John’s Message in Always One More Time
Written by Oladapo Omotosho.
The Fig Tree; The Leaves and The Fruits
Mark 11 verse 13 (AMP)
And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come.
The verse spoke profoundly to me. I wondered that the leaves had a significance in this scripture and not just the fig tree and its not bearing fruit like we all tend to notice. If we look at the scripture closely we would notice that the leaves and the fruit appear at the same time. Not before it or after it but at the same time.
As Christians we are told to produce fruit in accordance to repentance. Fruits that show that we have truly changed. Changed from the way we were before we gave our lives to Christ, and now. There should be a difference. If we are really truthful with ourselves, we would note that we aren’t bearing the fruits we should. Instead many of us still manifest the works of the flesh which are Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, ill temper, selfishness, divisions, party spirit, fractions, sects with peculiar opinions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and the likes. We are instead supposed to produce fruits of soul winning, fruit of the spirit and the likes. People should see these and not just the leaves in us.
The leaves tell us that, in as much as we say we are Christians, what everyone is seeing is the fact that we go to church every Sunday. That we attend church programmes and contribute to the church building project or what have you. Yes, we would be blessed by it, but that’s not all to being a Christian, arguably that’s just religion. We have to produce fruits that would remain. And how can we do that? How can we bear fruit?
If we take a look at the parable of the sower, it sheds more light on the previous verse. Starting from Mark 4 verse 15, it says the seed sown along the path are those who have the Word sown in their hearts, but when they hear it . . . Satan comes at once and takes the message away from them by force. We can liken this to Christians or people who come to church, hear the Word and as soon as they leave they forget whatever they learnt in church and go about their everyday lives.
The second category are those who have the Word sown upon stony ground. These people hear the Word and receive it joyfully. But when tribulations come because of the Word, where they have to stand-out and show they are Christians whether in the office, or in any public setting, they choose to deny it and fall away from the Word.
The third category, and this is where I feel a lot of us Christians fall into, where we have the Word sown in our hearts, but we let various distractions and pleasures of the world lessen the power of the Word within us. We don’t let it take deep roots within us.
Mark 4 verse 19 (AMP)
Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
It becomes fruitless. We become just like the fig-tree which has leaves on it, devoid of fruit. And Jesus saw the fig-tree, with expectation of seeing fruit, but He saw nothing but leaves. Jesus did away with the fig-tree. Its like those disciples who at the end of time were separated away as goats but cried out lord lord and Jesus said depart from Me you workers of iniquity.
The last category are those who have the Word sown in their hearts. They receive it joyfully and they bear fruit. They bear fruit in various degrees as they continue to grow and mature in the Word of God. They bear fruit even as they practice what they hear.
So quickly lets look at 3 ways and areas we can bear fruits:
1. You need to be born again. If you are already born again then you and i may need to re dedicate ourselves back to God. This is very important as Christ is the vine and we are the branches. we cannot bear fruits outside the branch.
2. Make a conscious decision to live an evangelistic life. This means preach without preaching. It’s a step above the church Saturday 3pm time for evangelism, it’s one whereby those around us know us for what we stand for, not just leaves but fruits. These fruits are what people see and run to Christ.
3. Spending quality time in the word of God. This is sure to give us good success when we meditate on it day and night. This act of continuous meditation will lead to us living what we constantly put in our minds and hearts. Continual reading also aids remembrance. Today, ask yourself what Category you fall in.
In conclusion, our lives are like tress that men can see. Many of us confess to be fig trees, which is Christianity, we show leaves but lack fruits. Jesus wasn’t mild nor biased when dealing with the fig tree. We need to right our ways and get to fruit production via living a dedicated life, making a conscious decision to be living evangelists and spending quality time in Gods word. Let us pray.
Image : http://www.tree2mydoor.com/tree-gifts/fruit-trees/fig-trees.html
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