Mark 13:28-31 (MSG). “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too- these things will happen. Sky and death will wear out; my works won’t wear out.”
Here are some facts about fig trees:
- Their roots grow near the surface, if not above it.
- Regular pruning is a must in order for it to continue to grow and flourish; however, aggressive pruning will essentially stunt a fig trees growth.
- Fig Tree Fruit will grow in almost any condition but it might not grow to its maximum size or spread the roots that it needs to support its size.
- The roots serve as both a fig trees anchor and its system to gather water, nutrients, and oxygen needed for growth.
- Most fig roots travel parallel to the soils surface, extending in several directions.
1. Deliverance From Spiritual Death
Ephesians 2:4-5- But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
2. We Have Restoration of Spiritual Death
John 20:22- And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
- From Adam to His death, no one walked with Christ. By breathing, He restored that.
3. We Received Justification and Righteousness
23) Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24) Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25) Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26) Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 27) “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
We all know that Jesus walked the road to Calvary, but did you know that believers also journey to the cross? We’ve all been positionally crucified with Christ, but those who hunger for Him participate in a deeper experience of this reality. Jesus lovingly takes their hand and leads them to the cross. Even though this is the last place anyone wants to go, it’s the only way to partake of God’s best for our lives.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish
In today’s passage, Jesus’ example of building a tower shows the importance of planning and using resources wisely. Otherwise, money may run out too soon.
20) But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21) keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22) Be merciful to those who doubt; 23) save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
A Balanced Schedule
Ephesians 5:15-17: 15) Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16) making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17) Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
We often think seconds are not very important. But seconds tick away into minutes, minutes into hours, and hours into days. We have all been amazed at how swiftly days turn into weeks, months, and years. Think of it this way: a 70-year-old has lived the equivalent of about two billion, two hundred seven million, five hundred and twenty thousand seconds!
The Shepherds’ Obedience
Luke 2:8-20.. 8) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9) An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11) Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12) This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13) Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14) “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 1 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16) So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17) When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18) and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19) But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20) The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.-
Luke 2:1-7-“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2) This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria 3) And everyone went to their own town to register.
4) So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5) He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6) While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7) and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
Every year around Christmastime, we read the account of Jesus’ birth, but perhaps we’ve let the familiarity of the story dull our concentration. More often than not, we skim over the well-known verses, telling ourselves we already understand all there is to know about the story. But without a deeper, more intimate look at our Savior’s birth, we’ll miss some of the truths the Lord wants us to learn and apply to our lives.
18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
• Confession of Faith. David declared, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts” (1 Sam. 17:45) and stated his trust in God’s deliverance. Whenever we face difficulties, we, too, must proclaim our faith, expressing thanks to the Lord for who He is, who we are in Christ, and what we have through His Spirit.
Of David. A Psalm
1 I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing. 2 I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 3 I will not set before my eye anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4 Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
Once we have the favor of God through salvation, does it matter how we act? The Bible responds with an emphatic “Yes!” and gives us numerous examples of godly lives to consider.
• Noah responded to God by walking with Him daily. And our Father responds positively to those who walk closely with Him, live by His Word, and listen carefully to His Holy Spirit. For those of us who believe, that means not only making Scripture a vital part of our lives but also learning who God is and what He likes. How well do you know Him?