One More Year



“A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

~Luke 13:6-9, NASB


We are saved from something, namely hell–to something, ultimately heaven–and for something, to bear fruit.


Have you stopped to think about Luke’s contribution to our lives and what we would be missing had it not been for this heroic physician who spent time with Paul in the Mamertine Prison so that we could have the book of ACTS. Think about the stories Luke told that no other gospel writer shared: The Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are the two most popular stories Jesus told but there are many more in the gospel of Luke that are not recorded in the other gospel. Thank YOU Father for Luke.

Chapter 13 of Luke begins with Jesus teaching on REPENTANCE and then he tells the story of the barren fig tree. The Passage of scripture changed my life when I was 17 years old and I shared that experience the the folks at GRACE POINT yesterday. There are some thing {some I shared in the message and some I did not} that I want to share with you.

  1. The first significant point is the OWNER of the vineyard…A man planted a fig tree in his garden. Of course the owner of the vineyard is the FATHER.
  2. The tree was PLANTED. It did not sprout by accident. It was intentional planted. You and I are the tree and we are planted for a purpose.
  3. The Owner came SEEKING fruit…He expected the tree to bear fruit. Does God have a right to expect us to bear fruit?
  4. The tree [us] had an INTERCESSOR {Gardner/Jesus}. The intercessor asked the owner for an additional year which is a symbol of GRACE because we don’t deserve another year.
  5. The intercessor promises to DIG around the tree and FERTILIZE it. Maybe there are some things that need rooted out of our life if we are going to witness. Perhaps we need to grow spiritually if we are going to bear fruit. The Greek word for fertilize is dung. It may take some stinky, unpleasant situations to get us to the place where we bear fruit.


Charles C. Luther wrote a hymn which we sang when I was growing up; the chorus goes like this:

“Must I go, and empty-handed?” Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him, Must I empty-handed go?

At the age of 17 I was deeply convicted about sharing my faith with others. I asked my Pastor, Calvin C. Inman if he would teach me how to witness and he did so by carrying me with him on countless visitations. He was with me when I lead my first soul to Christ. I’ll admit that all I did was share the scripture and when the boy said he would like to ask Jesus to save him, I was a little shocked but in a good way.

LifeWay has a research web site {} that give statistical data on a number of subjects. According to their research firm, 79% of professed Christians have never attempted to share their faith. If you think this number is bad, 59% have never invited another person person to church. As Keith would say, “Unbelievable!”

  • I know you don’t know it, but yesterday, the third Sunday in May is a hard day for the pastor of DBC. Joe David did three messages yesterday to three totally different congregations. The first two, I could handle but the third would be very stressful. You don’t know it or realize it, but yesterday is an emotionally exhausting day. For some of you smart alecs who don’t believe me, try doing it yourself next year. You will become a preachers best friend once you try.
  • We got a little shower here at 1120 Iron Man Road. PTL, I will take rain over a drought any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
  • Dr. T. Ray Keenum will be preaching at the Muscle Shoals Baptist Pastor’s conference this morning. Lord willing, I am going in that direction if anyone wants to go with me.

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