From Pastor Johnny

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How A Christian Responds to Opposition Day 3

Note the Savior Exalting Response: Acts 4.9-12

If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Our purpose for existing on earth begins with the fact that we are to glorify Jesus Christ.  Lifting Him up is ALWAYS in good form. Our lives are to be sign posts pointing people to Jesus Christ.  Whatever our response is to opposition, the one thing we do not want is for the primary attention to be toward us rather than on Christ.

Suppose you decided to open a restaurant.  As you set up your facilities, you decide that you are going to do the fanciest sign that this area has ever seen.  No one in Phenix City, Columbus, Smiths Station, Ladonia, Salem, Seale, Beauregard, or Hurtsboro has ever seen a restaurant sign like the one you are going to put up.  You know that this sign will get people’s attention so much that they will know about your restaurant.

The day you open the restaurant you unveil this magnificent sign.  Immediately, cars begin to stop, people gather around and crowds form in your parking lot.  You are elated.  The sign seems to be working. 

After two days you notice a problem, crowds continue to stop, gawk, gather and look at the sign.   In fact, these people spend so much time looking at your sign, they do not even realize that there is a restaurant there.  Their attention has been so captured by your magnificent sign that they do not even bother to pay attention to the restaurant.  You have drawn so much attention to the sign that no one even bothers to consider the thing that really matters – the restaurant.

When we respond to opposition, the end result should always be that people’s attention has been directed toward Christ.  Salvation, the church and worship does not exist to offer you personal noteriety.  It all exists for the glory of God.  Spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare, the church, singing, service and a hundred other things do not exist to bring attention to us.  If we are confronting and defeating spiritual opposition by God’s power, we will see the attention go toward Him. 

 FINAL THOUGHTS

Christians and the church can expect opposition if we are continuing to move forward to the glory of God.  In fact, not only can we expect opposition, but God allows and places opposition in our way.  It is in responding correctly to this opposition that we grow stronger in our faith.

I like to exercise and work out.  Sometimes I lift weights.  I have lifted weights pretty much since I was in the 8th grade.  One thing I have always noticed is, when I lift, I experience opposition from those barbells and machines. I mean, when I lift, that weight presses back on me. 

There have even been times where the opposition was so great that I broke out in a sweat, strained and groaned under the weight.  Yet, I get the sneaking suspicion that, if I had never experienced opposition when I lifted those weights, then I never would have gotten any stronger or progressed in my workouts.  It is the opposition and the response of my muscles to it that cause me to grow stronger.

It is the spiritual opposition and the biblical response to this opposition that allows our spiritual muscles to grow.

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