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TODAY'S MESSAGE

ACCOMPLISH THE IMPOSSIBLE BY YOUR FAITH IN GOD

Mark 11:20-24 (Amplified Bible)

20In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots.

    21And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree which You doomed has withered away!

    22And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].

    23Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

    24For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

Today as we begin our study of this text we have set before us two precepts, (1) absolute faith and (2) doing the absolute impossible.

The precept of the first asks the question of why was the fig tree both cursed and withered.  This passage emphasizes the power of true faith.  Some have suggested that the fig tree represented Israel, which bore no fruit and would soon face the judgment of God.

The second precept illustrates the casting of an enormous mountain into the sea is an extreme example of the absolutely impossible.  Let us understand that Jesus always insistent upon simply believing.  The point here is, having faith in God can accomplish the impossible.

The next morning, Tuesday, Jesus and his disciples passed by the same fig tree they had passed the day before.  Jesus had cursed the tree, saying that no one would ever eat from it.  By the next day, in the morning light, they could see that the tree had withered.

The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so soon wither away; but all wither who reject Christ; it represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Our lives are supposed to be the living example of the fruit trees.  If we are truly living for Christ and walking in our faith, we will bare much fruit.

This incident is the Savior’s interpretation of the tumultuous welcome He had just received in Jerusalem.  Fig trees in Bible lands produced an early edible fruit before the leaves appeared.  It was a harbinger of the regular crop, here described as the season for figs.  If no early figs appeared, it was a sign that there would be no regular crop later on.  When Jesus came to the nation of Israel, there were leaves, which speak of profession, but there was no fruit for God.  This reminds me of the farmers saying, “The harvest is ripe, but the labors are few.”  There was promise without fulfillment, profession without reality.  Jesus was hungry for fruit from the nation.  Because there was no early fruit, He knew that there would be no later fruit from that unbelieving people, and so He cursed the fig tree. 

After this incident, Christ taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern. (Mark 11:27-33)

Jesus did not explain why he cursed the fig tree, and we don’t know whether the disciples understood Jesus meaning.  Yet his words to them could mean that despite the coming judgment on spiritual laxity in Israel, they would be safe if they had faith in God.  Their faith should not rest in a kingdom they hoped Jesus would set up, in obeying the Jewish laws, or in their position as Jesus disciples.  Their faith should rest in God alone.  When we think about this, we must ask the question of ourselves, “Where does our faith rest?”

Jesus then moved swiftly in teaching them a lesson about answers to prayer.  Jesus had cursed the fig tree; the fig tree had died; the disciples had expressed surprise.  Then Jesus explained that they could ask anything of God and receive an answer.  This mountain (referring to the Mount of Olives on which they stood) could be sent into the sea (the Dead Sea that could be seen from the Mount).  Jesus point was that in their petitions to God they must believe and not doubt (that is, without wavering in their confidence in God).  Remember, faith and doubt cannot live in the same house at the same time.  The kind of prayer Jesus meant was not the arbitrary wish to move a mountain; instead, he was referring to prayers that the disciples would need to endlessly pray as they faced mountains of opposition to their gospel message in the years to come.  Their prayers for the advancement of God’s Kingdom would always be answered positively in God’s timing.

However, as we look at the straight forward teaching of Jesus concerning the character of God and that God’s character never changes, Jesus told them that there was no guarantee that simply by asking him anything they wanted and believing they could get it.  Now don’t you become discourage in what Jesus is saying to the disciples, but listen how he instructs them on the moral high ground of God.  He says to them, “God does not grant request that violate his own nature or will.  Jesus statement was not a blank check.  To be fulfilled, requests made to God in prayer must be in harmony with the principles of God’s Kingdom.  They must be made in Jesus name.

Now turn with me for a moment in your Bibles to (John 14:13-14).  Listen to what it says, 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (NIV). The stronger our faith, the more likely our prayers will be in union with Christ and in line with God’s will; then God would be happy to grant them.  God can accomplish anything, even if it seems humanly impossible.

Impossibility is not a word that should be used in our lexicon.  In understanding this text we should be moved into action.  Know that in our minds we can do anything in the name of Jesus.  There is no mountain to high that we cannot climb, no valley to low that we cannot walk through. 

We should not become like the motions of the ocean.  Always going back and forth, but we should be so rooted and grounded in our faith that no matter what comes after us we will always be able to with stand it.  We are built of strong timber, the timber of Jesus Christ.  When God says that nothing is impossible, we must learn to trust God in his word.  Knowing that God can never tell a lie, if he does he will deny himself.  God never makes a promise that he does not fulfill.  Our faith must be rooted and grounded in the word of God.  Our spirit must be one of can do.  Having a can do spirit will remove the mountains of impossibility from your life.

When the doctors says to you that you only have six months to live, and there is nothing else they can do for you.  Your attitude must be one of faith.  Faith in Jesus, Faith that if Jesus said it, it is a done deal.  Jesus said that if you believe in God without doubt in your mind, nothing is impossible. 

Change your thinking and you will change your life.  Tell the doctor that my God said not until he says it is time for me to go, that I will leave this world.  I can overcome this, I will overcome this because I am leaning and depending on my God.  I am an over comer, I am born in the Spirit of the living God.  For me nothing is impossible.  Today not only do I talk the talk, but I am walking the walk.  I am walking out my faith in the name of Jesus.  I know that my God did not bring me this far to leave me.  He promised me that He would never put on me more than I could bear.  I am standing on that promise, because I know that this check that my God has given to me, I can deposit it into my bank account and it will never bounce.  Faith, Faith, Faith, it is my faith that will always see my through.  Come on now let’s walk it out, talk it out.  Let’s tell the devil, devil get thee behind me, because I am holding onto My God’s unchanging hands. 

Faith, Faith, Faith, there is nothing that is impossible in my world.  Step by step I am moving closer to where My God is trying to take me. It was nothing but Grace that brought me through the tribulations of this life.  It was nothing but God’s grace that brought me up on the rough side of the mountain and planted my feet right here where I am standing today.

Now sing this hymn with me, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost but now I am found, I was blind but now I see.  Taws grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!”

It was God’s grace that gave me the opportunity to change my thinking, It is my faith that has sustained me, it is my faith that has healed me, and I know that it is my faith that will move any mountain in my life, because I believe in the true and living God. What about you?  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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