Read Mark 11:12-19.
Jesus cursed the fig tree. No fruit, you die. Ooh, tough judgment. But the truth is that it is as much a simple reality as a judgment. When the church is not fruitful, it will die.
Interesting, isn't it, that Mark follows that by recounting the incident in the temple? Why do you suppose that is? Well, chronological order of course, but I think there is more to it. It brings out to me the death of the church,the simple reality and the judgment.
Plenty of activity is going on in the temple. No doubt activities that were dubbed as viable ministries. But absolutely fruitless none the less. And it angered Jesus. It angered him then and it angers him now. He wants to teach us what a fruitful viable ministry is. He wants us to know what the church is to be. It is to be "a house of prayer for all nations."
Time for a fruit check! How much prayer is going up in your church? How many nations are touched in one way or another through your church? Are you aware of how many "nations" are represented all around your church?
The time is now to overturn the tables and do away with merchandising in the church. When it is emptied of these, bring in the nations.
It is not so hard. Not really. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Pray each day for an opportunity.
2. Frequent a restaurant that serves ethnic food.
3. Volunteer at any secular agency that renders services to internationals.
4. Frequent any public recreation areas such as a park in neighborhoods where internationals live.
5. Notice your neighbors and greet appropriately. Use holiday time to send special greetings.
6. Locate a cultural center and participate in an activity.
7. Invite the parents of your children's friends over for dessert.
8. Invite a colleague from another culture out to lunch.
9. Watch the newspaper for local cultural events and attend.
10. Pray each day that God will let you see the world around you with his eyes.
Question: Which one of these 10 simple tasks will you attempt today?