October 9                    God is Patient

Luke 13:6 – 9  “ 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.’”   ESV

GOD’S PATIENCE – Verses  6-9

Jesus tells a story that could refer to Israel.

  • Israel certainly had failed God.
  • Israel had been sent many prophets, looking for repentance.
  • Jesus himself came and dug around the roots and added fertilizer, so to speak. Jesus KNEADED the Gospel into their lives
  • And yet Israel refused to repent and was destroyed eventually by the Romans.

But I believe this text is also written for us who are living on God’s Green Earth TODAY!

  • A lost person certainly had failed God….ALL have sinned
  • A LOST WORLD has certainly been sent many prophets, preachers, evangelists, teachers and other believers to lead it to repentance. Some good, some bad.  The TRUTH is here!
  • Jesus himself came and dug around the roots of our lives and added fertilizer, so to speak. Jesus WORKED the Gospel into our lost world…..into their lives, into our lives.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT is here rooting out the TRUTH of our lives today, fertilizing, pruning and directing us towards JESUS!.
  • And yet a LOST WORLD refuses to repent and will surely experience destruction soon.
    • Time is certainly RUNNING OUT
    • The SEASON of HARVEST is soon coming!!
    • Are we willing to see our friends and neighbors CUT DOWN and lost forever?
      • When a little work could change their eternity?
    • The lost person deserves judgment, but God, IN HIS PATIENCE, delays judgment, so that the person has more time to repent.

Often you and I would be like the land owner in the story, we think the LOST PERSON should be removed or judged, but God delays. He delays and convicts the guilty people of His Creation.  People like you and I.

Perhaps, if given more time, the person will come to his senses and repent.

God is the God of SECOND CHANCES at REPENTANCE.

    2nd, 3rd, 5th, 874,376,549,587,034 chances to repent and more

In fact the Lord has not returned yet, in order to give more people time to repent. 2 Peter 3:8-10

“ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”   ESV

So, how does this affect us as Christians?

  • We KNOW the love of God
  • We KNOW that the Lord is coming.
  • There are those who NEED the Lord.
    • We should be hard at work stirring up the hard packed soil of a lost worlds heart and pouring on LIVING WATER
    • We have to WORK IT!
      • We need to SHARE THE WORK
      • We need to SHARE our Story
      • We need to do everything we can to lead them to Jesus SO THEY CAN RISE!!!
    • As long as the Lord is patiently delaying His return, we should be doing two things:
      • Striving to live Faithful, obedient Godly lives.
      • Preparing the HARVEST
        • Praying
          • Time Spent on our KNEES is time well spent
        • Sharing the Gospel

Peter follows up his talk about the judgment with these words for believers. 2 Peter 3:11-14

2 Peter 3:11-14   “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!   But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.   Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.     ESV

Let’s be busy living for the Lord in such a way, that those who need to repent see the need because of us.

God is being patient. We need to be busy.

There is a bunch of work to be done before it is HARVEST TIME!

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