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Signs of Life ~ Part 3 ~ SoS Saturdays

Many Waters - SoS header

For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,

And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,

And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. ~ Song of Songs 2:11-13

I owe you two more signs of life – The figs and vine blossoms.

We have been looking at season change now for a few weeks here on the SoS Saturday blog, and I hope it is doing you some good, I know it is helping me.

Today we start with the fig. I learned what I am about to share from  preacher and author Winkie Pratney in a sermon I had on cassette tape (that’s a audio medium about the size of an iPod which held between 45 minutes to 2 hours of audio only info) which I just about wore out, I listened to it so often. It was his sermon, “True or False Conversion,” or at least I think that was the name of the sermon.

In it he related the fact that as a child growing up in Australia, they had a fig tree in his yard, and what was unique about a fig tree was that the fruit shows up before the leaves. There would be fruit on the branches and as the fruit matured the leaves would come to protect the figs from the heat of the sun.

This opened my eyes to that story when Jesus cursed the fig tree. You remember? It was during His last week in ministry after the triumphal entry during His commute between Bethany where He was staying and Jerusalem where He was headed to turn over some tables. He came upon a fig tree with leaves. Though it was not yet fig season, He cursed the fig tree because it had no fruit.

I always wondered why curse a fig tree that does not have fruit out of season. Well, here’s the thing – it had leaves which were an indication that fruit was there. It had all the trappings of fruit, but could not satisfy.

Here is why this is so damnable.  As a fruit tree in His garden, to walk around with the trappings of fruit – with the air of spiritual life – and bear no fruit is the height of hypocrisy.

If you have no fruit in your life (and I don’t really care how you measure it, fruit of the spirit, or fruit of followers – whatever) and yet carry an air of spiritual life, you are in a very (VERY) precarious place.

Way better to own your fruit poverty, and pursue Him for the solution, than to look like you are doing great and it all be a sham.

Lord, today I need You to bring fruit to my vines, and help me to be honest with those around me, and moreover with myself about where I am.

Dang – I have gone too long already – well – one more week for signs of life. I know today was more of an anti-life sign blog. I do hope your tracking with me though.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by today.

See you next week


0 thoughts on “Signs of Life ~ Part 3 ~ SoS Saturdays

  1. bennetta faire

    Well--I really liked the info about fig trees, that the leaves come After the fruit, to protect it. (I like almost any story about protection, because of my background.) I guess my thoughts about spiritual fruit, are this: if you know you're not bearing fruit, then yes, it's best to own your poverty and ask for God's help. But I think it's equally dangerous to spend inordinate time in your orchard, checking/counting/measuring for evidence of fruit. When our eyes are on ourselves, and not on JESUS--things can go south pretty dang fast--satan has too much opportunity to stunt/spoil the growth, and render us ineffective. Whereas if we're looking to HIM, it's almost impossible to not be growing good things--buds, leaves, fruit, bumper crops--depending on our maturity. Cj

      1. bennetta faire

        Ooooh, I like "alignment"--I dare say, no one who knew me in my early life would probably use that descriptive in reference to me. See? I told you He's changing me from glory to glory! And while I'm here--the struggle of the first half of 2013 has reaped a bumper crop, a bonanza of blessings! Not only am I workin' on my novel again, but I got my prayer language yesterday!!!! I'm so jazzed I can barely sit still!!!!! Thanks for all your prayers, and support--for not giving up on this ol' sis--I'm just SO EXCITED!!! Praise God, that "juicer" turned out to have all kinds of attachments: a popcorn popper, gourmet hamburger griller thingie, and some other stuff I haven't identified yet!!!! Okay, I'll settle down now--got to go to church, Dave Ramsey's still preachin' about the money I don't have....ce la vie! Praise JESUS!

  2. livinginobscurity

    I agree with Cj. Sometimes we can be too navel gazing. Better to let the Holy Spirit point out our fruit or lack there of because there are plenty of people who would like to do it for us. I see you Ben, and your heart is good and bears much fruit!

  3. Erin Lamb

    Great post. I love that Jesus tells us to abide in Him and if we abide in Him we will have fruit. I love that He is the source of fruit and I don't have to manufacture it or make it happen. I connect my life to the True Vine, submit to Him, and watch the fruit grow. God also prunes so there is more fruit.

    The only way we don't have any fruit at all is if we disconnect from the Vine. I have plants and when a branch falls off from the rest of the plant, it dies. It's source of live is in connection to the root system.

    Once again, great post!

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hi Erin,
      I love what you have added here - the path to fruit is just relationship, not some striving on our part. Thank you for bringing this to the table. Great point.

  4. Debbie

    I really loved the story about figs, how they grow fruit first and then leaves .. and how that correlated with Jesus cursing the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit. That was so interesting!! Thank you and God bless you, Mr. Ben, and the fruit you bear.
    p.s. I am reading in SOS now and doing little poems, and it Is much more meaningful to me this time around, because of your study!

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hi Deb - that is exciting - I miss you poems from the Psalms. It was like a candy dish where I always knew i would find a treat, but was never sure what to expect.


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