Fruitfulness Is The Key
As you pray, ask God to speak to you today about your life, its faithfulness and its fruitfulness for him.
Read Luke 13:1-9
 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  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.'” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is Jesus calling all of us to do?
Jesus is now challenged to do exactly what he had suggested the crowd could not do; interpret the signs of the times. The crowd refers to an incident where Galileans had been shamed by Pilate, and Jesus himself refers to an incident where people were killed when a tower collapsed. Notice that he doesn’t allow the crowd to shift his attention (or theirs) away from their responsibility to live rightly. He is highlighting the tendency we all have to “shift the blame.” We compare ourselves with others and decide that we are doing OK. Jesus’ words are stark. All of us need to examine ourselves and repent. He then uses a parable (6-8) to help us in that self-examination. Are we living lives that are fruitful? Does our character and behavior demonstrate that we belong to God? If not, the warning here is stark. Jesus himself uses this illustration elsewhere to show that the key to success in discipleship is not fame but fruitfulness.
Take time today to examine your own life before God. Confess any failure and thank God for his forgiveness.
Merciful Lord, forgive the times I’ve shifted the blame and failed to be fruitful. Thank You for Your great mercy.
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