“Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” (Matthew 3:8 NLT)
Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage: “The proof is in the pudding.” What does that mean? It means if you’re going to brag about your pudding, it’d better taste good. The same is true of our lives as children of God. If we’re going to have confidence in our walk with God, we should daily seek God’s approval of the way we’re living.
In Matthew 9 Jesus heals a paralyzed man, but before he heals him, Jesus forgives him of his sins. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day rightly believed it was blasphemous for anyone but God to forgive sins, but they wrongly accused Jesus of blasphemy, because they misunderstood who He was. So, Jesus said to them: “So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” And He gave as proof the power He displayed in healing this man’s paralysis.
What will it take to prove Jesus’ authority in your life? What proof do you need, that you don’t already have, to convince you once and for all time that Jesus is God in human form? That He came to earth to demonstrate through His life how we should walk as God’s children, and to forever pay the debt for sin on our behalf.
Many today hide behind excuses, claiming: “If God is real why doesn’t He show Himself? Why doesn’t He prove to me He’s alive, and that He loves me.” Often, we ignore God when things are going well, then doubt His presence when something negative happens in our lives.
In Matthew 16:1 the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were the Jewish elite, in terms of their religious knowledge and zeal, came to Jesus asking Him to prove His authority. Jesus responded: “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
God spoke clearly to Jonah the Prophet. He wanted him to go to Nineveh, a very wicked city, and tell them to repent. But rather than obey God, Jonah got on a boat heading in the opposite direction. God caused a great storm that threatened to sink the boat Jonah was on, but rather than risk the lives of the men who had shown him kindness, Jonah tells them to throw him overboard, which they did, and they will be saved, which they were.
Why would Jonah tell them to do that? Did he want to die? No! He had full confidence God would rescue him. So, what did God do? He sent a large fish to swallow Jonah and deliver him to the Ninevites. Was Jonah running because He didn’t believe in God? Quite to the contrary, he was running because he despised the Ninevites and knew God would use his message to turn them back to God. As later proved to be true.
The picture of Jonah is a “type” or “shadow” of Jesus in the “belly” of the earth for three days after His crucifixion. Jonah’s story is a picture of a lot of us today who run from God, not because we need proof of His existence, but because we’re afraid of what He’ll do with us if we yield our will to His. I’m convinced many, if not most, “nonbelievers” in Jesus don’t need proof of His existence, they desire assurance that He’s good. That He can be trusted. Or, in many cases, they just don’t want to give up their sin.
Yes, of course, on this earth across the years, up to this day, evil and wickedness are actively destroying lives and ruining families. It’s discouraging and disheartening. And, no, I don’t have a complete understanding as to why God allows it. I know it’s a result of sin and the determination of evil people to carry out the desires of their depraved hearts and minds. But I also know one day soon God will bring life on this planet to a halt and will hold all mankind accountable for their sin. Will you choose to die in your sins out of anger at God? Or because you love your sin too much?
Jesus has given us ample proof through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven. You have more proof than you could ever need. Let the Spirit of God open the eyes of your heart. Confess your need and come home to Him today.
Blessings, Ed 😊