TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD THIS EASTER!

30 03 2021
Common Fig Tree with Fruits 3D Model 3.3m

EASTER 2021 SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT

I don’t know about you, but I always wake up singing. I not only keep the songs playing all day long, but I also experience very musical dreams. The other morning, I woke up with the tune, “Tell Me Something Good,” coming from my lips. This record was once a Number 3 Hit for the Band Rufus that featured Chaka Kahn. The Motown superstar Stevie Wonder wrote this song and never released the song himself because he gave the song to Rufus, since Stevie was a fan of their lead singer, Chaka Khan. Around this time, Wonder was turning many of his best songs over to female singers with otherworldly voices: Aretha Franklin recorded his “Until You Come Back to Me,” and Minnie Riperton did “Loving You.”


The story Chaka Khan tells is that Wonder was going to bring them a song in the studio, and when he dropped by and played her one which he had written, she stunned her bandmates by telling the mighty Stevie Wonder she didn’t like it. Chaka says she was 19 and pregnant, so she was a little moody at the time. So, Wonder began jamming at his keyboards and before you could say, “signed, sealed, delivered,” out came the tune: “Tell Me Something Good.” According to Chaka, she loved it and they worked out the song together in the studio and magic was made.

Dear Lord, there is so much bad news around our world this Easter. Please Father, tell me something good! Hope is the anticipation of something good even in the midst of something bad.

Hope is deeper than optimism. Optimism is the tendency to believe things will turn out well. But biblical hope is a commitment to the conviction that in God, we have a sure thing. Promises are kept, His word is His bond and no matter what might be happening right now, for Believers, the best is yet to come. Lord, I may not like the first song, but as long as You are in my life, I know You are composing lyrics with my name on them in Your infinite creativity.

Here is the thing. You cannot do more than you hope to do if you don’t hope, so imagine you have a hope that just doesn’t give up. If God be for us, who can be against us? Imagine that as Christians, we are not intimidated by the pandemic, recession, fear, isolation, and uncertainty. In the power of the Spirit, we can face the bully head on and look the enemy square in the eye and still mine life in a place where people are settling for death much too easily. Imagine being so filled with the hope that Jesus brings that we do not lose our peace, purpose, soul and inspiration when our culture panics. Imagine waking up in the morning eager for the day ahead and not dreading the next 24 hours? Imagine experiencing a heavenly hope that will not give out on earth? Tell me something good! Easter is nothing but God’s best!

The Sunday and Monday before Easter Sunday, Jesus visited the temple twice. He went there briefly upon his arrival in Jerusalem, then stayed that night with his disciples in Bethany, a couple of miles outside the city. Jesus knew that during the day, He would be in hostile territory. The Temple should have been the place where the Son of God was worshipped, but instead, He was hunted. In Bethany, Jesus was welcomed and loved and embraced. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary lived in Bethany. This Easter, is Jesus welcomed in your life, heart, and home? Let us not take it for granted that Jesus is celebrated in every church building. Let’s read on!

One day after Palm Sunday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem to visit the Temple again. On this historic Monday, Jesus would start throwing furniture in the Court of the Gentiles. But there was a true object lesson on the way and Mark records the following story. “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11:12–14)

I remember reading this as new Christian and thinking that somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed. The Lord is being pretty petty and temperamental. Putting a curse on a tree because it was not bearing fruit, and out of season, no less? I hate to be around Jesus when He was having a bad day. But let’s dig a little deeper here and find out the real lesson along the way. Middle Eastern fig trees bore two kinds of fruit. As the leaves were starting to come in the spring, before the figs came, the branches bore little nodules, which were abundant and very good to eat. Travelers liked to pick them off and eat them as they made their journey. If you found a fig tree that had begun to sprout leaves but had none of these delicious nodules, you would know that something was wrong.

It might look okay from a distance because the leaves had emerged, but if it had no nodules it was diseased or maybe even dying inside.

Growth without fruit was a sign of decay. Jesus seizes the opportunity to provide a private, memorable object lesson, a parable against hollow religiosity, with the fig tree as a visual aid.

Tell me something good! Jesus finds the fig tree not doing its appointed job. The tree became a perfect metaphor for Israel, and beyond that, for those claiming to be God’s people but who do not bear fruit for him.  

On that very same Monday, Jesus was returning to a place that was filled with noise and commotion and lots of activity. Picture the New York Stock exchange but add animals to the mix.

Being busy is not a spiritual gift. Doing things for God that keep you from connecting with God are not as life changing as you might believe they are. What was supposed to be a chapel to get closer to the Lord was anything but that. Evidently, Christians can be terribly busy in church activities and still miss out on transformation and heart change.

Later that day, Jesus would clear the temple of all that fruitless activity. He would take the private object lesson of the fig tree and turn it into a necessary public spectacle. God wants us to know that obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus came to be a King that would not just lead us out of the dark but introduce us to the Light forever. If this Easter, Jesus is not allowed to lead us His way, then we will amount to nothing more than having lots of leaves with no lasting fruit.   

God loves us with an extreme salvation. What Jesus has done for us, demands an extreme response from every one of us. When the Religious Rulers saw the kind of Messiah that Jesus came to be, they wanted to do away with Him. The same response is true today. Either you’ll have to kill him, or you’ll have to crown him. Either you fall at His feet and surrender all or you want the Lord to go away. Easter forces us to make our decision. Please do not try to keep Jesus on the outside when He does His best work on the inside. Tell me something good. Give yourself fully to Him and center your entire life upon Him and let His power reproduce his character in you. Let the church be the church where Jesus doesn’t reign on our terms but on His terms and there is no argument when it comes to the question, “Who is in charge?” Unless you have power over the sin and the grave, I suggest we leave the sovereignty to the Savior! He lives because He took the death out of death! If we want our leaves to grow into everlasting fruit, then it is time for something really good and that takes us surrendering to the Lord!


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30 03 2021
— pastorrudytlc | By the Mighty Mumford

[…] — pastorrudytlc […]

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