MAY 16 - Proverbs 16 and Luke 13:6-9

MAY 16 - PROVERBS 16:6 and LUKE 13:6-9
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil."
Proverbs 16:6
and
THE FIG TREE
"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none: cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."
Luke 13:6-9
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Illustration with 16 - The #1 is the sketch of a stickman (gardener) with his arm extended; the #6 is a shovel (spade) inside of the gardener's hand; a tree standing to the right. This illustration reminds me of the "extended" lovingkindness of God: The provision of additional time speaks to mercy and the assertion of the duration of time speaks to truth and, when combined, we see that God grants every man the opportunity to turn from evil and turn toward Him.
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When an individual confesses sin, departs from evil, and makes things right with God ... a great and glorious thing called a testimony is induced and we behold, anew, the glory and witness of God's power at work in an individual's soul.
Patiently, God works the hardened soil of man's soul desirous of seeing life on the tree and fruit on the branch. With spade in hand, He digs down deep, cutting the earth and fertilizing it with the nutrients needed for growth and life ...
And then He waits.
Time is of the essence because, while God is not willing that any should perish, He is expectant that all should bear fruit in an acceptable time and He does impose the reality of death upon seeing no certain life ... once the duration of time has run out.
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If you can feel the spade cutting through the soil of your heart, then give God thanks.
He is up to something.
If you are convicted of sin ... God is up to something.
If you are confessing sin ... God is up to something.
If you are departing from evil ... God is up to something.
If you are being purged, pruned, and picked over ... God is up to something.
Be encouraged, my friend, no matter how deep the spade cuts;
 God is up to something.
The branch will thrive,
The fruit will grow,
 The harvest will come,
And God will be faithful.
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You know how deep to cut the soil, Lord, and You know just what is needed to make the soul grow. 
Steady, solidify, and sanctify us in Thy grace. Turn us from every evil and nurture us in a spirit of holiness and contrition.
Except our fruits of confession and let us experience new life in You.
Bring sin out of the shadows and into the light ... and let us magnify and glorify Thy name.
Amen.
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THREE QUESTIONS:
1) Where is the spade making you uncomfortable?
2) What needs to be dug up in your life to cause you to be more fruitful?
3) If you truly believe that God works in the heart of confession ... shoulder up to someone who is making it and give God praise.