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Daily Devotions – Faith to grow fruit

Fig Trees and Fruits:

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

 

Mark 11:12-26 NIV
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts
12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

 

Why was Peter amazed? Should he have been?

 

It must have been amazing to be following You. Always watching for the unexpected and soaking up Your teaching moments. That day was filled with the unexpected for Peter and the disciples. In this passage, the cursing of the fig tree seems to be related to the cleansing of the temple. The fig tree looked desirable as the leaves were full, but there was no fruit. Those in the temple who were in positions to facilitate sacrifice and forgiveness were instead corrupting the church for their own profit.  The fig tree was symbolic of the barrenness of the temple rituals they used to conceal their focus on selfish motives instead of faith and worship. They deceived just as the fullness of the leaves were deceiving. You predicted judgment to both due to the lack of fruit. I ask You Lord to examine my heart and my motives. Make them pure. I pray for the power of faith and prayer to grow fruit in my life and in the life of the church. Help me to have faith in You and not doubt, so that I can move mountains for You. Let me serve not to look good to others or for my purposes, but to expand Your kingdom by showing kindness and sharing Your love with others. Heal my heart so that I can forgive what others have done to me just as You have forgiven me. Let me grow in faith and bring me close to You. Lord. You are the main thing. Let me shed distractions and remain focused on my relationship with You. Allow me to hear Your voice and follow Your guidance in faith to grow desirable fruit for Your kingdom. Thank You for giving me the power of faith and prayer to change lives for You. Let all that I do and say bring glory to You, my God. I pray in Your name. Amen