Monday, February 25, 2008

All Seasons are Your Season

“Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.” – Mark 11:12-14

Most of us are living examples of our disbelief in God’s sovereignty. We say we believe that our days are numbered, and that God only knows the day in which we will die and meet Him face to face. Yet we don’t spend our time preparing for that day.

When Vacation Bible School is near, you’ll find many devote Christians studying God’s word in preparation. When a Revival or special Bible Study is coming, the same is true. Yet each and every day we wake could be the day that the alarm clock of our life goes off. It could be the day the angels are released from Heaven to escort us into the presence of our Lord. But do we believe it with our hearts?

The disciples were on they’re way out of Bethany after Jesus triumphal entry to Jerusalem before the Passover and His crucifixion. He walked by a fig tree, and seeing there was no fruit to be offered, he cursed the tree and it withered. But if you read Mark’s account of the incident, you’ll find that “it was not the season for figs.” Passover came in March or April. During this time fig trees would produce a number of buds, and then actual fruit later on. What Jesus was looking for was the edible buds that the tree would have had if it were going to bear fruit later on.

When Jesus found no edible buds on the tree, he cursed it. His judgement was not simply that the tree would never bear fruit again. The tree itself withered and died.

When reading this passage, I had to stop and ask myself, what if Jesus were to request figs of me today? Would I have anything to give? Would I be able to show him even the buds of fruit to come? Or would he look at me in disgust and condemnation?

The blood of Jesus did not come cheap. To spend day after day living our own lives and ignoring the work of God is to show no thankfulness for the shed blood of Christ, to deflate it’s value. Each and every day we should be able to lay some offering at the feet of Jesus, some small deed of good or lesson learned. Otherwise, what purpose in His kingdom do we serve? We’re as useless to Him as the fig tree that didn’t bear fruit when He was hungry.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blessings Under the Fridge

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

Living near an army base, I have a sincere appreciation for military wives. These gals give up their husbands sometimes for years with only a few days notice. The kids of military men often find themselves talking only through emails to their Dad, and missing holidays and birthdays with him. It’s a sacrifice like none other on earth, and all done for us to remain a free nation.

I was recently watching television and saw a story about a little boy who’s Mom had made him a jar of M&M’s – one for each day his Dad was gone to Iraq. Each morning, the little boy would get up and eat one M&M out of the jar, knowing that each one gone from the jar meant Dad was one day closer to coming home.

Of course, my imagination soon kicked into gear, spawned by this Mom’s creativity. I thought, what if he dropped one and it rolled under the fridge? This was a finite number of M&M’s! He couldn’t just eat another in its place! It would be gone forever, never to be tasted, and never to be enjoyed!

While sitting in church the other morning, I realized something. Each day I live with sin in my life – regardless of the sin – great or small – is a day I’ve dropped my M&M under the fridge! God seeks to bless me. Ephesians 3:20-21 says that He chooses to do for me the things that I cannot dream to ask for, or even imagine! He want’s to give me the things that my heart desires, but my head has not acknowledged. Yet, when I live with unconfessed sin in my heart, I toss those blessings away like an M&M under the fridge – never to be enjoyed.

As I sat there thinking about this, I wondered how many gifts from God had I lost by not confessing my sins quickly? How many wonderful, unimaginable, incredibly good things in my life had I blocked by my sinful nature? Was it financial freedom? Was it contentment in the midst of stressful situations? Was it an opportunity to witness and lead someone to Christ that I missed? Would all the good things I’m now enjoying have been mine years ago had I lived for Christ? In my heart of hearts, I believe so.

Proverbs 28:13 says “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy “. Friends, seek God’s mercy and forgiveness. Don’t let today’s blessings roll under the fridge.