* Bearing no fruit in our lives
Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? This was not a thoughtless, angry act but an acted-out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance. Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance but was fruitless on close examination, so the Temple looked impressive at first glance, but its sacrifices and other activities were hollow because they were not done to worship God sincerely. If you only appear to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like the fig tree that withered and died because it bore no fruit. Genuine faith means bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom. (NLT)
Matthew 21:19 – . . . and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs on it, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.
* Bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom
This parable describes the consequences of two attitudes toward Christ’s return. The person who diligently prepares for it by investing his or her time and talents to serve God will be rewarded. The person who has no heart for the work of the Kingdom will be punished. God rewards faithfulness. Those who bear no fruit for God’s Kingdom cannot expect to be treated the same as those who are faithful. (NLT)
Matthew 25:29-30 – [Jesus said] “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
* The kind of fruit we should be bearing
“Fruit” is not limited to soul winning. In this chapter, answered prayer, joy and love are mentioned as fruit. (NLT)
John 15:5 – [Jesus said] “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
* Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you? (NLT)
Galatians 5:22-23 – But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
* Producing the kind of fruit that outlasts death
While it is true that money, fame, and belongings can’t be taken with us from this life, God’s people can produce fruit that survives even death. God will remember our love, kindness, and faithfulness, and those who accept Christ through our witness will join us in the new earth. Be sure that your values are in line with God’s values, and decide today to produce fruit that lasts forever. (NLT)
Revelations 14:13 – And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from all their toils and trials; for their good deeds follow them!”
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