Spared For Another Year . . .
Spared For Another Year . . .
In Luke 13, the opening verses give an account of Jesus being told about Governor Pilate ordering the brutal murder of a group of Galileans who were in the process of offering their sacrifices. Jesus asked them, "Do you suppose that happened to them because they were the worst sinners in Galilee? No, that was not why that happened to them. But unless you repent, the same thing could happen to you." Luke 13:2-3 (NIV)
We are supposed to notice what is going on around us and to grasp the correct meaning of it. This was an indication of societal violence showing up in the culture. It begins with anger against someone without a cause. It grows into hatred that puts others down. It culminates with murder of those thought-to-be not fit to live. And without cultural repentance for such blatant disregard for the value of human life, we are all at risk.
Jesus then cited another example of a serious tragedy: the death of 18 people who were crushed by the collapse of the tower of Siloam (see Luke 13). "Do you think it was because they were the worst 18 people in all of Jerusalem? No, that was not why that happened to them. But unless you repent, the same thing could happen to you."
This was an example of societal carelessness (they could not care about what happens to other people). If that tower had been built with proper structural soundness, and with good grade materials, it should be standing to this day. It is an example of people putting "my fun" ahead of considering the possible effects this could have on others, such as:
. . . Driving drunk or drugged,
. . . Texting, phoning, eating, and drinking while driving,
. . . Little regard for doing one's best on the job, when doing it quick and cheap would allow more time and money for selfish pleasures.
Then Jesus told the parable about the fig tree that had been mature enough to bear fruit, but had gone three years without bearing any (see Luke 13).
The owner then told the gardener to cut it down. It is taking up space a fruitful tree could be using. The gardener replied,
"Let's give it one more year. I'll dig around it to stimulate its roots, and fertilize it for extra nourishment. If there is still no fruit, we will cut it down. Its disease could spread to others."
We are like that fig tree. God patiently waits, protects, and provides for us, and He notices whether anything comes of it, such as:
. . . Sharing the good news of the Gospel with others,
. . . Opening blind eyes, blinded by media hype,
. . . Setting captives free who were captives to sinful pleasures,
. . . Doing these things personally and also supporting others who are doing them elsewhere.
So the big question is as follows:
"Have I been a fruitful tree the past three years, or is this one . . . my last chance?"
Andrew (Andy) Johnson
Senior-Adult Pastor, Emeritus -- First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana
Fighter Pilot, U. S. Marine Corps (1952-66, Ret.); Chaplain, U. S. Navy (1969-90, Ret.)
eThoughts Team - Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 01-01AJ -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita - Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign-up at ethoughtsteam.com
You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's forward.
eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 | Ruston, LA 71273