32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)
Yesterday, I wrote of a fig tree that had leaves and no fruit, and the Lord spoke to it, and it withered and died.
This verse is about a fig tree too. When it puts forth leaves, we know it is nearing summer. Jesus tells us that when we see these signs: wars, rumors of wars, religious deception, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and people being put to death for their faith, people hating and betraying each other, to know that the end is drawing near–even at the doors.
I woke up today with that thought in my mind,–that the Lord was coming very soon.
I also had a funny vision of a gym, or weight room, where I was ‘building’ up my faith.
I thought of Genesis, and to believe that God created the heaven and the earth — that was my warm-up exercise.
I thought of the different books of the Bible, and their main points.
I went into the harder exercises: the laws, the prophecies, the virgin birth of my Savior, Jesus, and His parables and teaching.
The weightier substance– the law of love — heavy lifting!
More exercises, on standing firm, putting on the whole armor, and being able to extinguish the fiery darts of my enemy.
Finally,the cardiac workout, and the book of Revelation, where the end of the race is close, and it is just a little ways more to the finish line. — To give everything I have to make it to the finish line.
Listen to the progression of the apostle Paul in this verse:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ– to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
In the Duck Commander devotional, Jase describes the progression.
“It starts with love, moves to knowledge, to insight, to discernment, to purity, to fruit, to glory, to God” He said there is no step-skipping if you want to bring glory to God.– “It all begins with love for God and continues with love for others and then progresses to a place of maturity and praise to our Lord.”
Thank You, Lord, for salvation, wisdom, understanding, grace, and so much more. As we draw near to You, draw near to us. Thank You for these exercises in faith and love. Help us to work-out every day, to put Your word in our hearts and minds. Protect us, and keep us in Your care, build us up in a most Holy faith until Your return. Amen