The Fig Tree Pages: 30 Devotional Stories to Help You Grow Closer to God

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For several chapters now we've seen Jesus' conflict with the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the Jews. It would seem that the Pharisees would be delighted to have Jesus, the Son of God, among them. The Pharisees had devoted their lives to serving God and following His law and teaching others to do the same. But Jesus revealed the truth about them. They weren't serving God with all their religious practices; they were serving themselves. They were using religion to make themselves rich and influential. As a result, they were driving people away from God rather than drawing them near to Him.

They were the thieves and the robbers of Jesus' parable. The parable is also a warning for today. There are many religious leaders out there who claim to be serving God but are really only serving themselves. How can you and I avoid them? Become familiar with the voice of Jesus by spending time in His Word. And when you listen to the men and women claiming to be servants of God, listen to the Spirit's prompting in your heart. He knows the voice of God, and will recognize those who speak for Him.

So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. Jesus Walks on Water 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. I Am the Bread of Life 22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.

For on him God the Father has set his seal. What work do you perform? And I will raise him up on the last day. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. You have the words of eternal life,69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

And yet one of you is a devil. There are 71 verses in today's chapter, so make sure you set aside enough time to read through the whole thing. When you read through an entire passage of the Bible--even an entire book--in one setting, you'll get a much clearer picture of what God is trying to teach you.

In this chapter you'll hear the familiar verse, "I am the bread of life" , ESV. By reading the rest of the chapter around that verse, you'll find out exactly what Jesus meant. Maybe you've read the chapter already and find yourself confused. You're not alone. Even those who heard Jesus that day had a hard time understanding what He meant.

Day 113 – Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple

Use this opportunity to bring your questions to God. Ask Him, "What did you mean by this? It may come as you read through the passage a second time or on your drive to the grocery store as you mull it over in your mind. More often than not, though, your questions will be answered by God Himself in the pages of the Bible. And you'll find them as you keep on reading.

Now that day was the Sabbath. Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you. For whatever the Father[e]does, that the Son does likewise. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

Preparing for the wrong ending.

There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. Is your perception of Jesus shaken up a little bit? Do you see the stark contrast between who Jesus says He is and how people today describe Him? Any unbiased historical scholar will admit that, yes, Jesus really did live 2, years ago; there's enough references to Him outside of the Bible to prove that. They'll even admit that Jesus was an influential teacher. He had a lot of good ideas and at the very least, Jesus deserves a spot among the other great moral teachers humanity has seen.

The scholars will say that Jesus was a wise, compassionate man who wanted to make the world a better place. But God? Not a chance! That's why John chapter five is so startling. Read through and count the number of times Jesus identifies Himself with God the Father. The point is, when a person makes a claim like this, you either believe that person or you dismiss them as being crazy. You don't patronize them by saying, "Well, he has few good ideas, but he's a bit touched in the head, if you know what I mean!

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Who do you say He is? Jesus and the Woman of Samaria 4 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples , 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. Where do you get that living water? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock. What you have said is true.

When he comes, he will tell us all things. Can this be the Christ? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor. For they too had gone to the feast. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. Chapter 4 of John contains the well-known and much-loved story of the woman at the well. But as you read the chapter today, don't skim it. Force yourself to take in every word. Ask God to help you see this amazing passage of Scripture with fresh eyes.

In the last chapter, we saw a theme begin--the theme of a new spiritual life, of being born again into an everlasting life through belief in Jesus. In this chapter, we find that spiritual lives, like physical lives, need nourishment. Jesus begins by discussing spiritual thirsts.

He says that a person only needs to ask Him and He will give water that will drive away thirst forever. The woman asking for this water doesn't quite get it. So, Jesus drives the point home by asking that she go bring her husband to Him. The woman had a spiritual thirst for a relationship but after five husbands, she was still thirsty. That's the thirst Jesus wants to quench--the thirst for a deep, meaningful relationship.

Jesus talks later to His disciples about spiritual hunger that is satisfied through doing the will of God. There's many people who have yet to hear about God, many opportunities yet for the spiritually hungry to be filled. Is your spirit being nourished today? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?

So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Bible Stories Explained: Jesus Curses the Fig Tree (Matthew)

The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.

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He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Discipling the Body of Christ

Two worlds. The world of God and the world of humans. At the beginning of this chapter they seem utterly separate and unique. Nicodemus says that Jesus must be from God because of the things He does. Jesus counters by saying you can't really know about God's Kingdom unless you've been born again. Impossible, right? The barrier between the worlds stands, but not if someone breaks through.

