Have you ever read the portion of the bible where Jesus cursed the fig tree and wondered why He took such action on an innocent tree?
Could it have been because there was no friuts on the fig tree for Him to quench His hunger?. It’s also worthy to note that book of Mark 11:13 stated that it was not yet the season of fig trees to bear fruit.
Mark 11:11-24 also recounts the event that transpired between Jesus and His disciples in respect of the fig tree vis-a-vis the important lesson from it.
Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that; for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
So what prompted Jesus to curse the tree if the time of figs wasn’t yet?
Well, Jesus gave the answer and the lesson He wants us to learn in Mark 11:22-24
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have
In other words, Jesus wants us to know that as children of God we have the authority to command and issue decrees concerning anything or circumstance and it will happen according to our faith.
It’s interesting to know that God has given man dominion to rule over situations Ab initiogenesis 1:26
This goes to show that there’s a measure of God’s power in us, and its efficacy depends solely on the level of our faith.
In summary, Jesus passed a judgment on the fig tree not necessarily because it was fruitless, but because He wants us to know and understand that we can achieve our heart desire if we believe and exercise unwavering faith in God as touching anything.
Happy Resurrection Day! Of course, it is more popularly known as ‘Easter,’ but I believe the name ‘Resurrection Day’ is more fitting to the biblical record.
Sunday, April 21, is the date in 2019 that Christians recognize and recall the truth of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead some two millennia ago.
However, also each year at this time skeptics rear their critical heads to attempt discrediting this event. Sadly, many of those same critics claim the mantle of teachers within Christianity.
One example of such was reported at a conference sponsored by the Episcopalian and Methodist denominations. One of the speakers, Robert J. Miller of Juniata College, lectured at the conference and said this,
“I don’t believe the dead body of Jesus got up and walked out of the tomb,” Miller, a Roman Catholic, similarly declared. …”We don’t find evidence that his [Jesus’] body left the tomb, that Jesus considered himself messiah or that his death would be a sort of human sacrifice to atone for sin.” Instead, Miller proposed that Jesus was to be understood as a sage.
The efforts of these critics to disparage Christian faith are morally deficient and wrong about the facts. Moreover, the goal of such people is to turn Christianity into a useful myth.
These critics also misunderstand, deliberately or otherwise, the vital nature and truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection Is Vital to the Existence of Christianity
The biblical record reveals the necessity of the resurrection of Christ to the faith. There is nothing more vital to the very existence of Christianity than the actual resurrection of Jesus from real death on the cross.
The apostle Paul puts it plainly in 1 Corinthians 15.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. I Corinthians 15:17-20
There is no faith in a Christ who did not rise from the dead. If Jesus did not rise as He testified that He would, and as the biblical witness records, then Paul says you have a useless faith and no hope for escaping sin or its penalty.
Hope in Christ is based on His assurance of life eternal for those who follow Him, but it is an empty promise if He Himself did not rise from the grave. If that is the case, every person from the time of Jesus’ disciples until the present, dead or alive followed a false witness.
The fascinating thing about the critics of the resurrection, like Dr. Miller above, is that they inevitably try to deny what Jesus claimed and did, especially miraculously, while also claiming He was a great and good teacher or prophet. Miller himself claims that Jesus was really a “sage,” meaning a wise and good teacher and example.
These so-called “teachers” of the Word are trying to desperately hold onto the symbolism of Christ without any of the substance. That way, they can justify sinful actions and teaching by filling in their own version of ‘substance’ and claiming it aligns with the symbolic teachings of a wise sage.
Plainly put, you can’t have it both ways skeptics. One of my favorite quotes from author C.S. Lewis of “Narnia” fame comes from another work about the reality of Christianity where he makes this very salient point.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Thus the absolute necessity of a true, actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from death cannot be overstated. Unless that monumental, unprecedented event really happened, every Christian should abandon the faith and look elsewhere or nowhere for God in this life.
However, we are blessed that the resurrection did happen and Jesus is truly alive today as our Savior and LORD. The evidence for this is abundant and we begin with the words of Paul in the same chapter of 1 Corinthians.
