Good Morning and welcome to The Daily. Did you start something you didn't yet finish earlier this week? Because today's reading revisits the fig tree Jesus cursed in Tuesday's study. Why make the same point twice?
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Is there something you see as fruitless or dead in your life? What about something full of spiritual life - goodness, truth, and beauty?
_ Who are you going to meet today-do they know that they are loved by God? Are you the one to tell them?
_ Pray boldly and ask for God to help you in all those things you will to today, and ask him to make it known where un-forgiveness dwells in your soul.
DISCOVER [ Mark 11.20-25 ] 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_Which fig tree is this? What happened?
_What does Jesus mean by "have faith in God", especially in v.23?
_'Whatever you ask'? Is there a limit on what should be prayed for? Does the context (the passages before this one) help illuminate what kind of things are supposed to be prayed for?
_Why would Jesus mention un-forgiveness here? What has my reconciliation with my neighbor got to do with my prayer?
_Compare this with the cleansing of the temple - buying and selling for animals to sacrifice. If the Temple is supposed to be a place where people offer prayer and where they have their sins forgiven, how does Jesus offer a better way?
+ HOW am I to confess sin and respond to what I learned with a step of action? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
_Confess there are areas you are lacking faith in your prayers or are holding something against a neighbor
_Dream about having a conversation with that person. Go and be reconciled to them today.
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)