March 3 - Jesus Came Looking for Fruit, not Leaves

By: Darwin Hayes

Today's Scripture: Mark 11:12–14; 20–21

Central Thought: Substance matters in the Kingdom of God.

    I remember going berry picking with my family behind our apartment in Quebec. How we would love to pick and eat those large blueberries and raspberries. On occasion we would see a promising bush that was barren for no apparent reason. The bush may have been lush and healthy with leaves, but it was not fulfilling its created purpose to produce fruit.

    A college professor once told the class that the articles of the tabernacle were not holy because of their appearance, workmanship, anointing, or ingredients, but because they were used (useable) by God. Holiness isn't about looking good in a glass cabinet (or church pew). It's about service to others. Christianity isn't about looking good. It's about a mission and the greatest good news a human being can know—that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

    God has invested in each of us His image at birth, His grace through the atonement, and the Holy Spirit when we were born again. He has a mission for each of us. God is cultivating Himself in each of our lives so we can fulfill a divine mission to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ and enable the church to do the same. Christian maturity is learning our place in God's design and fulfilling that design with all of our hearts.

    Let's remember who we are in Christ and the awesome investment He has placed in our lives. We have a mission to fulfill, not just a seat to occupy. God is cultivating within us His presence, but we need His focus to fulfill His will. Bearing fruit is a choice.

Devotional Prayer: Father, cultivate within me Your image so I will be able to produce the fruits that result from being an effective witness to others. Help me to develop spiritually to my potential so that You will be glorified in my life and others will find blessing.

Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54; Mark 11:1-25; Psalms 46:1-11; Proverbs 10:23