If we can encourage others, we should encourage them.
~Romans 12:8

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pastor Bob Phillips - The Parable of the Fig Tree

Here are notes I took from a message delivered by Pastor Bob Phillips at Encourager Church in Houston, Texas on Sunday July 11, 2010. I pray they are a blessing to you.

Sun 7/11/10 – Pastor Bob Phillips @ Encourager Church

Luke 13:1-9 The Parable of the Fig Tree
1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." 6Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "

• Bob had a good message planned but God changed it Friday night
• He said tell the people about my unfailing love towards them
• Bob had taught on this parable before but not regarding God’s unfailing love
• The crowds have gathered around Jesus to listen to Him
• They said did you hear about the Galileans and the horrible thing that happened to them
• What made them so horrible? Why did this happen?
• Jesus reminded them of the tower of Siloam and was saying it’s not that others sins were worse
• You can’t judge from your standards
• We’re all sinners who must repent
• We’re all in the same boat
• Jesus tells the Parable
• Isaiah 5 parable about a vineyard, is the twin parable to this one.
Isaiah 5
The Song of the Vineyard
1 I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
3 "Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could have been done for my vineyard
than I have done for it?
When I looked for good grapes,
why did it yield only bad?
5 Now I will tell you
what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge,
and it will be destroyed;
I will break down its wall,
and it will be trampled.
6 I will make it a wasteland,
neither pruned nor cultivated,
and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
not to rain on it."
7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are the garden of his delight.
And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
• In Isaiah it starts I will sing a song of my Beloved
• It doesn’t end well
• God planted a vineyard and God did all He could in it
• It should have grown and produced but it didn’t
• What more could I have done?
• Why?
• I expected good grapes, why did I get worthless ones?
• I won’t toil anymore; I’m leaving it alone
• Isaiah’s song becomes a parable of judgment
• Luke 13:6 the parable of the fig tree
• If you’re not living on the edge with God then you’re occupying too much space
• The fig tree wouldn’t produce fruit so the owner came and said cut it down
• Vs 8 (differs from Isaiah) let it alone and give it another year
• Be careful how you measure/judge things
• You will always find someone with a judgment against you
• No matter how nice you are and how hard you try to do right
• You must believe in God’s judgment not man’s
• It’s God we please not man
• Don’t get rebellious about it
• Owe no man anything but to love him
• In this life we will be judged by people
• We’ll be judged unfairly and misunderstood
• God has rights
• There are the rights of the proprietor
• God owns the vineyard; He owns this world
• In the midst of all the madness remember this is God’s world
• He owns the vineyard and the vines
• We are the vines
• God has every right to do whatever He wants to do with us
• God has an unchangeable character so He’s not whimsical
• He loves us when we don’t deserve it
• He forgives us when we don’t deserve it
• God chooses to deal with us with unfailing love
• While we were yet sinners Christ loved us
• Then we judge ourselves in a way that God doesn’t even judge us
• Hebrews 7:24-25 God’s priesthood is an everlasting priesthood
• God is able to draw near to all who draw near to Him and to save them forever
• Yes there’s a place reserved for us in heaven but it also means healing/love/rescue
• God has a right to love others that I have a judgment against
• It’s His right
• God not only heals your past, He owns your future
• The parable is about how judgment should have come; God has every right to expect fruit, and every right to do whatever He wants to do with the vineyard
• We can stand in confidence; the 1st step in walking in the Spirit is taking the position in this parable
• That God has every right to do whatever He wants to do with me
• But He has the right and He chooses to love me
• He chooses to care for me when I don’t deserve it
• He has a right to protect me when I’ve made myself vulnerable
• Pastor Bob knew a man that experienced so many setbacks that he’d become embittered with God
• His wife left him and he was on business in Chicago
• There was a bar across the street from his hotel
• This man had been delivered instantly of alcohol many years before
• With his anger towards God he said I used to have fun when I was in that crowd
• (that’s a lie)
• The man decided he would go get drunk
• The man ordered a drink but the waitress just stood and stared at him
• He bought 2 more drinks but she kept standing and staring
