Not too long ago I had a bible study with my children about treating God like a personal genie. Off of that bible study I wrote a devotional from it because it is an important message that needs to be taught.  After conducting today’s bible study with my children, I extracted a similar message from this scripture.  I pray that today’s lesson helps clarify our faith and strengthen it.  I also pray that we can share this message with unbelievers!

          Matthew 12:38-40

          Then some of the scribes and Pharisees told Jesus, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39  But he replied to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign.  Yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, 40  because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Here in this piece of scripture, the religious leaders were asking Jesus to perform another miracle for them.  They did not want to really know Him for who He Is, because they already made up their minds not to believe Him.  They just wanted to make a dog and pony show out of Jesus.  Jesus did not have to prove His authority here on earth with another miracle.  He already performed countless healings and vanishing of evil spirits.  The proof of Jesus authority had already been established.

Then Jesus goes on to  say that the people followed the profit Jonah after he was trapped in the belly of a large fish for three days.  Then Jesus took it a step further by foreshadowing His resurrection and conquering over death.  Jesus was basically saying at this point you either follow me or you don’t.  If you did not follow Him it was due to your own pride getting in the way.  The same can be said about our generation.  We are as evil and adulterous as the Pharisees ever were.  I can’t count with my hands and toes how many times I have heard “I will believe if…”  Why are we repeating history?  What more can Jesus do?  He laid down his life for us all.  I know I do not deserve it, but through His grace I have it anyway.  What greater show of love can be shown to us?  If after everything Jesus taught and showed us and you still have the arrogance not to believe and try to treat Him as a personal genie; you need to evaluate yourself!  I pray for those with a harden heart for God to soften your heart to accept this message.

Jesus goes on to teach us about cleaning our house:

        Matthew 12:43-45

        “Whenever an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through waterless places                looking for a place to rest, but finds none. 44  Then it says, ‘I will go back to my home that I left.’ When it arrives, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order. 45  Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And so the final condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That’s just what will happen to this evil generation!”

Here Jesus is describing to us the heart of Israel.  If you clean up your lives, but do not fill the void with the love of God it will be temporary.  If that void is not filled with God you leave room for Satan to come back and fill it seven fold and worse than before.  Ridding ourselves of one sin is the first step towards the right direction, but we cant go further than that without the strength of the Lord.

One example of many is dealing with issues of lust and pornography.  If you get rid of everything that makes you want to lust, but never fix the root of the problem and ask “why” you are committing this sin, your fix will most likely be temporary.  Now if you clean your house, but don’t fill it with the love of the Lord, allows room for other bondages to come back into your life.  You may go from fantasizing about adultery to actually committing adultery. Then from adultery to constantly lying to cover up your sinful actions.  However, if you would have fully given the issue to the Lord, you would not have compounded your sins.  Now where there was one bond, you have three or four.  If you filled that void with God’s love you would not have room for anything else in your life.

Jesus teaches us that He is who He is.  He does not have to do anything else to prove that point to us.  If you cannot fully submit yourself to Him, then you need to take a real hard look in the mirror.  Is it your pride that is keeping you from Him or is it a lack of faith?  If you fell that you are not getting what you think you deserve, you are no different than a two year old throwing a temper tantrum.  The only difference is that you should know better.  Hiding behind religion will not save you!  God knows what is in your heart and mind.

So I pray today that any change we make in our lives gets filled with the love of God so we do not leave a place of dwelling for Satan.  I also pray that we all can submit fully to the Lord and be the generation to stop bad history from repeating itself.  We have been given the knowledge and the tools to not only better our lives, but the world.  We just need to take a stance and actually make a change.  

May God bless you all!