Monday, September 21, 2015

Parable of the Fig Tree: Why Does It Use Up Ground?

“And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"”         Luke 13:6-9 NASB

This is the sixth day in our "fig tree" series, although I've written about fig trees before because mine has been such a problem over the years. If you're just joining us, here are the links to the previous posts in the series: The Fig Tree With No FruitLiving Like a Barren Fig TreeCut It DownRemoving the Cancer of Hidden Sin, and The Cost of Hidden Sin, as well as links to other "fig tree" posts: The Come Back TreeThe Lesson of the Fig Tree (One of my fav's), and My Daily Fig. (They'll open in a new tab)

Today, we are considering the landowner's words, "Why does it even use up the ground?" We might ask the same question by saying, "What is its purpose?" It's a question that we do well to answer for our own lives. 

What is my purpose in life?

There are many potential "purposes" in life, some of which are noble and endearing. We can invest our lives in good deeds, humanitarian causes, obtaining vast knowledge or expertise in our chosen field, raising "successful" children, or making large sums of money. 

Where am I investing my life? 

What purpose am I seeking to fulfill? Is it THE purpose for which I was created? 

The purpose of a fig tree is straight forward. The fig tree exists to bear figs. We, too, have a straight forward purpose for which we were created. We are to glorify God in all we do. 

You may ask, "How do we glorify God?" One of the best ways is to obey God's will. There's a tendency to view God's will as a mysterious secret that must be uncovered, but God has told us His will quite clearly in Scripture. There may be additional specifics He requires of us, but if we strive toward what He's given us, we will have made a good start.

To begin, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Our thoughts, words, and actions must be done with the motivation of love. 

Paul's words to the Thessalonians give further insight into the will of God.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality... and that no man transgress and defraud his brother ... For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another... But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, 9-12 NASB

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes. 5: 18 

Sanctification. Purity. Love. Excellence. Thanksgiving. 

We make a good start when we understand our purpose, but we begin to fulfill that purpose by the way we choose to live. We begin to be sanctified by choosing purity. Choosing love. Choosing excellence. Choosing thanks.

"Why does it even use up the ground?" If the question were asked of our lives, what would be the answer? Our lifestyle choices demonstrate our purpose in life. Let's live so that we bring honor and glory to God.

Our Father, forgive us of our selfishness, pride, greed, lust. Draw us to Your purposes for our lives. Help us to live with love in a way that bring honor and glory to You, and You alone. In Jesus' name, Amen.
#JesusChrist #disciple #purposeinlife #glorifyGod #Bible