You Don’t Have Forever

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Karah

Pause

Take a few minutes to thank God for the gift of today. Consider this: What would be left undone if yesterday were the last day of your life?

“And He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’ But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’”—Luke 13:6-9

 

Read Luke 13:1-9 in your Bible.

-In verses 3 and 5, Jesus spoke the same words. What was the action Jesus told the crowd to take?

-What consequences did Jesus say they would face if they did not act? Why is this important to you today?

 

Read Galatians 5:22-23.

-Galatians 5:22-23 lists characteristics of people who have trusted Jesus as their Savior. These characteristics are called fruit of the Spirit. Verses 6, 7, and 9 also use the word fruit to describe showing godly characteristics. How does the barren tree illustrate the way many people live their lives today? Explain.

-Reread Luke 13 verses 7–9 . The vineyard owner was fed up with the tree because it didn’t produce fruit like it was supposed to. He ordered the vineyard worker to cut it down. But the vineyard worker interceded and asked the owner to give the tree another chance. In the same way, God’s judgment will also come. People must repent before it’s too late.

Respond

Luke’s writing was not only a warning to the people of Israel, but also a warning to you today.

How does this passage challenge you in the areas of your spiritual life about which you tend to think, I’ll do that when I’m older? List some of those areas.

Journal a prayer, asking God to show you specific ways you can live more for Him now.

Jot down the names of two godly older Christians who can be mentors and help you grow spiritually. They could be camp counselors, church leaders, or even older friends. Ask them to pray for you to live more like Jesus each day.

For further study, read Jeremiah 21:8 and Luke 3:8–9.

Behind the Story

The fig tree was often used as a symbol for the nation of Israel (Matt. 24:32-33; Mark 11:12-14). Fig trees are slow to develop, but three years was plenty of time for one to become mature and bear fruit. The extra year allowed in the parable likely represented one final chance, as an act of God’s mercy and grace.[1]

The Point

The gift of another day is God’s grace, not His approval. Time is short, and judgment will come one day.

 

 

 

 

[1] Holman Christian Standard Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010). Accessed via mystudybible.com.


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