If I Had One Year to Live by Rex Yancey

If I Had One Year to Live
Rex Yancey
Luke 13:6-9

How would you live your life if you knew you had one more year to live? What would your priorities be?

In our text today Jesus used a fig tree to teach his disciples a lesson. The tree had borne no fruit for three years. He asked the gardener to cut it down. The gardener requested that he let it live for one more year.

The fig tree is an allegory for the nation of Israel. The owner of the vineyard is God. The vinedresser is Jesus. Israel is being given one last opportunity to bear fruit. If it fails, it will be cut down.

A fruit tree had been planted. The purpose of the tree was to bear fruit. The tree was protected in the vineyard with other fruit trees. The gardener had been patient with the tree waiting for it to bear fruit.

We have been planted by God. We have been chosen by his grace. Our purpose is to bear fruit. We are protected by being surrounded with other fruit bearing Christians. God has been patient with us.

If I knew I had one more year to live I would make a few things my priority.


In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of his righteousness…” He knew there would be some things that needed to be second and third. He also knew the temptation would be real to put secondary things ahead of necessary things.

1. My family would be a priority.

David did not spend enough time with his family. Eli spent too much time in the temple and neglected his boys. I would want some quality time with my son and daughter, and my wife and grandchildren, and my other family members if I knew death was imminent.

One doctoral project concluded that fulfilled families have the following characteristics: Committed to the family, spend time together, good communication, express appreciation, have spiritual commitment, and able to solve problems.

If you are too busy for your family, you are too busy! No one on his deathbed will regret not having spent more time at the office. Many will regret neglecting their family.

2. My church would be a priority.

No matter what is being said or written, the church is not obsolete today. Jesus died for his church. He said “The gates of hell shall not prevail against my church.”

I grew up in church, made my profession of faith in church, was baptized by the authority of the church, was married in the church, was licensed and ordained in a church, preached thousands of sermons in a church, and I plan for my funeral to be in a church.

The church can be like a family. There may be some crazy cousins, eccentric aunts, and a few black sheep. However, the church is as much a part of my life as the air I breathe.

One writer said “People wear symbols of the cross to stay in touch with the ideas of Jesus without having to go near people who do business in his name.” T ...

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