Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dead vs Living

Two blueberry plants - one dying, one living and producing fruit.
Last week these plants were both alive and producing fruit, but something has happened to one of them (I don't know what). It's leaves have gone brown, it's fruit has shriveled and looks like raisins. It needs help.
In contrast, the other plant is thriving, with beautiful green leaves and an abundance of fruit. 
Seeing these plants in our garden reminded me that of what Jesus said about the fig tree ....
And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once.
When the disciples saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, How is it that the fig tree has withered away all at once?
And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:19-22 AMP
As I saw the two blueberry bushes, and thought about what Jesus said, it reminded me of how fickle life can be if we are not rooted firmly in Christ. I thought about how in one week, life can change, and if we are not alert, we too can wither and our fruit dries up. But if we lean into Jesus and press on in His strength and power, we have access to really live now and forever. The Message Bible puts it this way ....

But Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Yes - and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God." Matthew 21:12-22 The Message
Question for today, are you embracing all that Jesus has done for you? Do you have a firm relying trust that God is good? If you not, take time today to ask God to help you to embrace more of His life for you, and to increase you trust in Him. He loves you and is for you.

What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Romans 8:31-32 AMP

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