Striving For More

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 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. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.– Matthew 21:18-20
My wife received a Money Tree as a gift a couple years ago. I always thought it was interesting name, but apparently people believe this tree is supposed to really bring money. With the big lottery amount coming up, it might be nice if the plant decided to work. My hope is the plant will give without us having to do anything.
That’s the problem, the plant won’t provide what it is “supposed” to provide. It gets frustrating. The plant has grown really tall, but we have not seen any money yet. I am submitting a new name for the tree here: “The Dead Leaf Tree” because that is definitely what it provides and it will always live up to that name.
This makes me think of the interaction between Jesus and the fig tree that wasn’t producing. He got pretty ticked that there wasn’t anything on the tree to eat, so what did He do, curse it to death! I mean, I’ve been hungry before and had a Big Mac missing a patty (true story), but I didn’t want to curse the employee to death.
Jesus did though. He was pretty upset, but it wasn’t merely due to His hunger, it was the lack of production. This tree had one task, one purpose, and it fell short. It didn’t want or strive to be more than a dead leaf producer.
Our life is meant for one main purpose and that is to bring glory to the Creator. In that comes great responsibility of teaching people about His great work, sharing His love, giving to the poor, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, healing the hurt, bringing peace into the communities we live in, spurring each other on to great works, and much more. If we are doing anything less, we are dead leaf producers.
As we walk on this earth, doing whatever it is we are doing, whether a student or CEO of a major company, we all have these same requirements. Are we matching up to the required outcomes? Are we providing the figs, or money if we want to go back to the poorly named plant from earlier, with our words and deeds?
If we are, then the road to reconciliation with God is being paved well. If not, then we may as well wither and die (not my words…read the Bible). Let’s strive to be more in our walk with Christ and as ambassadors to His Great Name!

Question: What are you producing? Is it life giving or death producing?

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