Monday, May 26, 2008
Everyone has heard this story. If you haven’t then you are about to hear a great one. Take a moment and read this passage, even if you have read it in the past. You may see something new in this text that you have never seen before.
Mark 11 12-14,
12-14As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn't yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: "No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!" And his disciples overheard him.
20-21In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, "Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!"
Fig trees produce leaves before they produce fruit. So this caught Jesus’ eye from a distance. He knew that this tree wasn’t supposed to be producing, so he came to check it out.
I was always puzzled at why Jesus cursed the tree. It wasn’t time for the fruit to be there so why did he curse it? It was because it was a phony. It was advertising it was something it wasn’t. It is so interesting that it caught Jesus’ attention. Here He is walking along with his closest friends they are probably talking, and He notices this tree in the distance, and He walks over to it.
Here is the thing. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS!!! WOW THIS IS SO GOOD!!!l
Fig trees produce leaves right before the will produce fruit. So when Jesus saw the leaves He knew that fruit should be about to come forth. When He went looking there was nothing there.
OK I AM SO EXCITED HERE WE GO!
So many times we put on our little “Christian mask”. We have learned how to walk through life with saying the right things at the right times, we may even attend church and say “Hallelujah” from time to time. We have the leaves, but when we are checked there is no fruit in our lives.
So many people will just go through the motions of living a Christian life. Let me tell you it is a life style it isn’t what we do on Sunday morning. If you are just giving God your 2 hour time once a week, the rest of the week you are living for you. You are never going to see true change in your life. I will go one step further and say you will never see the full blessings of God on your life.
There is one thing that God can’t stand is lukewarm. He would rather you be cold then lukewarm. This tree is reflective of a lukewarm tree. It looks like a fig tree, has leaves like a fig tree, but when push comes to shove it is just a phony! That is why the tree was cursed.
It is not that you go to church, it is how you go to church. If you don’t go to church then put it this way. It is not that you are a good person in public, how are you when the doors are closed? What is in your heart? What are your intentions when you do something?
What do I mean by that? If you are cussing your kids on the way there, got drunk the night before, nagging your husband before you walk in the church doors before you put on your “Christian mask”. I love it when working with people you will meet a child’s mom. We will call him Johnny. I start talking to Johnny’s mom and she is being just so super mom Christian with me. “Ohhhh little Johnny he is just a blessing sent from the Lord. And we will be praying for you and your family this week ok”-Johnny’s mom. All the while Johnny is sitting there with his mouth wide open and asks “Are you ok mom? You just called me a ____ ______ before we got here!” I don’t know about you, but I want to be the same on closed doors as I am in public! AMEN?
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
I love this this is so opposite of anything we know on earth. We think that if you look put together if you are smiling that means that you have your life together. That isn’t how God checks us. He looks deeper then man he looks on your heart. Today I believe He is looking.
You may be saying I want to know how do I know what fruit I have. The Bible puts it quiet plainly in the following verses. Read and see…..
19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Do you see more of the bad fruit on this list or the good? I have found it is really hard to examine ourselves. I know for me it hurts when God holds up the mirror so I can see what He sees.
How do you change?
Well, if you are in a church and are not getting fed I encourage you to get in one! Mine would be a great one! You have to have a church family that will support you, and help you get to your destiny. If you are not in one like that then you need to find one. Number 2 is to get in God’s word daily really read it and absorb it. Seek Him daily as you do He will begin to change your heart which will start changing your fruit. People think that going to church or being a good person is what God wants. Really all God wants it to be Number One in your life. That is it.
I believe that if we as a church will get a hold of this word and really let it sink in then we will start to change a world for Jesus. People are sick of fake Christians. They are ready to see the church of the Bible moving with power and love! Let it start with us. Hey there was only Jesus and 12 disciples and look at how many lives they changed! Surely we can do the same with the power of Him that lives in us!