Peace in Christ to you all on this Tuesday, June 27, 2017,
It’s easy to believe that when someone tragically dies it’s the result of a terrible sin they did. Our minds will go crazy believing so. That’s why Jesus asked the people, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” (Rhetorical question) “No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13: 2-3) “Jesus uses this tragedy to spur His audience into self-examination and an honest assessment of their walk with God.” It should lead all of us to say, “woe is me—for I am a sinful person.” None of us stand guiltless. This led Jesus into 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)
The three year period was Israel’s Old Testament period which the chosen fig-tree was expected to yield fruit—loving faithfulness and service acceptable to God. When there was little to no fruit found, Jesus, the Vinedresser pleaded for a fourth year—the period of grace which went through His death and resurrection and the teaching of the apostles, where much fruit was produced through repentance and forgiveness and the Church grew. On the other hand to those whose hearts weren’t led to repent, the destruction of Jerusalem came.
We, too, live in times when God’s grace will come to an end for every person who is resistant to repentance. Fruitful repentance through confession of sin receives the sweet and glorious forgiveness of the Gospel of Christ which always produces fruitful righteousness. Peace in Christ to you as you walk faithfully with Him.
- Heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it is only through repentance that I am led to the sweetness of Your forgiveness where fruit in my life abounds from Your Holy hand. Lay Your hand upon my heart today to “give up” my unrighteous ways—to confess my sin and then to walk a new way. May Your commands remind me of my failures and lead me to confession and forgiveness where my life then becomes a sweet smelling sacrifice of keeping Your commands in love. Only You Lord can bring this about for within me it is impossible. Only in Christ alone do I trust, for only in Him alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; only through Him alone can I approach Your Heavenly throne Lord. So to You now Lord I make confession—Hear it now through Christ Jesus my Savior. Lord in Your mercy—We pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name.
- Lord, today we pray for Dorothea’s sister Christina and her older children who reject that they are sinful. Break their hearts, the unplowed ground of hardness of heart, that the seed of Your Word which Dorothea sows might take root before Christina passes away from cancer. Lord in Your mercy—We pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name.
- “May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” Lord in Your mercy—We pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name.
Until July 6—The Lord bless and keep you.