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These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.
Bear Much Fruit | Kim Chipman
S~ Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. Matthew 21:19 (NIV)
O~ So Jesus is hungry and the fig tree has no fruit on it so He essentially kills it entirely. This is so confusing to me honestly, but my study Bible helps today. It says: “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 (see 21:43). 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.”
A~ I’m doing Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God” study and last week the teaching was about the shield of faith. She specifically addressed having active faith…”we will never see the benefits of our faith and our relationship with God unless we are willing to marry faith with our actions.” James 2:24 “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” Salvation is by faith alone and cannot be earned by anything I do, but there are so many benefits to walking out my faith in my life.
Because I’m a DOer by nature the doing stuff isn’t hard, but marrying it with my faith is another issue. It’s hard to love difficult people well and trust You for the rest. It’s hard to put myself out there and follow where You lead me, it’s scary! Doing what’s comfortable when it is convenient for me is a lot easier, but that’s not living for You. That’s living for me, to make me look good. Not a fruitbearing life. I want to bear fruit for You!
P~Lord, help me to see where You are calling me out onto the water…Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…I love You!
Keep’n the Faith | Joni Tyner
S~ “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” Matthew 21:22 (NLT) –Jesus speaking to his disciples.
O~ Jesus is out with his disciples and is hungry and stops by a fig tree to eat a fig but discovers only leaves. He then says to the tree, “may you never bear fruit again!” They question him and then tells the disciples about faith and prayer.
A~ This is one of those scriptures that I must admit, I don’t completely understand. I want to, but it’s hard for me to understand that if we pray for anything—and we have faith, we will receive it. I’ve just seen people with lots of faith have prayers that weren’t answered. There have been times in my life that I felt like I knew God was going to do something—and then the situation turned out a different way.
I’m going through The Armor of God study right now by Priscilla Shirer. This last week she made a statement on her dad’s definition of faith that I think I’ll apply to this scripture.
“Faith is acting like it is so, even when it is not so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so.” Tony Evans-(Armor of God, page 127)
P~ Dear Lord, my prayer for this scripture is to keep on believe’n! I want my actions to be consistent with what You ask of me. Please help me when I struggle with doubt or don’t understand. I am choosing to believe because You said to and I trust Your goodness and character. Please guard my mind from freaking out over circumstances and other people’s emotions. I love You.
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