IF YOU BELIEVE…

Matthew 21 nothingDo I really believe what I believe is really real?
 
This should be a daily question for evaluation, a heart check up, if you will, for the answer drives all that we are and do. It is the measure of our faith and behavior. “Who is my hope?” follows this line of questioning with pause for meditation. We can evaluate our faith by pondering these questions that push us deeper into our faith and love for our Savior who redeemed us. The deeper we go in our thinking the more Jesus becomes Lord of our lives.
 
HOLY PAUSE
Stop right now, pause and ask yourselves, DO I really believe what I believe is really real?
 
Do I stake my life on what I believe? Is Jesus truly the Rock upon which I stand and cling?
 
Do I live what I say I believe?
 
Jesus uses a fig tree to teach another valuable faith lesson to his devoted followers.
 
Matthew 21 leavesMatthew 21
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
 
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
 
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
 
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
 
GOING DEEPER…
 
Jesus is getting ready to lay down His life for the world. He is hours away from finishing the mission God sent Him to earth to accomplish. Jesus will go to hell and back for us. So, in his human body, is He merely on edge as he curses a fig tree because it doesn’t produce what Jesus wants to satisfy his physical hankering for a fig?
Mm. There’s more to the story.
 
Matthew 21 whyThat Jesus would curse a tree may surprise us. The same power that killed the tree could also have given it new life and fruit. Jesus certainly would not hold a tree morally responsible for being fruitless.
 
When we consider the time and place of this event, we understand it better. Jesus was near Jerusalem in the last week of His public ministry to His people. The fig tree symbolized the nation of Israel. Just as this tree had leaves but no fruit, so Israel had a show of religion but no practical experience of faith resulting in godly living. Jesus was not angry at the tree. Rather, He used this tree to teach several lessons to His disciples.
 
Matthew 21 God willGod wants to produce fruit in the lives of His people. Fruit is the product of life. The presence of leaves usually indicates the presence of fruit, but this was not the case. In the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6–9), the gardener was given more time to care for the tree, but now the time was up. This tree was taking up space and doing no good. The time of judgment had come.
 
Jesus used this event to teach His disciples a practical lesson about faith and prayer. The temple was supposed to be a “house of prayer,” and the nation was to be a believing people. But both of these essentials were missing. We too must beware of the peril of fruitlessness.
 
Matthew 21 if you believe“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” –Jesus
 
“IF YOU believe” carries the weight of our faith. Who do we trust to guide our lives? What will we do as a result of our faith?
 
Do we really believe what we believe is really real?
 
We can ask God for power, strength, confidence, love, mercy and grace to serve well. God answers this prayer quickly. God wants us to bear the fruits of His Holy Spirit, the seed of which will bear more fruit. What are the fruits God is looking for in us?
 
“…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5: 23, NLT
 
IF YOU BELIEVE
Our behavior looks like this…
 
Matthew 21 Gods bestThose who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5: 24-26, NLT
Simply Jesus: “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another.” Jn15, Ms
 
Let us live what we say we believe!
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you believing you are God and we are not. All my hope is in You. No matter what is going on around me, It is you I trust with my life. You are the Way. You are Truth. You are Life abundant here and Life forever with you. You are Lord of my life. I believe. Help me to be fruitful and productive today and in the days to come that help others believe and follow you, too.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Creation, Discipleship, Embrace, Emotional Health, Encouragement, Faith, First, God, Following Jesus, Forgiveness, Galatians, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, insight, investments, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, relationship with God, repent, Revelation of Jesus, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, temptations, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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