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Mark 11

Show me Jesus, Father, and show others the Jesus in me.

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“Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to find out if it had any fruit.  When He reached it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then He said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And His disciples heard Him say it.” (v 13-14 NIV)

FAKE FAITH (v 12-17)

In the growth cycle of a fig tree, seeing leaves should mean finding figs.  Yet when You approached this fig tree, no figs were found.  Right after this, Lord, You entered a place that appeared from the outside as a place of worship, yet when You reached it, no fruit of worship was found (v 15-17).  As the tree was barren of nourishing fruit though appearing fruitful, so Your temple was barren of true worship, though structurally appearing to be a place where such activity were taking place.

Lots of pretending going on, lots of fake faith — yet You’ve said elsewhere “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  When my focus becomes set on myself or this world, what comes forth from my life is not the kind of fruit You expect to find in a life that belongs to You.

REAL FAITH (v 20-25)

“…Embrace this God-life.  Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you.  This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’ … and it’s as good as done.  That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large.  Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.  And when You assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all ASKING.  If you have anything against someone, FORGIVE — only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins” (v 22-25 MSG).

Teach me to pray, Lord, with a heart that earnestly seeks Your kingdom, that longs to see Your name glorified and Your people sanctified.  Shape my prayers into ones which are full of faith — not faith in the object of my prayers, or that which I pray for — rather, faith in You, the One who hears and responds to my prayers.  Keep my prayers from being motivated by my own interests and desires.  Instead, keep me desiring YOUR will above my own, as You continue to make me just like Jesus. Amen.

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