The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.’”
Hello blessed children of God, I hope you’re all fine by God’s grace.
In a few hours we’ll be celebrating and thanking God for the beginning of a New Year. What a grace, what a privilege to live to worship Him.
You’re probably very busy right now and there are surely lots of things trying to get your attention, that’s why I’ll try to keep it brief today.
Today we’ll look at the parable of the barren fig tree.
Luke 13:6‭-‬9 NLT

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

Every time I read this Parable, I always took the man who planted the fig tree in his garden for God, and in my understanding the gardener was Jesus.
I think this kind of left me with the idea that God is disappointed and angry with me for not bearing fruits, but Jesus stands to appease His anger towards me and asks God to give me one more chance.
I was really challenged when my pastor, pastor Steven Furtick (lead pastor of Elevation Church) preached on this parable in his sermon How to deal with disappointment, because he said some things which really stroke me.
If we assume that the man who planted is God and that the gardener is Jesus, we’re believing that God and Jesus can have two different opinions on the same thing. Which contradicts what we know about God and Jesus.
John 10:30 NLT

The Father and I are one.”

God and Jesus are One, indivisible, they share the same opinion i.e. what God thinks about you is also what Jesus thinks about you. It’s not like God is angry with you and Jesus is there to appease Him, they both share the same opinion about you.
So, who is the man who planted the tree and who is the gardener? Both are the same person. This parable shows us two character traits of God
God is RIGHTEOUSNESS Himself and God is also MERCY
God’s righteousness here is represented by the man who planted the fig tree in his garden, He did what had to be done, he came every year but there was no fruit on it, making it totally normal for him to want to take it down.
That’s how it is for us with God. He creates us, loves us, plants us where He knows we will prosper and bear fruits for Him, He makes Bibles available to us in as many versions as possible, He puts us in families/churches/countries where we can learn about Him, He surrounds us with all what we need to grow in our walk with God, but we fail to bear fruits.
There are probably areas of your life where you feel fruitful as a Christian but I guess there are other areas where you feel like you’re really messing up, not growing, not doing what is to be done.
When God in His righteousness sees all He has made available for us to believe, and He sees we still don’t believe in Him, we’ve still not accepted Jesus’s salvation or we still voluntarily choose to walk in sin, or we still bear no fruits of repentance, it’s His right to desire to take us down.
But that’s where the mercy of God comes in. God is righteousness but He is also mercy. Because God is mercy, He’ll look at the fact that though He planted us and waited but we didn’t bear fruits, in His great mercy, He’ll decide to give us one more chance.
Luke 13:8-9 NLT

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

Because God Himself is MERCY, He will give you special attention, He’ll fertilize you more and more with His Word, He will cleanse you, teach you through His Holy Spirit. He’ll give you a special boost treatment so that you will start to bear fruits.
What can we retain from this?
God is righteous, He’s seen all my sims, all my flaws, all my errors from 2017, but God is also merciful, He has listened when I begged for His forgiveness, He has forgiven me, He has cleansed me, He has answered me, He is giving me special attention, covering me with His Word, reminding me His promises, instructing me, so that this time around, in 2018 that I may bear fruits.
That’s what God is doing for you and me.
The fact that He’s granting us the grace to enter 2018, is just this, His mercy giving us special attention so that where we didn’t bear fruits in 2017 we will bear fruits in 2018.
Finally, what I like the most about this parable is that it doesn’t tell us what happens the next year, it doesn’t say whether the tree bears fruits or not. I believe it’s God’s way to tell us “you get to choose”.
Because God is ready to forgive you when you messed up, God is ready to accompany you and give you special attention to make you become the Christian He wants you to become, God is available to fertilize you with His Word and that’s just what He does, but God won’t grow for you, God won’t bear fruits for you.
God will do His part, but it’s now your turn as the fig tree to do your part and to decide whether in 2018 you’ll take all of God’s efforts on you in vain or whether you’ll absorb The Word He teaches you, and let Him operate in you so that this year you will bear fruits in areas where you didn’t bear fruits in 2017.
It’s up to you.
NB: Before I forget, God wants you to know, you were about to give up on something this year, a dream, a prayer, something you yearn for and something God definitely wants for you, but after all what happened in 2017 (and perhaps even before 2017), you’ve been discouraged and you’re about to give up. About this thing God is telling you today:
Luke 13: 8 NLT

give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.

God Himself will give special attention and plenty of fertilizer to your dream/prayer. Don’t give up in 2018, leave it another year.
Father Lord God, You are righteousness and You are mercy at the same time. Thank You for correcting me and exposing my faults through Your righteousness when I am wrong, thank You for giving me special attention by having mercy on me, by forgiving me and by doing everything so that I can bear fruits. I love You so much Lord and I am grateful. Forgive me for he areas of my life in which I wasn’t fruitful in 2017, without You I won’t make it Lord, please make me fruitful in 2018, I submit to You Lord, In Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
Happy New Year
God bless you so much
Thanks a lot for reading
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What are the fruits you would like to bear in 2018?
Please answer in the comments section.
Talking about 2017, I think this Colton Dixon’s song “Through all of It” totally summarises what my year looked like, and I think it does for you too. Please check it out it.


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