Faith and a Fig Tree

Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it,
“Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.”
And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, “How soon is the fig tree withered away!” Jesus answered and said unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”   Matthew 21:18-22

The faith that moves mountains into the sea, is the faith of Jesus Christ.

A Lesson on Faith

“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them,
‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’
”  Mark 11:20-26

The Case of the Hypocrite Fig Tree

“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.’ And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14

“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.’ And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall have. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’” Mark 11:20-26 (KJB)

Do you desire to accomplish great things for God?  Do you desire having power with God in prayer?  Do you desire to be able to move mountains, and cast them into the sea?  It could also be asked, “Do I desire to have power to deliver people from demon possession?”

Jesus was able to curse the fig tree, and the next day was a teaching moment for the disciples to learn; and for us too.  Why would Jesus curse the fig tree?  It was saying it had fruit when it did not.  It was a hypocrite fig tree. The leaves on the tree, even though it was not the season for figs; was declaring that it had figs.  It did not.  Thus Jesus cursed the tree, and it died.

Jesus’s words when they see the tree died away was “Have faith in God…”.  Jesus then proceeds to describe the power of faith in God for those who are forgiven, and forgiving.

Here is a thought for you.  The fruit of being forgiven is forgiving.  If you cannot forgive what someone has done to you; you have not experienced forgiveness.  Can we figure out the rest?

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 355

What do I want for Christmas?

Whenever I am prosperous, or whenever I am afflicted, and mourning, and without the material blessings of God; that I will always be before the “face of God”.  That all those who are called Christian might always be aware that we are always “before the face of God”.

Many times, even as King David, when we are blessed we forget God; and it can be so when we are grieving too.

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.” Psalm 30:6-7 (NKJV)

Our Need to Pray

Prayer is something many people talk about. Prayer: just what is it? Is prayer not one speaking with God?

Can an unredeemed individual pray to a holy God; and get an answer? The Psalmist has written, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18).

How important is prayer? It was important to Jesus. It was His time with His Father, and provided solace, strength, and wisdom in decision making. When He was overwhelmed by masses of people; He would go away to pray (Luke 5:12-16). Hear what Luke says…

“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (KJV)

Let me just close by adding this comment. If Jesus the Son of God, God the Son needed to pray; so do I. I cannot live, breath or have any being without Him.

To whom do we pray? To the Father through the Son; because He made the way possible into the very throne of His grace; to find help in the time of need. (See Hebrews 4:16).

NOW, Let us go pray, and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Becoming A Hero Of The Faith

Caleb is a hero of the Scriptures.  He is heroic in faith.  He is a champion of the Lord.  Wouldn’t it be great to be known by others as a champion of the LORD.  Let’s look at a time in Caleb’s life.  At this point they have reached a destination and battles have been fought and won, and some lost.

“Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel“  Joshua 14:14 (KJV).

Caleb was one of two who when they had returned from spying out the Promised Land, before they would enter it, who had the faith to enter after seeing that there was a hard war to be fought (READ Numbers chapter 13).  Because of his faith he and Joshua were the only people over the age of 20, at the time of the rebellion, that was allowed to enter and dwell in the Promised Land.

Now, we see Caleb being rewarded once again.  In verse 12 we find Caleb saying, “Give me this mountain”, and he said it knowing there were “Giants” in that mountain.  He thrived in the struggle.  His further statement was, “If so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

O, how the one’s who follow Jesus Christ need this heart of faith.  To not be hindered by the barriers, and some of those are self imposed.  To not be loaded down with the baggage of fear and doubt.  How was it that Caleb could go and conquer?

“Because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel”.  Let’s be sure we wholly follow the Lord Jesus, Son of God, King of kings, and LORD of lords.  Through faith in Jesus Christ we can take that mountain that looks daunting at the moment.

-Tim A. Blankenship