Logo

Messages Include Sermons, Shorts, and Radio Programs

"Fertilizer of Luke 13"

There is something that is vital to life. We,as physical human beings, think of it as vital for plant life.
What I am talking about is fertilizer.
Fertilizer is defined as this; a substance used to make soil more fertile.
The word fertile is defined as this; a) producing or bearing fruit in great quantities. b) capable of growing or developing.
So then fertilizer is a substance used to bring a plant to the point of bearing abundant fruit.
I'm sure you've seen plants that look wilted or droopy and weak. Then you give it some water and fertilizer.
After a while you could see a change for the better. Fertilizer is vital to good plant growth that brings about maturaty.
There is a spiritual side to this analogy. We are spiritual plants and we need spiritual fertilizer.
 
John 15:16 - "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" NIV. 
These words are the words of Jesus Christ our Savior. Jesus wants all His disciples to bear fruit. The fruit that will last would be the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians chapter 5.
The fruits of the spirit are attributes of Jesus Christ. We are called to copy or grow in these attributes.

I Peter 2:9-- "but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises, (show virtues) of him who called you out of
darkness into his wonerful light." NIV.

Luke 13:6-9-- "then he told this parable: A man had a fig tree, planted 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" NIV

We, as a church and individually are given many chances to do what God says and produce the fruit He wants to see. If it weren't for Christ being our intercessor we wouldn't have a chance.
Jesus is the gardener that nurtures us, takes care of us, and feeds us the spiritual food we need.
In verse 8 we read of the gardener wanting to dig around it and fertilize or dung it. He wants to feed the fig tree good food or fertilizer so it might finally produce fruit. The owner of the
fig tree is God and the gardener is Jesus Christ. The fruit God wants is success in doing His work as a church, or people. When we bear the fruit of the spirit those around us
will see God's Holy Spirit working through us and helping them see that God's way is the way to true happiness and eternal life. The fruit is what comes from spiritual growth, ATTRIBUTES
OF CHRIST.
What is the fertilizer or dung in verse 8? What does Christ use to help us grow and produce the fruit vital for our salvation? He teaches us through His spirit, but there is something else.

Jodn 15:1-2-- "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be
even more fruitful." The gardener, The Father in this case prunes us, takes care of us, the plants. The Greek word for prunes is KATHAIRO whick means to cleanse.

Going on in verse 3-4-- "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the
vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." NIV
We cannot produce fruit unless we are in the vine, in Christ, following Him wherever He leads. He is our shepherd.

John 10:14-16-- "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that
are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."NIV  Our shepherd will not Lead us where we will not producce
fruit.
Satan will try to deceive us and lure us to follow him. The true sheep of Jesus will not follow anyone but the true shepherd because they know the Shepherd's voice and follow Him not the false
ways of Satan the Devil.
We still haven't gotten to what the firtilizer of Luke 13:8 is.

James 1:1-18-- "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:Greetings. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you
face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the
one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all
they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the
sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed
is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should
say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect
gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be
a kind of firstfruits of all he created."NIV

If we look to God during trials and temptations we will grow in many areas and the result is fruit in our lives. It's hard to have joy in a trial when you are in the midst of a severe one
because they just are not fun. The joy comes when you look back and see where God brought you through and shows where you have grown.

John 16:31-33-- “ 'Do you now believe?' Jesus replied. 'A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not
alone, for my Father is with me. 'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'” NIV

Jesus Christ is our example to learn from. We will have trials and we will grow from them.
We will have trials and temptations. Some will be severe, some not so severe. It's all in reliance on God and Jesus. In  this end time we will be faced with many trials and tests.

Psalms 91:1-16--
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Matthew 24:3-13,21-25-- "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your
coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will
hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and
you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive
many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Verses 21-25-- For then there will be great
distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect
those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear
and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time." NIV

We need to be close to our shepherd, Jesus Christ. If we are not we will be deceived.
When we go through trials we can become discouraged and turn from God like many have tragically done.
We need to draw closer to him and produce good fruit in the end.

I would like to leave you with a passage from the Gospel of John.
John 15:9-17-- “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands
and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has
no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s
business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that
you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other." NIV