LESSONS FROM THE FIG TREE I
Memorise: Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Read: Matthew 21:18-22 (KJV)
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19 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.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21 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.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Matthew 13, Isaiah 5:8-23
For the next two days, we shall be reflecting on some lessons from the fig tree which Jesus condemned to death for being fruitless.
Fruitlessness is a grievous deviation to all children of God. From our Bible reading, we see that our Lord Jesus Christ was attracted to the fig tree because everything about it told Him that it had the capacity to bear fruit, but alas, He was disappointed (Matthew 21:19). For this reason, the first lesson we need to learn from this fig tree is that physical appearances can be very deceptive. This lesson is stated very clearly in today’s memory verse.
In 1st Samuel 16:7b, when Samuel went to anoint another king to replace King Saul from the house of Jesse, God explained to him: “For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
These words should speak to young people who are waiting on the Lord for a godly spouse. Another lesson to be learnt from the fig tree is that it is dangerous for you to portray yourself as what you are not. The appearance of the fig tree was such that anybody would expect it to possess some fruit.
One can reasonably assume that the fig tree was cursed, not necessarily because it did not bear fruit (Mark 11:13 clearly says it was not its seasons to bear fruit), but rather because it deceptively appeared to bear fruit.
Unfortunately, these days, people pretend a lot. To their shame and peril, many people fail to get the help they need from potential helpers because of the fake lifestyle they portray to the world.They ride in borrowed cars to show off wealth that they do not possess. When such people ask for financial assistance from their closest friends, it is assumed that they are just joking or trying to hide their real worth.
Also, many marriages have broken down irreparably because of deceitful lifestyles. During courtship, some couples conceal many things from each other only for the truth to be discovered on the first night of marriage.
Some men appear to be gentle during courtship, only for them to show their true colours as wife-beaters after the woman says “I do”. Sadly for them, a fellow who sows deceits will also reap deceit. An adage in my mother-tongue says, “The wife you choose from a dancing floor will sooner or later dance away from your house.” Beloved, the antidote for a life of deceit is to be in Jesus Christ, who is the Truth.
Accept Him as your personal Lord and Saviour today, and the shame that follows a deceitful life will cease in your life. When you have the Truth in your life, you will not be a victim of deceit, because you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
Action Point: Repent of all appearance of deceitful living, and be truthful to God, your neighbour and to yourself.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God