Our God of Miracles

Miracles still happen, but some people do not believe in them. They believe in the historical accounts of the miraculous in the Bible, but not today.

Let’s recount some miracles from scripture. First, the widow of’ Zarephath saw her flour bin and jar of oil replenished daily until the end of the famine (I Kings 17).

A Roman army officer asked the Lord to heal his paralyzed servant (Matthew 8). The centurion said his home was not worthy of the Lord’s presence. However, this officer knew and believed the Lord could say the word, and the miracle would take place. Instead, the Lord performed this miracle miles away from the soldier’s home.

Ten lepers approached the Lord (Luke 17:11-19) and asked for mercy. The Lord responded, “Go show yourself to the priest.” As they went, they were all healed from this dreaded disease. Only one, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for his miraculous healing. His thanksgiving resulted in an eternal change of destination. The other nine did not thank Jesus for answering prayer. Are we guilty of not thanking Jesus for answering prayer? 

The woman at the well gave water to the Lord. In return, she received living water and the privilege of sharing the gospel with the village where she lived (John 4).

Acts three records Peter and John healing a lame man. The recipient rejoiced in his new ability to walk by praising God in the temple for all to see and hear. 

Prayer still works. God is still in the miracle business. His divine touch gives us sweet fellowship with him. The Lord releases our stress while healing our infirmities with his moments of grace. I’m glad our God is still in the miracle business!

Being Different

Being different attracts or repels people, organizations, churches, and nations. Our values solidify our vision. What is good has a magnetic attraction. Our conclusion depends on our viewpoint. For example, the letter d can also be a p if you turn it upside down. This same holds true for m and w as well as the n and u. These three pairings are all part of our alphabet. Each has a particular purpose for the words that they are part of.

Being different can be good. Diversity is what makes us unique. The Bible says, “Thank you for making me so complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14).

I fell in love with my wife because she was and is good—to the core. My life would not be the same without her. She adds value to my being.

What makes you special, unusual, and distinct as the individual you are? Sure, you are different from others. That’s good.

Noah didn’t grow up thinking, “I’m going to build an ark someday.” Noah was different. No other family on earth was sharing the gospel to his generation. At times they must have felt alone or what’s the use. But that feeling did not deter them from being obedient to Lord’s instructions. He and his family sweated, served, and waited faithfully for one hundred years, enduring ridicule and insults while doing God’s work.

You know the end—the universal flood. Being different is all part of God’s plan. Recognizing and accepting his plan for us is our part which is always the better choice for our lives.

All It Takes

Sometimes there are days like this; no motivation and many things to do. You want to take the day off, but you can’t. Some things will not wait until tomorrow. Deadlines and duties dictate our priorities, regardless of how we feel. It doesn’t make any difference whether you feel good or not. Deadlines win. Pulling yourself together, and putting other things aside, is the call of the day. 

Every priority in life should have God’s approval. Knowing the Lord’s leadership and doing it are not always the same; life and eternity would be different if they were.

How do we get life values in line with the Bible? We often want our way, regardless of what we know is in the good book. That’s one of the many choices the Lord allows us to make. He permits even the wrong ones. That’s OK if we learn from them. Bad choices are tough lessons that we will never forget. Hopefully, the reprimand is unforgettable and keeps us from repeating them. Reading and obeying the written word is an easier lesson to learn. Applying biblical truths saves us a lot of trouble.

Mistakes become road maps to wrong destinations. Some of life’s toughest lessons can be avoided by praying first. The kind that asks for directions and waits for God’s shining light to reveal the correct path. Life would be sweeter if we would wait on him and follow his advice. Our days would be brighter for the glory of God and our inner peace. All it takes is to turn our eyes toward God and get our values in agreement with his word.

Committed People

The Lord’s resurrection has passed. There is a new era. Worship has changed days from the Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, the first day of the week.


The transition was not easy for the Jews to practice. In the New Testament, we often find Christians (a term first used at Antioch, Acts 11:26) worshiping at night. Previous worship traditions changed. 

Sunday morning, Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden (Mark 16:9). The Lord’s second appearance was to a group of women going to tell the disciples the tomb was empty. Jesus met them on their way. They recognized our Lord (Matthew 28:9,10). 

The third appearance of the Lord’s resurrection day was to two disciples, not to the remaining eleven. It happened as they were journeying from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. At the evening meal, when Jesus prayed, the two recognized the Lord ( Luke 24:13-32).

