Bear Fruit, a Lenten Devotion

Throughout Lent, we’re featuring devotions by members of a writing group at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines, NC.

Luke 13:1-9

“This is your last chance—1, 2, 3!” How many times have I shouted those words in order to correct my disobedient children? Even though they frustrated me with their naughty behavior, I frequently gave them opportunities to redeem themselves.

In today’s Scripture, a fig tree was unable to produce any fruit during its growing season. The logical conclusion was to cut it down in order to spare the fertile soil. However, the gardener asked for a pardon, hoping to give this unproductive sapling another chance to survive. He was willing to offer this fruitless tree tender, unmerited care to save its life.

As a loving gardener, God bestows grace on God’s children, gently nudging us to turn around and repent. During our rebellious years, God is patient and kind while revealing opportunities for us to yield fruit. God may even use our painful circumstances as fertilizer to foster new growth.

As an ultimate act of love and mercy, God gives us another chance through the cross. It is here that Jesus is lifted up to call his people toward redemption. However, we aren’t to relax in the thought that God is long suffering, taking our time in bearing fruit. The verses here suggest that the fig tree will eventually be destroyed if it is unproductive.

As a nurse, I see the brevity of life in the unexpected deaths of patients through accidents or sickness. The end of life sometimes occurs sudden, almost randomly, and often through no one’s fault. Regardless of how it occurs; we all will die. Our only hope is to be ready for death by repenting of our sins and then producing fruit.

How long will you wait to repent?

Lord, help me to repent of where I have fallen short of your glory in my life and draw me closer to you. Amen.

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