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FRUITLESS

Mark 11:13-14 “13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.”

NOT THE RIGHT TIME

Many are puzzled about this act of Jesus.  If you read on down to verse 20 of Mark 11, you will see the results of Jesus’ words on the fig tree.  Why would the Lord destroy an innocent fig tree?  It wasn’t about His hunger not being satisfied.  It was about fruit production.

The Lord expects us, as believers in Christ and possessors of the greatest gift, to share that gift with others.  Just as a fig tree exists to produce figs for food, we exist in Him to bear fruit for others.  Jesus was sending a message to His disciples.  Everything Jesus said or did was done on purpose.  He did not just do stuff.

TEACHING MOMENT

We have the opportunity to teach our children how to use their God given gifts for others.  Once they come to Christ, they are given gifts in order to produce fruit for the Body of Christ.  Discovering those gifts and using them is a blessing.  So many believers never experience the joy of bearing fruit.

When our children experience this joy of fruit bearing, they get a glimpse of the Body of Christ in a way that few experience.  I have seen children as young as 6 and 7 who are exercising their gifts for others.  It is a truly beautiful thing.

But let me ask you, Mom and Dad.  Do you know your gifts need to be shared too?  Your children need to see you bearing fruit.  They need to see you being a benefit for others.  How can you bless another believer today?  Ask the Lord.  He will show you.

Lord, You are my gift giver.  You give me exactly what I need to bless others.  Give me the boldness and courage to use my gifts to be a blessing for someone else today.

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GENERATIONAL STUPIDITY

2 Kings 24:19-20: “19 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of the LORD this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.”

WHY WON’T WE LEARN

Zedekiah just wouldn’t learn from the past.  His brother Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and then his nephew Jehoiachin (the son of Jehoiakim) was taken into exile by Nebuchadnezzar.  So what does he do?  He rebels too.  He couldn’t see that this was God’s judgment on Judah (for his grandfather Manasseh’s sin).  His heart was turned against God, and he just wanted his way. Continue reading

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LEAKY ROOF

Mark 2:4 “Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.” 

NOW THAT’S A HOLE

This is one of those stories in the Bible that has been taught over and over.  Almost anyone who has been to Sunday School or Church has heard the story of the friends who dug a hole through the roof to get their friend healed.  But have you ever thought about those men?  Continue reading

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WHAT WILL YOU BE KNOWN FOR

2 Kings 23:25 “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.”

LEGACY

You really need to read 2 Kings 23:1-24 to get a clear picture of all that Josiah did as king.  He cleaned house!  He didn’t just clean house in Judah.  He even went into Israel, who had been carried into exile, and cleaned out the evil altars and high places.  He re-established the worship of Jehovah God throughout the country.  He even held the first Passover that had been celebrated for decades. Continue reading

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TORN CLOTHING

2 Kings 22:11 “When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.” 

SORROW

Josiah was the first good king of Judah in three generations. His great grandfather Hezekiah had ruled well, but his grandfather Manasseh and his father Amon were wicked.  The people of the land had forgotten the Lord.  When the Word was found in the temple and read to him, he was so overtaken with grief and humiliation before the Lord that he tore his clothes as a sign of repentance.

Now, don’t lose sight of the fact that Josiah was only about 26 years old at this time.  He wasn’t some old man.  But he was a humble young king who wanted to serve his people and his Lord well.  Humility is a leadership trait that we don’t see much anymore.  But is probably the one trait that the Lord will bless the most.  The Word does say He will exalt the humble and humble he exalted.

TEACHING MOMENT

Today parents are so concerned with building up their child’s self-image that they make them into little monsters.  There is no humility.  Little Johnny or Susie can do no wrong.  “I can’t tell them no because that might hurt their feelings.”  What?!  Humility is a trait that you can’t teach, only model.  But we can ensure that our children are given enough opportunities to learn humility.

They need to see us deflect praise of something we have done toward others.  They need to see us lower ourselves to serve someone others may just pass by.  They need to hear us pray to the Lord, asking for forgiveness.  We do NOT need to confess our sins before our children, but they do need to know that we mess up and need forgiveness, just like them.

Perhaps today, you need to “tear your clothes” in sorrow and humility before your God.  Are you reading His Word daily?  How do you deal with those commandments that you know you aren’t following?  Do you just ignore them?  Or do they convict you?  Bow your knee right now and confess your disobedience before a holy God.

O Father, forgive me!  Give me the same brokenness Josiah felt when he heard Your Words and realized the people were not living in obedience to You.  Help me lead my family in a way that honors You and teaches them to obey.

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JUST ONE

2 Kings 19:35 “Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.”

ONE ANGEL

God’s power is amazing.  In this passage today Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was threatening to destroy Jerusalem.  Worse yet, he was mocking the God of Israel.  Isaiah tells Hezekiah not to worry.  God was going to fight for him.  So, God sends ONE angel (I believe this “angel of the Lord” was Jesus) to destroy Sennacherib’s army. 185,000 were killed in one night.  Wow!

So, let me ask you a question.  Why do you think that same God can’t defend you against your enemies?  He still has “the angel of the Lord” to send to fight for you.  He still has the same power He had back then.  He can snap His fingers and bring any enemy we face to their knees.

TEACHING MOMENT

This is a wonderful story to share with your children when they are scared.  The people in Jerusalem were scared.  This was a great army that was threatening them.  But their wise king reached out to the Lord, and the Lord came to their defense.

Our children need to know that the Lord is that close.  He has His ear bent toward earth for them also.  He longs to be involved in their daily lives, but they must let Him in.  When they are scared, teach them to call on His name.  When they cry out in the night, go to them and immediately call on the Lord to give them peace.

Are you scared right now about something?  What are you facing right now that sends chills up your spine?  Lay it down.  Lay it at the feet of Jesus.  That “angel of the Lord” loves you and will defend you.  He will rescue your heart from fear.  Allow Him to soothe your spirit and give you rest.

O precious Lord and Savior, thank you for being my defender.  Thank you for coming to my aid in the midst of uncertain times.

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