Matthew 3:10 – “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” NASU
Luke 13:6-9 – “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. 7 “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?’ 8 “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'” NASU
Now for the conclusion of this thought and something that I believe is vital, encouraging, and beneficial for us to consider. That is the Keeper of the Vineyard or Orchard’s Intercession. I hope this helps us to realize that our Lord Jesus is making intercession for us and we need to repent and receive the Grace and Provisions of the Lord so that we can see His Promise fulfilled in our lives.
Notice that the Plea is for more Grace (v.8). One more year! The one that had done all the labor, with no credit pleads for more time. Jesus, the one who brought us Salvation, is interceding with the Father for more time for us to become what He has desired. It may not be one year, it may be twenty, thirty, or forty, but the plea is Grace!
Jesus declared in His prayer in John 17:15, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil.” Hallelujah! Some believers are so involved and invested in themselves they are bearing no fruit. I don’t want to be negative but what if this is your last opportunity to Bear Fruit?
The Keeper of the Vineyard or Orchard promises to do more work to help the tree produce. Imagine that, Jesus is willing to invest Himself more than He already has to help us become fruit-bearers. Notice in (v.8) – “I shall dig about it and dung it.” I will bring heavenly fertilizer to it for nourishment. I will prune out the dead and worthless branches. I will do everything I can to enable it and encourage it to bear fruit!
The Grace of God is without measure and certainly far beyond any level of deserving, we might have. We deserve judgment not mercy, but God continues to extend mercy to us. Freely we have received, freely we should give. Any fruit that is found will be the result of Grace, not self. It will not be by our works but His. It will not be by our ability but His. It will be Him and Him alone, we will simply be willing participants in allowing the Life of the Vine to produce fruit in us.
Nothing is to be taken from the other trees and this tree cannot be allowed to drain the nourishment from others. So, there will be more digging, more pruning, more fertilization, and more attention given to the root of the problem. That may cause you to become disturbed and wonder what is going on in your life that so much upheaval, digging, and pruning is going on. It is to enable you to Bear Fruit! God is seeking Fruit not Firewood!
The Keeper’s Grace and Patience has a limit. He agrees that this last effort is final as is seen in verse nine – “After that.” How chilling are those words? After that. The tree may be completely unaware of the finality of the situation. This is the Last, Second Chance and the Last Effort of Grace to gain fruitfulness.
It may come as a season of Affliction. It may come through a soul-searching Sermon. It may come through some Providential Incident. No, I am not saying that God will send sickness on you. That’s not God. I am saying, He may pull back His hand and allow the devourer to attack for a time not to punish you but because of His incredible Love. He wants each of us to Bear Fruit. He wants us to Be Holy because He is Holy. He wants us to Manifest Him to the World. He wants us to be instruments in His hand and become His weapons of warfare in the pursuit of Destroying the Works of the Devil.
My cry is Lord – USE ME! Help me Produce Fruit. Help me to not ‘cumber’ the ground. Help me be Like Jesus! God is looking for Fruit not Firewood! Will you be a fruit-bearer? You can choose to be obedient and the Holy Spirit will lead you into the fields that are already white for harvest. God will stir up the Gifts that are in you and enable you to bear fruit!
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!