FridayFebruary 24, 2017

Daily Devotional

Fig Tree Facade

Read

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”.
Colossians 1:10, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”.

Think

Have you ever wondered why Jesus cursed a fig tree? It seems capricious and cruel, right? Well, He never wasted an opportunity to teach a spiritual lesson with a physical illustration. To answer our initial question, we must backtrack to where He was going to and coming from. Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem when they saw a fig tree fully covered with green leaves. Hungry, He approached it only to discover it bore no fruit. So, Jesus cursed the tree and they went on their way. Now, you know the disciples were exchanging glances and shrugging their shoulders thinking, “What’s that about?” The men arrived in the city, and as they approached the temple, they saw people wheeling and dealing animals in the temple courts. This greatly angered Jesus, and rightfully so. He upended the moneychanger’s tables and drove them all out for disrespecting His Father’s house. The next day after leaving Jerusalem, Simon Peter pointed out that the cursed tree had totally withered and died.

In the Old Testament, the fig tree often symbolized the nation of Israel. The Jewish faith, like the fig tree that looked so outwardly supple, wasn’t producing any spiritual fruit. Jesus does not like pretension. He says His people will be known by the fruit they produce. So, we can go to church every week and occupy a seat, but if we’re not growing in our faith or truly following the path God has set before us, we’re spiritually dead. No matter how impressive our actions might be to others, works achieved through our own effort have zero value in God’s eyes. Are you hiding behind a faith facade or are you producing fruit? Because, remember, God will always uncover what we try to cover up and He cuts off what’s dead.

Pray

Father God, I want to be pruned and in tune with Your purpose. Uncover any deceptions or falsehoods barring me from being who You want me to be. And give me the strength to make wise choices so I can abundantly blossom with the fruit of Your Spirit.

Act

Read Mark 11:12-25. Then ask yourself, “Is my life producing fruit? Do people see Jesus in me? What am I hiding? Which spiritual fruit do I want to see more of in my life? What areas am I lacking in faith?