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Beautiful leaves without fruit

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | July 19, 2023 | Matthew 21:18-22


Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. Matthew 21:19 (NIV)


In this passage, we see Jesus perform one of His few destructive miracles. His curse made the fig tree wither away. It is worth noting that the two destructive miracles of Jesus (this and the events that ended in the destruction of the herd of pigs, (Matthew 8:30-32) were not directed towards human beings.

As Jesus approached the fig tree, He expected to find fruit, for it was the season for figs. However, upon inspection, the tree was found to be barren, adorned only with leaves. Jesus responded by pronouncing a curse upon the tree, and it withered immediately. The fig tree was created by God to bear fruit and its abundance of leaves gave the impression of vitality and fruitfulness. Its external appearance masked its fruitlessness however, it is vital to remember that external appearances can be deceptive. Similarly, many people today may seem spiritually vibrant, actively involved in religious activities, and appear to have it all together. True spirituality goes beyond mere outward display and necessitates an authentic, inward transformation that bears the fruit of righteousness. God calls us to live fruitful lives. Our purpose is to bring glory to God and to make a positive impact on the world around us. We are designed to bear spiritual fruit. Every genuine fruitfulness begins with faith in Jesus Christ which results in the fruit of repentance. True fruitfulness, therefore, stems from a genuine relationship with Christ and a heart yielded to His work within us. It is from this that the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God works in us to bear spiritual fruit in our lives —love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). As believers, we are called to produce good works, share the Gospel, and make a positive impact on the world around us.

The story of the fig tree reminds us to evaluate our lives and ensure that we are fulfilling our God-given purpose, and also serves as a warning against empty religiosity or outward show without genuine spiritual fruit. When we fail to live up to our purpose, when we neglect to bear the fruit of righteousness, we become ineffective and stagnant in our spiritual journey. Fruitlessness leads to a withering of our spiritual vitality and a loss of divine blessing and favour.


Are you bearing the fruit that God expects from you? Are you living purposefully and intentionally, seeking to bring glory to God through your actions, attitudes, and relationships? A lack of fruitfulness indicates a disconnect from the life-giving source, Jesus Christ. It is through our intimate relationship with Him, abiding in His Word and relying on the Holy Spirit, that we find the nourishment and strength to bear fruit._


Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for your unfailing love for me. Please help me maintain a genuine relationship with you so that I will be fruitful and live to fulfil the divine purposes of my life. Grant me the grace to bring glory to you through my actions, attitude, and relationships. For Your dear Name’s sake Amen!



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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