Daily Devotion-April 4, 2023

Daily Devotion-April 4, 2023

Matthew 21:18-22

As he returned to the city early in the morning, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it, “May there never be fruit from you again!” Immediately the fig tree withered away. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” Jesus answered them, “Amen, I tell you: If you have faith, and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it would be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer, as you believe, you will receive.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Be with us to understand the importance of this fig tree. This tree was an object lesson for your disciples as they followed you into Jerusalem. The disciples, including Peter, Thomas, and Judas, heard what you said, and then this tree was withered entirely to its roots.

Faith is not just a leafy facade we put up for others to see, a going through the motion, as the disciples later witnessed when you cleared the temple. However, faith produces acts of love towards you and others—it trusts in your love for us. So strengthen us to focus on what you have done, knowing that your sacrifice covered all our sins and defeated Satan in your suffering and death.

While he is powerless, he still prowls about trying to divide us from you; he causes us to stew over the things we did and tries to get us to throw in the towel, thinking there is no way you would forgive us—like Judas.  However, with all your disciples, like these three examples, we are reminded that your grace is sufficient for us. By faith, we can tell the mountain to be picked up and thrown into the sea, and it would obey.

Lord, sin can feel like a mountain that is burying us with all the guilt and shame of our actions. So we pray that you would take our mountain of sin and throw them into the sea. You forgave Thomas when he doubted that you were alive and Peter when he disowned you three times. Lord, your forgiveness was also available to Judas when he sold you out for thirty pieces of silver, but he rejected that forgiveness thinking there was no way you could forgive him.

Forgive us when we are like Thomas and doubt you, or like Peter when we disown you in front of others. Please forgive us when we, too, sell you out for the things of the world. By faith, we are reminded that your grace covers all our sins; send your Holy Spirit to give us a faith that is fruitful, willing to share the good news of your forgiveness with those who do not know you, which will result in them also trusting in your forgiveness and have everlasting life. Amen.

Written through Pastor Roger Emmons

Jesus has forgiven all your sins through his perfect life and innocent death, so with a believing heart, receive the forgiveness Jesus has won for you. He has removed that mountain of sin, so the next time you start feeling guilty, remind yourself: Jesus has already forgiven me.