Why did the risen Savior appear to these select individuals? Several reasons come to mind. They were unbiased individuals. Secondly, they had a personal, heartfelt relationship with the Son of God. Third, they were individuals of personal faith and commitment to the Lord. They were also willing to share their knowledge of Jesus. Finally, they were everyday Christians, not ones of fame.

Examples of committed people are the focus of the good news. They are willing to live and to share what God gives them. Cheerful compliance is the critical ingredient to every thriving work of God. He uses not only the inner circle, but also the outer layer of dedicated individuals fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord’s work. Because of their genuine faith and commitment, the early church grew exponentially. 

May this Easter spirit flourish once again in our generation.

It’s Not Friday

The last two weeks of the Lord’s life were unique from the previous three years. Lazarus, the Lord’s friend, died. When Jesus arrived in Lazarus’s hometown his two sobbing sisters, Martha and Mary, met the Lord outside of town. It was there they showed Him the burial place. It was a cave—a sad site. For the first time in scripture, it is recorded our Lord cried.

About two weeks later, as the Messiah was making his way to Jerusalem, he saw the city, and wept. As our Lord pondered their future and its citizens, He knew their eternal state, and he was saddened to the point of crying.

The next day, our Lord proceeded to cleanse the Temple, driving out the money changers with their merchandise from God’s house of worship.

Come Thursday, Jesus and the disciples observed the Passover, which today’s believers call the Last Supper. It was there, Judas made an early departure to gather the Pharisees and soldiers to arrest our Lord. 

These ungodly people found the Lord at Gethsemane. But our Lord was still in the miracle business. Peter, in his impulsiveness, cut off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant. Jesus gently picked up the ear and reattached it. The soldiers arrested Jesus anyway. 

The crowd escorted Jesus back into Jerusalem, where he appeared before several priestly officials condemning him. Finally, our wonderful, innocent Lord was condemned by Pilate and sentenced to death that Friday morn. Our tattered Savior headed to a hill called Calvary, and there He was nailed to a cross.

Later about noon, the sky turned black. The sun didn’t shine for three hours. Our heavenly Father turned His eyes away from His only Son. Finally, the Lord’s saddened spirit broke, and He felt all alone with our sin upon Him. Jesus’ last words on the cross asked why God had forsaken Him? Our Lord died.

Jesus’ mutilated body was laid to rest in Joseph of Arimathea’s unused tomb with the help of Nicodemus, who originally came to Jesus by night. 

Saturday came, and no word from the grave. Then came Sunday! When Mary Magdalene and others arrived at Jesus’ burial place, the tomb was empty. Jesus was not there; He was alive and well forevermore to encourage his disciples and believers. Now, our Lord is seated beside His Heavenly Father, waiting for our arrival.

 I’m glad it’s Sunday, Resurrection Day.

Your “To Do” List

I’ll get around to it. We all have thought or said those words or something similar. If the “To Do” list is more than six months old, there’s a good chance the items will be forgotten and never accomplished.

The way that works for me is the write them down in a prominent place. Usually, my best place is on my physical calendar, not my phone. Maybe a post it note on my office wall where I will see it every day. What works for you? 

Job said, “My life is a breath in 7:7 of the NKJV. James says life is “a vapor that happens for little time and then vanishes away” (4:14 NKJV). These scriptures remind us to accomplish our “To Do” list in a timely fashion. There may not be a tomorrow for us.

Does your list of soon-to-do actions contain anything spiritual? What about inviting someone to church, assisting a neighbor, or encouraging a coworker? How about an elderly widow? We could mow her yard or take her to the doctor. James in 1:27 ( NKJV) reminds us, “To visit orphans and widows in their trouble.” How often do we practice this scripture?

What about relieving a caretaker? Who has spent weeks caring for a loved one without a break? They would enjoy getting out of the house for a few hours and breathe some fresh air. Maybe walk around a store, any store, just to look at something different. Caretaking is a lonely place; it’s emotionally and spiritually draining.

As the Lord reminds you of your personal “To do” list, schedule the time to accomplish some items on your list. A shortened list will not happen without you.

Persistent in Mercy

My heavenly Father, your gifts to your children are endless. You are abundant in mercy to each of us because of your abiding love. Your patience with us is beyond understanding.

We did not earn your love and mercy. It came about by Jesus, who loved us. He was willing to give his life as a ransom for us. We didn’t deserve it, but Jesus gave it anyway.

As children of God, we are in awe of your wonders. How you hung the stars in place and the way you see us. Yet, in the vastness of the universe, your eye is upon us. What a privilege. You watch over us to keep us safe.

