In Luke 13, Jesus told a parable about a man who owned a fig tree that had produced no fruit in three years. The owner told the foreman to cut the tree down, as it was merely taking up space. The foreman suggested several procedures that, if implement- ed, might produce some long expected fruit. If after that, the tree did not produce fruit, it could be cut down. This parable that Jesus told is not about trees and fruit but it is about people and what God expects from those who come to faith.
One of the reasons of why things are beginning to unravel is because too many churches have departed from the whole Word of God. Certainly salvation comes by “grace through faith” but that is not the end of it. Today’s “hip, with-it churches” are telling us we don’t need the Old Testament, we don’t need the Law, we don’t need the Ten Commandments since we are saved by grace. Too many churches have become nothing more than “self-help, feel good about yourself” counseling centers.
There are two parts to the relationship with God. The first is coming to the realization that there is nothing I can do to earn my way into heaven. We are saved by God’s grace through faith. But God calls on us to respond, to produce fruits that are worthy of God’s grace. Once we are saved by God’s grace, we are called on to live lives of forgiveness, peace, patience, gentleness, self-control, kindness, commitment and humility. We are called not to be just hearers of the Word of God, but doers of the Word as well.
If you look back at Genesis 3, you will see that the original sin was that of self- absorption, self centeredness. And sadly things haven’t changed all that much. We want everything, including our faith, to revolve around me, my wants, and my desires. I want to hear a message that entertains me, makes me feel good about myself, and that requires little to no commitment from me. I mean, God does it all for me, right? All I want to do is walk in, be told I’m loved by God, and then walk out. No muss. No fuss.
Yet, Jesus said, “If you want to follow me, pick up your cross.” That is commitment. Commitment, forgiveness, gentleness. patience, humility, kindness, and self-control are the fruits that we are called on to produce. Are we producing fruit or are we just waiting to be cut down?
Our summer worship schedule has begun! During all of June and July, ILC will have just one Sunday worship service at 9:00am.
Summer worship is a combination of contemporary and traditional services. Communion will be served every Sunday. Song selections are made from the hymnal, as well as the contemporary library.