Seeking a sign?
And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Luke 11:29
Jesus’ ministry was starting to have a problem. The crowds were growing and more people each day were coming to see. The problem was they were coming because they wanted to see His signs and miracles. They were not so interested in His words, and they didn’t have a heart to repent. They came to be entertained and to witness His mighty power in action.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing. What ever it takes to get the crowds out to the service, right? Well, according to Jesus, these were evil people seeking a sign. Jesus said what was important was that they would repent in the way that the corrupt city of Nineveh repented when Jonah preached to them. Jonah didn’t come with signs and wonders; he came with a message and warning from God. That was all that evil nation needed to repent.
I see this same thing happening today. People come out to a service to be entertained. They like the music or they want to see a show, but when it comes time for the Word and message from God, there is little interest and they check out. Sadly, the warning is the same today as it was in Jesus’ day and Jonah’s. The truth is, it is not about going to a service to be entertained and checking it off the list as having done your religious duty. Repentance is the key, and it is continual. Yes, we repent and turn to God when we receive salvation, but then we continue to turn to Him to become more like Him. The real reason we go to a service each week to hear the message that the Holy Spirit has prepared for us is so that we can line our lives up with His plan and His blessings. Jonah was a great prophet, Jesus was even greater, but now we have the Holy Spirit whom Jesus Himself said was even better for us. He can be with us always and that is Who our heart is to be reaching out for. Our job at the weekend service is to fill up with the Holy Spirit and the love of God to be able to share them with the world around us the rest of the week. I heard one pastor put it this way: The weekend service is for coming together as God’s people to take a deep breath of His Word and goodness and then breathe it out the rest of the week wherever we go. Then do it again the next weekend. We are breathing God out to the world around us every day, but before you can do that effectively, you must inhale!
Today I want to encourage you to go to your weekend service each week. Come together regularly with other believers to receive and fill up on the message of pressing in to know God more intimately. Then release the filling into those you are with the rest of the week. Let the time you spend in the congregation be the time that you turn all your attention to God’s great salvation and grace! Don’t be going to be entertained or seeking a sign or wonder. Instead, make it a time to repent and growing stronger in your faith walk with Him. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which you have from God. Make sure you are giving Him the space to fill you up. Ask yourself this question: Are you seeking a sign or a Savior?
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 11:29-32
29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.