Forgive us for not thanking you for what you do; how you protect, provide, and are persistent in your mercy towards us. Thank You!

Could you help us to prioritize life better? Instead, we seek more—success, money, and health, forgetting that all we have is by your provision.

Would you help me turn my eyes, energy, and time toward things lasting for eternity? Please give me the wisdom to share your grace and love to others that they may know you and, in turn, share what you provide to others (II Timothy 2:2).

Lord, teach us more of your mercy to share.

“Now that you belong to Christ, you are true children of … God’s promise” (Galatians 3:29 NLT).

Our Dilemma

For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Philippians 1:23 NKJV

Which way do we go? The decision of what is best is difficult sometimes. Do we want immediate satisfaction or long-term bountiful results? The quick results have their instant gratification. While the lasting one may take longer to achieve, the impact can endure for a long time.

The same type of decision applies in the spiritual realm. Philippians 1:23 sums up our dilemma as being, “hard-pressed between the two.” We shouldn’t flip a coin to decide whether God tells us to go left or right. Instead, the correct answer should result from methodical prayer while waiting on the Lord to open the right door. God has a way of nailing one door shut and revealing the open door. He always comes through for the seeking believer. One lesson we will learn in this, God is never late. He always comes through before it’s too late.

We’ve all experienced times when the Lord didn’t answer our prayers the way we wanted. But, if our prayer includes not my will but yours, he did answer us. And we need to accept His answer over ours. God always knows what is best. Experiencing disappointment is misunderstood on our part, sometimes. But later, we realize our Lord knew what he was doing.

When we stop and analyze our dilemma, we will conclude God knows what he’s doing. The sooner we realize and accept this fact, our outlook on life will be better, and so will our service for him.

Making Things Ready

Everything has a time and place for the obedient child of God. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23 NKJV). The Lord always knows best. 

Problems arise when God’s people are not in tune with God. Usually, there are potholes in the road of life when we are not in sync with God. 

The disciples were about to experience several firsts as New Testament believers. Peter and John were sent into a city to prepare for the Passover supper. Today, this is called The Last Supper. The directions were strange. When you see a man carrying a water pitcher, follow him (only women fetched water in the Jewish society). Whichever house he enters, ask the master where is the room for Jesus to observe the Passover.

I’ve always wondered how this master knew to have a room ready for Jesus; that’s one of heaven’s little reveals.

One of the things Peter and John realized on this Passover day, Jesus never asked them to do something he hadn’t already provided for. No. Never. That is easy to say in hindsight. However, to step forward when we don’t see the result is our step of faith. The two disciples found the room furnished (Luke 22:13). Scripture does not reveal how or who prepared the room. Everything was ready, another unexplained event. Nor does the Scripture tell how the water for washing was there.

Even in this divine observance, Satan was looming in the shadows for his evil deed. So, Judas, after receiving the bread, left to betray the Lord. 

The Lord was protecting Simon from Satan’s future attack on him (Luke 22:31,32). Jesus’ prayer for him prevailed. Strangely, our Lord knew in advance Peter’s words of denial. Jesus took the time to warn Peter. This disciple dismissed the Lord’s words, and he said, “I will never do that.” How many times have we said never, but we did it anyway to our embarrassment?

Adjustments

The moment you accepted Jesus as your Savior, God began to work in your life. All your past sins were forgiven—gone, never more to be remembered by God. This event made you different (II Corinthians 5:17). You will no longer suffer in eternity for your sins. The Holy Spirit came to reside in you; God in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). His continual guidance helps us live a good, improved life. The Holy Spirit started helping each of us to understand the Bible. By the way, He guided men to write the Bible (II Peter 1:21). 

Every believer has spiritual discernment and can see things differently, reflecting God’s point of view. The whispering voice inside each Christian is God speaking instructions to us—go there or don’t do that, say this, or don’t say anything. However, the Spirit does not stand over us with a big stick wanting to beat us into correction for our wrongdoings. Instead, he lovingly holds our hand to guide us in the right direction. 

There is a joy in the Spirit’s heart to encourage us. He gives us an inward peace to love others. Maybe you had a temper problem like I did. If so, the Holy Spirit will assist you in controlling our outward bursts.

The Lord continually demonstrates his patience to change each of us to be more like Christ. God’s Spirit helps every listening Christian to understand this place in life. We can’t help everybody, but He can use us to assist some. 

Beginning our day in prayer and Bible reading will aid us in helping others. Gone is the stubborn desire to always please oneself by adjusting to his leadership. There is a reward awaiting every believer.

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