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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me;your rod and staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."



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THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

"Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way 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."
St. Matthew 21: 18-19.

NO doubt we read this incident in the life of Jesus perhaps with shock, but thisaction of Jesus was not done in anger, but in order to teach something importent. Them action contains a parable. We can learn here several things - the divine power of Jesus, also the true humanity of Jesus in the fact that he experienced hunger, and so on, but it is the meaning of his action that is the important thing to take to heart and understand.

The fig tree was unprotuctive. It existed to produce figs, but it was not fulfilling this function. It had become useless, and was simply taking up nourishment from the ground without producing what it was meant to produce, which was fruit. For this reason it needed to be destroyed.

In the first place this was a parable concerning the Jewish nation and the action of Jesus was prophetic. The Jewish nation had been chosen by God to serve God. However when the promised Messiah came the did not accept him or own him, but sought to destroy him. They were chosen to glorify God, and live for God, and to live the life holiness and truth God had chosen them to perform. Instead all their religion had become dead and worthless, and they were not producing the fruit of godly living, even though they were very religious. They were ripe for destruction.

In the dest ruction of the fig tree Jesus was foretelling the judgement on the Jewish nation which was very near at hand because they were not bringing forth fruit unto God. This happened in AD 70 when the Romans, under Titus, came and destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews as a nation were scattered throughout the known world, and they ceased to be the special children of God again.

This warns the visible church today that if has depart ed from the truth of God, and so is not producing fruit for God, it will come under the judgement of God. History tells the story of churches in the past which ceased to be faithful to the Gospel and to God and have disappeared.

This action of Jesus is a warning to every one who claims to be a Christian. If our lives are not showing the life of God in our living, and have turned away from the truth of God in the Bible, and whose lives deny the Gospel in some way or other, such are in danger of the judgement illustrated in this action of Jesus towards the useless fig tree. How we need to examine our lives in order to make sure we are true believers and true servants of Jesus.