Supplies: journal or paper, Bible, pen
As we continue to follow Jesus' journey to the cross, we see Him begin to go from adored King to rejected Savior. As we see Jesus coming to make things right, consider your own relationship with Him.
Upon first look, it would seem Jesus was being unfair to this fig tree. He cursed it for not being fruitful when it wasn't even the season for fruit. Normally these trees would only have leaves if they also had fruit. The tree was not punished for not bearing fruit out of season, it was cursed because it was giving the appearance of being fruitful without actually bearing fruit.
This encounter was intended to serve as a warning to the disciples and to us. God isn't impressed when we look like we are fruitful. He isn't impressed with a bunch of shiny green leaves. He is looking for actual fruit. He is looking for our talk to match our walk and our actions to support
In your journal or on a piece of paper, draw a picture of a simple tree. What is the evidence of God's fruit in your life? Galatians 5:22-23 describes characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Do you see evidence of this fruit in your life? If so, draw some pieces of fruit on your tree and label them. Pray and ask God to help you abide in Him so you can be fruitful and not just a bunch of leafy branches.
Read Mark 11:15-19
As Jesus continued on into Jerusalem, He naturally went to His Father's house. Upon arrival He found merchants had been taking advantage of those coming to worship by charging them exorbitant rates to exchange money and purchase goods required for sacrifices. Not only had the temple become a place for buying and selling, it had become a dishonest marketplace. Jesus' disappointment and sadness at the way people were treating each other in His Father's house was so great that He drove them out and would not permit them to transact their business in the temple any longer. What God desired to be a house of prayer for all nations had become a den of thieves.
Do you approach your time with God as a transaction or with the reverence God deserves? Are you more concerned about checking it off your list or abiding in the presence of God? In your prayer time today, repent of the times you've treated your time with God transactionally - coming before Him just to get something accomplished. Ask Him for a renewed sense of reverence and awe when you spend time in His presence.