As Christians, we need to constantly be focused on producing and bearing fruit for the Kingdom. But sometimes, it’s not that easy. Our purpose can get confused by other concerns that creep into our lives. How can we continually bear fruit and help multiply Christians around the world?
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 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. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. Mark 11:12-14 NIV
Does Your Life Bear Fruit
I remember buying an expensive cosmetic product. My plan was to only use it on special occasions. It was months before I used it for a second time, only to find out it had dried and was as hard as a rock and absolutely useless. I had paid a lot, and it was now worthless.
When Jesus approaches the tree in our text, He does so with anticipation. His stomach is probably growling, and perhaps He thought to himself that a small unripe bitter fruit was better than nothing to sustain Him as He was heading to the temple, where He would be turning tables.
Jesus was not a farmer, but He most likely knew the seasons. So why was He looking for fruit? After some research, I discovered that fruit in the fig tree starts coming out pretty much at the same time as leaves. If there were leaves, but no fruit at all, something was wrong with that tree.
Just like my makeup, the tree had lost its purpose. Sadly, this happens to believers too. They have gifts and potential, but they bear no fruit. Their God-given purpose is annihilated by other concerns. Their spiritual lives may be nothing but religion without God’s Spirit. What about you?
Securing the Fruit
One of the things that can prevent a fig tree from giving fruit is not having enough water. Psalm one gives us the remedy. It says not to follow the advice of the wicked, be like sinners or join in with mockers, but to delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it. Then what happens?
“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:3, NLT
It is the antithesis of the fig tree. It shows a promise of fruit in season and constant refreshment. This is how the book of Psalms begins.
How about you and I make a decision to delight in the law and meditate on it so we’re not ever found without fruit in our lives.
Heavenly Father, forgive me if I have ever been fruitless. Turn my heart towards You. Set my soul on fire for You, like only You can do. May I love Your Word and keep it in my heart. May I seek Your precious presence daily. This way, I will be like the tree in Psalm 1 and have an abundant life. Amen.