The Resurrection Is the Historic Truth, and More
The historical case for the resurrection is extremely strong and easily refutes the nonsensical blatherings of ‘academic’ doubters. Paul himself begins chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians with multiple eyewitness testimony of the risen LORD Jesus.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 [ESV]
The key to the veracity of Paul’s writing is that Jesus appeared in person after He had died on the cross to hundreds of eyewitnesses who were alive at the time! Paul was also not the only evangelist preaching about the risen Christ at that time.
Peter [Cephas in the text] and the other apostles were preaching and teaching the resurrection as miraculous fact. The events at the cross on Friday before were well-known and Jesus’ enemies would have decimated this account if it were not true.
In the verses that follow Paul puts his and the other apostles’ character on the line. He basically says that if you find out this is a false account, then we are all false witnesses under Jewish law.
As a Pharisee, Paul would know that the penalty for committing false witness could go as high as death, [Deuteronomy 19:18-21]. In fact, all those who preached the resurrection as fact risked death from the religious and political authorities of the day.
This is the second point that gives evidence for the resurrection as a true event. The early martyrs for Christ all died believing the resurrection was real, and many of them actually saw Jesus alive after they had watched Him die on the cross!
No one risks death for something they don’t believe is true. Granted, people can and do risk life and limb for things they believe to be true but are in fact false, but that doesn’t answer the matter of the eyewitnesses.
The skeptics’ objection to this is that the witnesses saw an illusion that was really a ‘spiritual’ resurrection and not a bodily one. This means that hundreds of people all saw the identical mass illusion, which is basically an impossibility.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself rebukes this fantasy with His actions and words after He rose from the dead.
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Luke 24:38-43 [ESV]
In other pieces, I have covered more evidence for the resurrection, such as the lack of a body in the tomb and refuted the so-called “swoon theory,” which claims Jesus didn’t really die but revived in the tomb and somehow moved the stone and escaped the notice of the Roman guards.
There are numerous excellent volumes which do a more thorough job of giving proof of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A couple of these that I recommend are Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” and a small but powerful book with the title, “Faith Founded on Fact,” by John Warwick Montgomery.
If one is not particularly enamored of reading detailed books, I would recommend looking up two places I use on YouTube. One is known as Inspiring Philosophy and another is the ministry of apologist Ravi Zacharias. They have been a great aid to me in my continuing study.
The conclusion is this, followers of Jesus Christ can be sure that He has risen and overcome death and the grave, and we can all rejoice in that fact! Hallelujah, He is risen indeed!
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
Here are 5 tips to improve yourearly morning workouts, along with the benefits of early morning workouts, and a quick 30 minute workout you can do with no equipment.
Why Early Morning Workouts Are Great
Exercise in the morning provides a wide range of benefits that offer physical and mental gratification:
Strength training exercise can boost metabolism for up to 48 hours so doing your workout in the AM is a great way to jumpstart your metabolism.This elevated metabolism will ensure you are burning calories throughout the day.
Exercise also promotes endorphins in the brain, which can elevate your mood and start your day off on a positive note.More so, your sense of accomplishment from knowing you have your workout done before you even start your workday will elevate your mood and keep you from stressing over it later if something unexpected arises. According to research, exercise significantly increases mental capacity and exercising in the A.M. can allow you to harness that increased brainpower.
5 Tips For Better Early Morning Workouts
1. Pre-Plan Your Pre-Workout Meal
If you find that you have more energy eating something before your workout, planning your pre-workout meal the night before can be helpful. Research has shown more calories tend to be burned with some fuel in your body before a workout. However, each individual knows his own body best, so finding out what works best for you is essential.
Eating a small to medium sized meal may provide ample energy for your workout without the bloated feeling that comes with larger meals that can affect performance. A great way to kick start your daily meal plan is to make a shake the night before. A healthy pre-made smoothie is versatile and can provide ample fuel to power you through a workout.
Human sleep cycles follow a daily cycle called circadian rhythms. Using an alarm clock, establishing meal times, and even routine workout times are all cues that reset our rhythms. People who consistently exercise in the morning teach their body to be most ready for exercise at that time of day.
Go to bed 30-45 minutes earlier so you can stay on your normal sleep schedule. This will ensure the 30-45 minutes it will take you to get your warmup and workout done in the morning won’t come at the expense of adequate rest.
Research also suggests that morning exercise improves sleep so getting into a good routine of an earlier bed time might not be an issue.Exercise in the morning can help to set the body clock for a day of activity and a night of sleep, while exercise at night can potentially push back the sleep part of the sleep-wake cycle. In one recent experiment women who exercised in the morning averaged a 70% better nights sleep versus non exercisers.
