Day 179 – Light the Fire Again
On: April 28, 2015   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

Then Jesus 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 fertilise it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9

Jesus moves from repentance to fruit … and poses an uncomfortable question. Am I a waste of space?! Why, He asks, should a Kingdom place be taken up by someone who is not bearing fruit? Ouch, that’s harsh! Maybe, but it sure gets me thinking about where I’m going with my faith. Is my fruit plentiful or sparse? Is it good enough to eat or fit only for the compost heap?

Let’s cut to the chase. Am I indulging God’s grace or being transformed by it? Here are three yardsticks (there are others) to measure myself against:

The fruit of the Spirit, set out by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23, illustrates how my character and behaviour should look if I am allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work of regeneration in my life.

My lifestyle should be distinct from those around me day by day – a power for good – as I march to a different tune. If I don’t … “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Luke 14:34-35

And I should be playing my part in letting the World know about the grace that is transforming me (this doesn’t necessarily mean I have to get on a soapbox – we all have a different role to play): Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything. Matthew 28:19-20

These are concentric circles: getting my own act together; influencing those around me; changing the World.

Jesus’s story suggests that we will be given time to allow change to take place. And, if we’re slow in the uptake, we will be given a further chance to show the seriousness of our faith. But after that, we will be demonstrating that we are not taking God’s love seriously. And that is serious.

Don’t let my love grow cold

I’m calling out

Light the fire again

Don’t let my vision die

I’m calling out

Light the fire again

 – Brian Doerksen

Prayer:

Father God, it’s so easy to be bowled over by your grace, and start well; but then let my fruitfulness dry up and my love grow cold. Light the fire again. Amen.

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