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03072010 BRUMC 1 Cor 10:1-13 & Luke 13.1-9 The Fig-less Fig Tree

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Call for Faithfulness in the Wilderness

10:1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

10:6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play." 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents.

10:10 And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Luke 13:1-9 Call for Faithfulness in Suffering

13:1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.

13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them–do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did."

13:6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’"

A Call for Faithfulness in the Wilderness of Suffering:

Don’t have a Fig-less Fig Tree

Accountability is Certain.. Bear fruit of our Spiritual Nature while we are souls are living.

What is our nature.. We are created by God’s love, Called to Have Faith.. our nature is to Trust.

The meaning of that Trust comes when we believe despite what we have seen.

How many have seen Jesus Christ, face to face? Blessed are those who have… For Thomas doubts no more.

How many have not seen Jesus Christ and still believe, and trust him as your Lord, and you Savior?

Where it is safe here among believers, surrounded by the saints, all dressed up and ready for church..

Yes, Lord, We Believe!

What about where there are cloudy times? Wilderness times

Hungry Times Thirsty Times

Tempting Times Justified Complaining Times

1 Cor 10:13 “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

All My life I’ve heard this passage: “I’ve Got Suffering and Troubles… But God won’t give me more than I can handle.”

The Testing over our capacity of faith, NOT our physical endurance or tolerance.

Our Spirits are tested, and God gives us to answer to pass the test.

If we but ask.. What is the Answer? “I believe” “I trust”

All the cloudy, wilderness, hungry, thirsty, tempting complaining times will come,

Who do we turn to for our strength? Our hope? Our life?

Our own strength? Our government’s power? Our determination? NO…

We live in a world were there is tragedy, sin, evil, death, corruption, mis-trust and greed… Where do we go for answers? Direction? Patience? And Life?

The thing about testing:

CRCT: We need 100 volunteers, a ministry that would cost NO money, not hurt the budget in anyway.. is to go to the school this week, sign up as a volunteer to help tutor our children to pass this test.. or we are going to not only get off probation backwards, but we will say it doesn’t matter of our neighbor child learn.

It’s not my kids, Its not my job, Its not my home, Its not my problem

Its our neighbors, their lack of work, there coming to our doors, it is ours..

But think if you were from another planet…

Youth sit for several ours staring at a few sheets of paper and the young men and women bubble in little circles.. and if they bubble in the correct matrix of dots they are likely to be great students and get scholarship and if they make marks in some other pattern they are poor students and may not get to go to college at all.

How is it that those little tiny bubbled-in marks are signs of learning?

A: because there is a corresponding key and choices on those papers.

The measure of the marks reflects what is known on the in side.

Just as the fruit on a fruit tree is a sign of the nature of what type of potential is in the tree..

Just as the fruits of the spirit are signs of our passing grade in our relationship of trusting and believing God 1 Cor 10b: God is the faithful one…

look on God’s paper for the answer to life’s questions, trials, and tests.

Don’t rely on your own work, God has given us a cheat == Jesus Christ is our answer… he has taken the test for us and passed with a 21000.

Why keep thinking you can do better than God.

A figless fig tree: Potential. Time. Yield.

How much potential? God has made all things possible

How much yield? Some 10, some 20, some 100 fold..

The question we cannot know the answer is Time: What are you waiting for?

Begin to bear fruit of God at work in you..

Start praying. Start serving in his name. Start tutoring in his name.

Start bible study, Start Sunday school, Start singing in the choir,

Start inviting people to worship, Start volunteering BEFORE someone begs

Start while you have the time.. There are no fig-less fig trees in heaven.

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