DayBreaks for 03/11/13 – Using Up the Ground
Luke 13:6-9 (ESV) – 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. 7 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?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Israel is not a large country. Soil was, and still is, at a premium in Israel. It was not unusual for a vineyard owner to give a little bit of his soil up for a fruit tree but the tree took up the best soil, the deepest soil, and required the most water. Three years after planting the fig tree, the owner came looking for fruit on the fig tree and found none. A fig tree doesn’t grow fruit until three years after planting. So, the owner in this story, had given the tree “due season”, plenty of time, to bear fruit and yet there was none. All this fig tree did was take up valuable soil and water and energy. The owner questioned why the tree was allowed to “even use up ground.”
God had given the Israelites the choicest ground. Their land possessed everything necessary to make themselves a great nation, indeed, a light to all nations. They were strategically positioned to send the fruit of God north and south, east and west; but instead, in-fighting continued to make them a worthless fruit tree.
God has given America extremely choice ground. The American church is the richest group of Christians to ever exist on the face of the earth – by far. As individuals, we are all rich. We all have been “planted” here by God, but not just for our own sake. We’ve been planted here for His purposes…to cooperate and be a part of His plan, to be useful to Him – not to ourselves.
Everyone one of us and all of our churches will have to answer (from God’s perspective) this same question: “Why does it even use up the ground?” What answer would you give God? What answer would you give to anyone around you for why you exist? What fruit are you bearing? (If you’re not bearing fruit…go back and read the parable again. You won’t like what you see!)
PRAYER: Lord, I don’t want to just use up ground, to occupy a position in space and time. I want to be useful to You and for You. I pray that all of us will be open to what You want to do with us and not our own will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page. If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.
NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org). He needs to raise his own support. DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf. One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple. Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account. If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219. You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.
Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years. Check them out! They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).
Your support is greatly appreciated!!!! Thank you!