Jesus broke that barrier. But He didn't come for a sightseeing trip. There is a way for us with fleshly human bodies to live forever, to break through into the world of God. And that is by believing in Jesus. This is such an important concept that the next three verses state this truth in three different ways, and then once more in verse The way to be born again, to be born into the Kingdom of God is clear: "whoever believes in him may have eternal life" v.

My hour has not yet come. But you have kept the good wine until now. And his disciples believed in him. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. Now here's a memorable story: Jesus turns water into wine. But has it ever struck you as kind of an odd miracle? I mean, Jesus is known for healing the sick and the lame and for driving out demons.

But did He really get his start performing "social miracles" like this? It's a bit like watching a Before They Were Stars special. So, why is this story important? That's a good question, but there's a danger to avoid in answering it. Be careful how much you read into the specifics of any Bible story.

If you wanted to, you could launch an in-depth study of how the word "water," for instance, is used in the Bible. What was wine like in Jesus' day? The word "bridegroom" comes up elsewhere in Scripture--in Revelation Jesus is seen as the bridegroom of the Church. Is that important here? These are interesting questions, but the Bible actually tells us quite plainly why this story is here.

And his disciples believed in him" , ESV. This miracle was done for the disciple's benefit. A lot of bad theology comes from reading too deeply into the words of the Bible. But God hasn't made the truth hard to find. You just have to accept it when you see it. Welcome to day seven. We hope you've been challenged and encouraged over the last week and that you've realized that God wants to connect with you through the Bible. When we read of Jesus and see how He lived, we see a very real example of how we should live our lives. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews[a] were seeking to kill him.

If you do these things, show yourself to the world. I am not[c] going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.

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Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me? Who is seeking to kill you? Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. Where I am you cannot come. Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee. In chapter 5 Jesus healed a lame man and told him to take up his mat and walk. But the Jews considered carrying a mat to be work, and since the healing happened on a Sabbath, this man who hadn't walked in 38 years was breaking the Law.

Not only that, but because Jesus did the healing, and healing was considered work, Jesus also was breaking the Sabbath. It was this issue that the Jews in Jerusalem were raising. The Jews who thought they were honoring God by condemning the act of healing on the Sabbath only showed how ignorant they really were of God. We make the same mistake today. We think we understand God and what He likes and doesn't like so we make a bunch of rules to keep people in line.

Unfortunately, these rules can also keep people away from God. You can get to know what God really wants, though, by spending time in the Word. My prayer is that in this last week God has already shown you something you never knew about Him. So he went and washed and came back seeing.

How then does he now see? Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself. We know that this man is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. How did he open your eyes? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples? You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. The disciples begin this chapter by raising a question a lot of us have asked. They see a man who was blind from birth, and they feel pity for him.

It must have been terrible living in such a state, and such misery could only be the result of sin.

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When it is the Lord praying, or a figure who When in the Old Testament people The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. Anger and Zeal Article Ages 15 - Activity Ages 11 - Correspondences of Children Illustrations of three times children are mentioned in the Word. Quotations are the King James translation.

Coloring Page Ages 7 - Entering Jerusalem Coloring Page Ages 7 - Hosanna in the Highest Coloring Page Ages 7 - Project Ages 7 - Lord's Triumphant Ride into Jerusalem Children can color the picture of the Lord, then put scraps of cloth and small leaves to suggest the garments and branches people spread on the road. Project Ages up to 6. Mouth of Babes Coloring Page Ages 7 - Palm Sunday years Project Ages 4 - 6. Palm Sunday years Project Ages 7 - Palm Sunday years Project Ages 11 - Palm Sunday and the Fig Tree Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.

Activity Ages over Includes lesson materials for Primary years , Junior years , Intermediate years , Senior years and Adults. Teaching Support Ages over 3.

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Palm Sunday Song , years Project Ages 4 - Prayer Prayer is speech with God. Praying opens the door to the Lord in our lives and has the power to bring us closer to Him.

Sunday School Lesson Ages 11 - Rejoice Worship Talk Ages 7 - Riding in Majesty Coloring Page Ages 7 - Temptations and the Ten Commandments Article Ages 15 - The Cornerstone Worship Talk Ages 7 - The King And I Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth. The Fig Tree Pages are devotionals that illustrate biblical themes and lessons through simple, easy-to-read short stories. The 30 devotionals inspire you to relate the stories to your everyday life, while using the provided Recommended Scripture Readings and Challenge Questions for further reflection and application.

Garner graduated from Morehouse College in with a B. He is one of the estimated 67 million people in the world who stutter. He is the author of the blog The Fig Tree Pages, a devotional blog that illustrates themes and lessons from the Bible in short story form. The Fig Tree Pages can be found at ericjgarner. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book!

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