Is your life as fruitful as it seems?

From What Happened During Holy Week: An 8-Day Devotional

Imitations have gotten better and better over time. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the artificial succulents and live plants on a co-worker’s desk. We need to be cautious in a friend’s kitchen because those beautiful apples on the counter may be for decor purposes only. 

We’ve all experienced a moment when we realized things are not as they seem. In Matthew 21, Jesus sees a fig tree full of beautiful leaves, a sign that it should be bearing fruit. But when He gets closer there’s no fruit. The tree had all the outward signs of fruitfulness, but nothing below the foliage. Jesus cursed the tree, and it withered. 

Like the fig tree, many Israelites had all the outward signs of a relationship with God but no spiritual fruit. They were more worried about what the Roman officials thought of them than what God did. Accepting Jesus as God could create problems between themselves and the Roman government. 

Rome demanded its citizens and subjects worship Caesar as a god. To accept Jesus as God would be an act of defiance. It would be easier to avoid conflict, ridicule, and even persecution by not outwardly accepting Jesus. Following Jesus would be difficult and uncomfortable.

That’s how it is today, too. Following Jesus comes at a cost. It isn’t always popular nor easy. Jesus teaches us that with unshakeable faith and fervent prayer, all things are possible (Matthew 21:21-22). Jesus wants us to have real, fruit-bearing faith in Him, not to simply go through the motions.

Reflect: 

  • Are you wholeheartedly seeking to please God? If not, what’s holding you back?
  • Is there an area of your life where other people’s opinions matter more to you than God’s opinion? Why do you think that is?
  • What’s one step you can take today to put more of your trust in Jesus?

April 15, 2019

Devotionals From This Study

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Session 1

The greatest question you’ll ever answer

Is Jesus the Messiah or not? That question marked the lives of everyone Jesus interacted with, just like it does for us today. What peopl...

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Session 2

What happens when you’re looking to be right rather than understand

The religious leaders needed to get rid of Jesus without causing a stir with Rome, so they hit Jesus up with a bunch of questions. The go...

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Session 3

Jesus is the king people weren’t expecting Him to be

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, it was the equivalent of walking the red carpet at the Oscars. He was at movie star status. Exc...

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Session 4

Is your life as fruitful as it seems?

Imitations have gotten better and better over time. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the artificial succulents and l...

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Session 5

When you get overwhelmed, remember Jesus can relate

Teachers will tell you most students thrive under clear instruction. Even if a topic is difficult, if a teacher models how to do it first...

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Session 6

Why did Jesus suffer?

A tinge of pain comes as we look on Jesus’ suffering. As we read about the thorns pressed into His head, the flesh stripped from His body...

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Session 7

What to do when Jesus leaves you disappointed

Disappointment. That sinking feeling from the heart down to the gut that leaves our heads pounding. We’ve all experienced disappointment....

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Session 8

What the first Easter changed for the disciples and for you

Easter is more than a day to remember; it’s a day to celebrate our belief that anything is possible with God. Once we see Jesus for who H...

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