And He told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?' And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" (Luke 13:6-9)
I really like the attitude of the vinedresser in this story. Most workers would just get out the axe and the tree would be firewood by sundown.
But this man is different. He asks the owner to give the tree one more year. During that time, the vinedresser is going to dig and fertilize and do all this extra work—and why? Because he cares about the tree. Even though so far it's been useless, he doesn't want to see it die. He wants to save it.
There's no denying that we can be an awful lot like that tree in Jesus' story. We know we should be bearing fruit for God—living lives that are good and holy and bring honor to Him—but, well ... and so we fear the judgment we know in our hearts we deserve.
But Jesus says, "No. I'm going to save these people. I love them, and will do everything that can possibly be done for them, to make sure they live. I will live with them, suffer for them, die for them, and rise again. I will share My own life with them. Then they will live and bear wonderful fruit!"
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Yourself to save me. Amen.
* Do you enjoy growing plants? Why or why not?
* Have you ever saved something other people thought was useless? Tell the story.
* How do you imitate Jesus' love in your own life towards others?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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