• The waitress finally told him ‘You don’t belong here. Forgive me for staring but there’s a glow all around you.’
• He was so mad he got up and left (never touched the drinks)
• Even when you’re wrong God can still put a glow on you because He owns you
• The man decided to go to his room to get drunk there
• He bought liquor at the market
• The man at the market said “God said to tell you He’s not angry with you and He loves you very much”
• Angrily he threw away the liquor
• He kept having experiences like that
• God went through lots of trouble to stop him from sinning
• The man turned back to God
• Maybe the devil keeps reminding you of your sins, but God has every right to forgive all those sins
• God doesn’t overlook sin but the parable is about an intercessor who is ever able to forgive and heal
• God doesn’t heal because all the conditions are right
• God has a right to heal a person regardless of unforgiveness in that person’s life
• Yet He never breaks His character
• We can’t judge what happens based on our tiny understanding of the universe
• Some people spend all their lives trying to fit God into something
• When you think you have Him figured out He nails you
• God knows what it will take in order for His vineyard to be well cared for
• He knows how to tend His vineyard
• We are to bear fruit
• Yes that’s saving souls but that’s not the fruit
• You can be a pagan and save souls
• Isaiah went through 5 chapters before he got the revelation that he was a man of unclean lips
• People have a right to expect fruit when you claim to be a Christian
• At one point Bob was going to church every Sunday but there was no fruit or compassion
• He was a business man all about his business
• One of his employees was witnessing everywhere and witnessed to a doctor that called Bob and complained.
• Bob told him that there’s a time and place for everything and he needed to be about business at work.
• The man questioned Bob.
• He said you said you were a Christian and you know this doctor is on drugs and a danger to himself and others and about to lose his marriage and possibly his life, but you’re telling me not to share Christ with him?
• Bob was so angry but convicted. He didn’t even have a Bible so he went to a bookstore and ended up getting 5 Bibles.
• God’s hand and mercy was upon him.
• God expects us to produce the fruit of the likeness of Christ
• He was fully God and He was fully man
• The fruit God expects is Christlikeness
• Jesus laid aside his rights to be God and chose to walk as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit
• You must realize God owns you
• Without that realization you will have gaps in the times you walk in the spirit
• God without You I don’t even want to try to do it
• You walk in the spirit because you’re absolutely dependent upon God alone
• The parable says if it doesn’t bear fruit cut it down
• The parable is really saying God has a right to expect fruit from you
• The point is there is an Intercessor
Habakkuk 3:17 though the fig tree should not blossom…yet I will rejoice in the Lord…
• Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
• Wherever your failure is God can pass through it
• He doesn’t just gloss over it; He goes thru it with you and brings you out on the other side
• He delights in unchanging love
• What an awesome God we serve
• God puts up with you when nobody else will
• God has an unchanging love
• It doesn’t rise and fall
• His anger is not like our anger
• It passes thru the rebellious acts so He can bring recovery and fruit
• Jude 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
• In the last days people will make fun of you for being a Christian
• God warned Pastor Bob that the devil is trying to bring offense to this congregation
• Offense is judgment
• The enemy is laying the snares of offense
• If you’ve got one foot caught in the snare thank God for exposing it
• People throw away a lifetime of good decisions for one offense
• Pray until you feel a closeness and intimacy with God that is able to break whatever the enemy is bringing against you
• Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling…
• You don’t have to sin
• You won’t walk in sinless perfection; but you don’t have to sin
• We can walk empowered by the Holy Spirit
• Jude 24 …standing blameless in the presence of His glory
• That’s where you recognize how magnificent He is
• It’s so strong that you can feel it
• Where it’s so thick you can cut it with a knife
• You can stand in that presence blameless with exceeding joy

1 comment:

  1. PRAISES BE TO GOD ALMIGHTY, for he is most worthy to be praised. I never had a clear understanding of God's Love and How to truly Trust Him At His Word and Promises. I'm very excited to know that the things and situations that's in my life and that i will/have going thru. I truly know what to do now. Thank You and Amen.


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