3. Set Everything Up The Night Before
Whether its pushup blocks, a jump rope, bands, or your workout attire, make sure everything is laid out before you go to bed so you won’t be scrambling the next morning. This will save you crucial moments and give yourself the peace of mind that you don’t have to rush your workout. Knowing you have made sufficient preparations will ensure a worry free sleep and stress free morning.
Another great option is to create a new playlist the night before or start your workout with a new song you really enjoy and look forward to hearing. This will help you get out of bed in the morning and get those energy levels fired up early in the morning.
4. Perform A Longer Warm-Up
Your body temperature is naturally lower in the morning and the last thing you want to do is open yourself up for injury. When you begin to exercise, your body undergoes a number of changes such as an increased blood flow, increase respiration rate, and an increased amount of oxygen delivered to muscle cells. In order to ensure these bodily changes respond properly you should gradually prepare your body by performing an adequate warm-up.
Benefits of a solid warm-up:
Prepares your nervous system for the impending exertion of exercise
Heightens your mental acuity
Loosens up your joints and muscles for the prevention of injury
Allows your heart to gradually adjust to the increased activity, thereby increasing the blood flow and sending the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells.
Perform at least 5-10 minutes of muscle activation and dynamic flexibility movements to get your blood pumping and mentally prepared for you morning workout.
5. Start With Exercises You Enjoy And Recruit A Partner
You’ll be more likely to get out of bed and into your workout if you perform exercises you enjoy. Whether it’s a brisk run, yoga sessions, or a bike ride, perform a morning workout you appreciate to ensure you will stick to a routine and not come to dread that morning alarm. Recruiting a partner can also help with consistency. A pre-arranged workout time with a partner will force you out of bed and take the option of “going back to sleep” out of the equation completely.
Sample 30-Minute Early Morning Workout
The following workout should take you only 30 minutes and require no equipment. It’s a great option if you are on the road on a business trip, or don’t have time to run to the gym.
Have you ever asked why God gives some people power?
By power, we are talking of political power, intellectual power, financial or economic power, physical power, language power, talent etc.
God gives people power for a divine purpose.
But when they fail in that divine mission, there is disaster.
He does not give you power so that you work against him.
He gives you power so that you work with him as a partner in creation; to take the world a step or steps towards its destiny.
And the destiny of the world is excellence – heaven; when good will overcome evil and everybody will enjoy.
If you use the power God gives you to promote evil instead of good, you are using it for the wrong purpose.
It means you are fighting against God instead of working with God.
That is an abomination; an abuse of power and also a waste of precious time; seeking your doom.
Such work does not yield positive fruits. It yields Negative fruits otherwise called evil.
Some one cannot arm you and you turn to use the very arms against him.
Often, people are deceived to think that people do this and get what they want; and go free.
They only appear to get what they want; and also only appear to go free. They don’t. The problem is we always see only one side of such people. They have a down side which makes them not as enviable as they look.
We have seen how people in high positions who abused their power paid dearly for it. That is the point.
If God blesses you with power of any sort, use it only for the glory of his name. You will be blessed.
If use it to work against Him, you will pay for.
Do you know some people who used their power to work against God’s plan for humanity and paid dearly for it? Please, share!
To get a grip of power,
We humans fight;
A fierce fight, indeed!
A tooth-and-nail fight;
Zigzag mostly it goes;
And threatens human life;
This dangerous fight
Is to get control
Of the keys
That unlock the golden door
That to opportunity leads;
If power must come under control;
This merciless fight
Is not at all for the weak
But the strong
And lion hearted souls
That know no fear,
As at times with daggers
The fighters fight;
All they want
Is to grip power
And have it under their
What you love is where
Your heart is;
If you love power,
In money is your heart;
If you love money,
In money is your heart;
If you love material things,
In material things
Is your heart;
If you love God,
In God is your heart;
If you love people,
In people is your heart;
If you love boozing,
In boozing is your heart;
If you love men or women,
In men/women is your heart;
If you love earthly things,
In earthly things
Will your heart be.
Which is better? To become the king of your country and rule supreme for a few years, be overthrown and thrown in jail or to live and die freely as an opposition leader who never tastes the sweetness of power at the helm of the nation?