Having Leaves Only

February 12, 2023

Series: Misc Sermons

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Scripture: Matthew 21:18-22

Jesus being a man was hungry. He saw the leaves of a fig tree from afar off yet the tree was barren.

God is looking for something other than just leaves. The leaves are just the outward appearance of a person. It doesn’t matter if you can act like a Christian or talk like one. Have you ever been to an apple tree and just eaten the leaves? Many people today will gather under a building called a church and go through the motions of a typical Christian. But are they only leaves blowing in the wind? 

There isn’t a place in the scripture that instructs a Christian what to wear. Some religions put a lot of effort into outward appearances. One can’t wear makeup, must have their hair trimmed, beards cut, and wear certain clothing. These are just outward appearances and have no bearing of salvation. A Christian should dress modestly and their speech should be clean.

A person can look the part and talk the part (have leaves). One can even attend church regularly and teach Sunday School. These things are good but are only actions or the outward appearance of a Christian. One can try to act or live like a Christian. The world can look at someone and make an assumption that they are a good person and possibly saved. These are only the leaves showing. Don’t be deceived! A hog is just a hog, once washed it will return back to wallowing in the mud. The leaves are not what’s important, it’s the fruit.

Jesus had an expectation to get a fig because of its leaves. When Jesus sees you does He expect to see fruit? A fruit tree doesn’t struggle to make fruit, it just happens. The fruit is proof of the type of tree it is. There have been some people that will go through the actions of being saved yet later they return back to their sinful lifestyle. They just had leaves, no fruit. Some people know God and have no problem with the doctrine that comes from the pulpit but they bear no fruit. They’ve never been saved.

A farmer that grew figs and had a tree that hadn’t produced any fruit in three years. He then told his helper to pull it up and throw it away into the fire. For three years the helper had tried to get the tree to produce fruit. The helper then told the farmer that he was going to pull back the dirt from around the tree to expose its roots to fertilize it. Your life isn’t but a vapor. Jesus is trying to get fertilize to your roots feeding you His word. If you, like the tree, do not accept the help then you will be cast into a fire. Leaves only are not what God is after. Your days are numbered. Leaves only will not get you into Heaven.

How do you know if you are bearing fruit? A sower spreading seed threw some amongst the rocks and the birds ate them. Some seeds were thrown and the weeds took them over. But some seeds were thrown onto good ground and they began to grow strong and grew much fruit. You will bear fruit.

The fruit of the Spirit. It’s from the Spirit and the only way to bear them is to be part of the Spirit.

Love! You will love one another whether you want to or not. It’s beyond what you can control. You can say you love God but if you can’t love your neighbor you’re not one of His. This is because when you’re saved you can’t help to love your neighbor.

Joy! Love is an action, a verb. Yet then we have Joy, a noun. Have you ever lived without joy? Being saved means you’ll have joy sprouting out everywhere. Joy comes when you should be down and out sad. We can’t produce joy in the bad times.

Peace! Stuff or relationships can’t give you peace. God will give you His peace and not a modified version of it. It just comes without working for it. You’ll have bushels and bushels of the fruits of the Spirit. God isn’t depending on you to grow the fruit because it’s what you’ll just do if you’ve been saved.

Long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and temperance, all these things are of God, not you.

Religions have been formed since the beginning of time where they tell their followers that it’s all about what you do. Your fruit production isn’t about you. God works on the tree for more fruit to grow. 

We live in a culture where they try to tell you that you can produce these fruits. They will try smoke, lights, and tantalizing music to work feelings. Jesus stated that there would be lovers of self instead of God in the last days They’ll have itching ears of false teachings and not of God’s Word.