.
In Psalm 139 God appears at the door with a SEARCH WARRANT.
III. GOD HAS A RIGHT TO EXPEL US FOR FRUITLESSNESS.
Cut it down–it’s just taking up room! Separate it from the rest. USELESSNESS invites disaster. We lose what we don’t use. WHY?
I. USELESS–apart from fruit-bearing I can’t justify my existence. John 15:2,6
2. PROMOTES USELESSNESS – “Cumbereth” –takes up valuable space. If this spot were occupied by another, there would be fruit. Nothing that only takes and receives can survive.
IV. GOD HAS A RIGHT TO EXTEND A FINAL CHANCE.
“Wait one more year…” –One Final Chance.
How can it be made fruitful?
1. DIGGING AROUND IT: “Break up your fallow ground.” A broken and contrite heart. This speaks of repentance.
2. FERTILIZING IT. Feeding it, nourishing it.
PROPER DIET. What have you been feeding on? Has it made you fruitful?
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003