The enemy of manifesting Christ is our own self-importance.

5 03 2016

Since the resurrection aspect of the Jesus way primarily draws attention to Him, we can expect that Satan will seek to draw attention away from Jesus. The method the deceiver typically uses is to tempt the disciple to draw attention to him or herself. The enemy of manifesting Christ is our own self-importance.

Jesus gave a scathing rebuke to his generation because they carefully discerned weather signs but failed to understand signs of the kingdom of God. “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:3b).

Today, people carefully study the financial outlook, the sports prognosis, home improvement possibilities, sales coupons, and leisure options. We are experts in reading the signs of the times for our own self-interest. But we are content to be novices in that which concerns God. This is perfectly understandable for those who make no claim to follow Jesus, but those who say they have love for Him and desire to serve Him are only hypocrites, for in reality they do not care to understand God’s ways.

What single sign did Jesus provide His generation? And how is that still the sign given to our generation?

“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matt. 16:4).

Jonah prefigures the ministry of the greatest prophet – Jesus. Jonah was called by God to preach repentance to an obstinate city, Nineveh. He disobeyed, but repented and surrendered during his life crisis in the depths of the sea. He rose from the depths, fulfilled his assignment of proclamation, and watched as God brought revival to the city.

Jonah’s three days in the belly of a great fish typify Jesus’ burial and resurrection. And the risen Christ living His new life through His followers today is still the sign given by God to a skeptical world. It is theirs to accept or reject. It is ours to live and display in great faith.

What cross-like experience have you been through that God likely used in the lives of others who watched you going through it?



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