The Text

Mark 11:12-14 (CSB) 12 The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry.

13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs.

14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it.

The Devotion

Here are big facts: we are born to die.

And in our sin, we are judged according and will die in our sins.

But here’s the gospel, from the moment sin came into the world and into our lives and into our hearts, God stepped into our lives and gave this promise:

Genesis 3:15 (CSB) I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

Here’s the thing: without God dwelling in us, we cannot believe that God was going to be good on that promise and anything else that comes out his mouth. That is sin: we cannot believe God because of the infection of sin on our hearts.

Your heart is incapable and not good enough to believe in God.

God knows that. He preached that word knowing full well we can’t fulfill it. God saw our brokenness and weakness and sin.

God preached it. God promised it. God gives everything we need in order to do his will.

Our heart was wicked. God gives his heart.

We are dead in our trespasses. God gives us His Spirit so we can be born again.

We so far and lost in God. God sent us His Son to live and die and to bridge that gap so we can be with Him, dwell in his presence with maxed out joy and pleasures forevermore.

This is our God. Those who do not obey the Son of God will fall under the wrath of God. Those who believe and trust in Christ will be with God forever.

Choose on this day on whom you will serve. Choose whether you will live or die.

The Discussion

1. Would you want to live or die?
2. Will you follow Christ today?
3. Will you give all of your sin and you life today?
4. How will you choose?

The Prayer from the Psalms

Psalm 10 (CSB)
1 LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide in times of trouble?

2 In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims; let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

3 For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the LORD.

4 In all his scheming, the wicked person arrogantly thinks, “There’s no accountability, since there’s no God.”

5 His ways are always secure; your lofty judgments have no effect on him; he scoffs at all his adversaries.

6 He says to himself, “I will never be moved— from generation to generation I will be without calamity.”

7 Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue.

8 He waits in ambush near settlements; he kills the innocent in secret places. His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless;

9 he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize a victim; he seizes a victim and drags him in his net.

10 So he is oppressed and beaten down; helpless people fall because of the wicked one’s strength.

11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; he hides his face and will never see.”

12 Rise up, LORD God! Lift up your hand. Do not forget the oppressed.

13 Why has the wicked person despised God? He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.”

14 But you yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into your hands. The helpless one entrusts himself to you; you are a helper of the fatherless.

15 Break the arm of the wicked, evil person, until you look for his wickedness, but it can’t be found.

16 The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.

17 LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,

18 doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.

My sin wakes me up from my slumber.

At my weakest, my iniquities flood my mind.
  My mind is not sharp.
  My soul is asleep.
  In the pitch blackness of the night, I cannot see.
  
Sin is like a ravenous, 
  rabid dog who sits upon my chest, 
  waiting to devour me. 
  I can smell it’s breath. 
  I can taste the poison stench. 
  My eardrums break from the deafening bark.

My birth and my life before haunts me.
O Lord
But you are my Shepherd. 
  You are my protector.
  You are my defender.
  You are my avenger.
  You are my slayer.

You, 
  who was once slain for my sin, 
  have already gloriously, 
  majestically, 
  violently, 
  powerfully, 
  and mercilessly 
  slay all of my sin.
My King
  my wits are lost. 
  My soul is dormant. 
  My heart is nearly still. 
  I do not have the wisdom to ask for help. 
  I do not have the presence of mind to call on you.
My God
  be my faithful protector—
  continuously 
  and forevermore.

Every waking moment and every minute of sleep, 
there is not a time when I don’t need you.

I need you, God. 
  Don’t leave me. 
  Stay with me. 
  Help me. 
  Love me. 
  Care for me.

I love you.

In the incredible name of Your Son, I pray.

Amen.

The Media

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