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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : The work God does in us

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On the last evening of the year we spoke about Sylvester. Rome was a heathen city and did all manner of evil and filth on the last day of the year. It was a day of liberty and everyone did whatever came to their minds. A bishop Sylvester decided to celebrate the New Year with a service and around God’s word and that is why the service on the last day of the year is called Sylvester after this bishop. Psalm 139 v 23 says “Search me oh God …” We need to start the new year having made right with God and man.

In Luke 13 v 6-9 we read about the fig-tree that was planted. The fig-tree and the fruit it bears refers to every person. God planted each person and if you are a child of God, you are an heir in that family. You inherit the divine blood from heaven and have more riches than any prince could wish for. It is the new year. Are you bearing good fruit? The owner rejoices when he finds good fruit on the trees he has planted.

Some trees only bear fruit in the third year but some small trees are full of fruit. Is God happy with the fruit you are bearing? This fig-tree, however, bore no fruit and it was said that it should be chopped down. The owner was heart-broken. He had much patience and wanted the tree to be left for another year. In your life, God expects the fruit of the Spirit but instead, it could be that He finds anger, resentment, lack of forgiveness and immorality. He then asks that tree is not chopped down but is given another chance.

The owner then digs around a tree. That could mean that he chops a root and it is painful or that he uses pruning shears. There are things that will hurt you in this process. He uses fertilizer which doesn’t smell good. There will be difficulties but God is busy. You blame circumstances. You say you are poor but if you fold your hands, you will die a beggar. You cannot play with God. You will regret it if you are stiff-necked. After death comes the judgment and you might end up hearing the words “Depart from me, you who are wicked.” The Lord Jesus gives everyone another year. If you reject it, you deserve a kick. Make the best of it.

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