Unstable and Fruitless

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Pictured above is the Orfordness Lighthouse located on Orford Ness, in Suffolk, England. The 98 ft. brick tower was completed in 1792.  Unfortunately, as with many other lighthouses built close to coastal waters, its grounds have slowly succumbed to the encroaching sea. Over the years, the shoreline was brought only a few feet from the lighthouse itself.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lhox.jpgLighthouse grounds (1951)
LHOX2(2018)

The Orfordness Light was decommissioned on 2013 after 228 years of safeguarding and providing a navigation mark for mariners. Fearing that the erosion would inevitably cause it to fall into the sea, work began to dismantle and demolish the tower this past July. 

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We can safely, technically, and officially conclude that unstable grounds caused the demise of the once popular Orfordness Lighthouse.

Pictured above is one of the 11 types of fig trees in the world. The fig tree is native to the Middle East and western Asia. Its fruit has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times. It is first mentioned in the Bible in the book of Genesis, where Adam and Eve clad themselves with fig leaves after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Read Gen. 3). The Book of Deuteronomy specifies the fig as one of the Seven Species, describing the fertility of the land of Canaan (Read Deuteronomy 8:7-8). 

It was on His way to Jerusalem with His disciples that Jesus cursed a fig tree because it bore no fruit (Read Matt. 21:18–22). While scholars present various interpretations for this seemingly out-of-character action by Jesus, one particular analogy stands out simply because Jesus himself later uses it in one of His parables (Read Luke 13:6–9).

We can safely, technically, and biblically conclude that being fruitless caused the demise of the once seemingly flourishing fig tree on the road that led to the Holy City.

When we genuinely repent and begin living for God, our lives bear evidence of our relationship with Christ. This evidence is known as “fruits,” which include:

  • Good works – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • The fruit of the Spirit – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • Obedience to God and His Word – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:2) & “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching…” (John 14:23)

But what if we profess faith in Christ and bear no fruit? The presence or absence of fruit in the lives of those who claim to be Christians is an important issue. Jesus himself attested to this when he said…

“‘I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit…By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit'” (John 15:5 & 8)

Real and visible spiritual fruit is a necessary concern for anyone who identifies with Christ. The repercussions of not bearing fruit are too great to ignore. The Apostle John alluded to this.

“Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” (1 John 2:4)

“Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire…” (Matthew 3:10)

As Christians, our faith must be built on solid and stable grounds. In other words, we ought to be spiritually and morally lead by sound biblical teachings that are founded on Christ as the cornerstone. The result is:

  • Living holy (separated) lives unto Him – “For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.(1 Peter 1:16)
  • Forsaking our old sinful ways – “[I]n reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4: 22-24) & “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Conforming to His character – “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to conform to the image of his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29)
  • Bearing a testimony of repentance – “Produce fruit, then, in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)

An unstable and fruitless Christian is as good as a decommissioned lighthouse on eroding grounds or a barren fig tree. Such a person will sooner or later suffer the consequences, whether here on this life or in the life to come.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (James 2:17,20)

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23)

For a good exposition on Jesus and the cursed fig tree, follow this link Why Did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree?”

Prayer: Dear Lord, You truly are the vine from which I draw life, strength, and purpose for living. Help me to remain firmly subject to you and to stand unmovable on your word and promises. Help me, Holy Spirit, to live a life that bears much fruit so that others will see Christ in me and be drawn to Him. Amen!

RELATED SCRIPTURE
Colossians 1:10 ESV – “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV – “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Matthew 7:24 NLT -“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”


9 thoughts on “Unstable and Fruitless

  1. An unstable and fruitless “Christian is as good as a decommissioned lighthouse on eroding grounds or a barren fig tree” – this is absolutely true. I love how you connected both these subjects to our Christian journey, Joe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must say that this “Lighthouse” devotion has put a beam of light in the places that I have been lacking. I believe this is what devotions are suppose to do. Make us reflect and think about our spiritual health. Thank you for sharing and for extra link on ‘Why Did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree”, it was very insightful. God be merciful to me is the only prayer I’m crying out right now. Love you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Mari, any piece of literature that directs us back to His Word and causes us to reflect on what our true purpose is here in earth is an instrument for His glory. Thank you, my love, for your support and encouragement throughout these 28 years. Together we shine bright for the glory of God!

      Liked by 2 people

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