Thursday, March 21, 2013

Miracles


Miracles

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” – Mark 10:27

The Spiritual Gift of Miracles is the accomplishment through the work of the Holy Spirit of a thing that is supernatural, outside the realm of what is natural.  The purpose of miracles is no different than any other gift.  It is for the building up of the church, bringing unbelievers to believe in Jesus Christ.
Jesus worked many miracles in His ministry including turning water into wine, casting out demons, walking on water, and feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.  His apostles worked miracles as well.

Acts 13:9-12 tells of Paul trying to minister to Sergius Paulus, who was proconsul in Paphos.  But a man called Bar-Jesus, a sorcerer, continually prevented him from being able to minister to Serius Paulus.  Paul finally had enough of Bar-Jesus evil ways.  We read that “Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.  Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” Paul spoke with faith, expecting God to do exactly what was told to him would be done to Bar-Jesus, and because of the example of sight taken from the blinded sorcerer, a soul was saved.
Today we call a lot of things miracles that just aren’t truly a miracle.  We sometimes refer to the birth of a child as being a miracle.  But birth, even though beyond our understanding sometimes, is natural, not miraculous.  We say that it would be a miracle for the Dallas Cowboys to win the Super Bowl.  Though not likely in past seasons, that still would not be a miracle. (I’m sure my husband would agree!) And no, Miracle Grow is not miraculous.  It’s just the food that plant’s needs.  If you want to see your plants grow miraculously – pray over them!

A miracle shows the supernatural abilities of God, those things that cannot be explained by anything other than His power at work.  God gives the spiritual gift of miracles, and still works miracles.  But our faith has become so weak that we rarely give Him credit for the miracle itself. 
Dr. Sean Thomas George, a consultant physician in a West Australian hospital, suffers a heart attack, and has been dead for 10 minutes.  His Christina wife comes in and prays over him, and he returns to life.  This was a miracle.  But how often would we give credit to the doctors and hospital staff instead of God?

I know of a lady whose daughter’s cell phone recently froze up and was unusable.  It could not be turned on or off, nothing worked.  She laid her hand on the phone and prayed that God would return it to use, and grow her daughter’s faith, who sat praying with her.  While praying the screen lit up, and the phone was recovered and is still working.  She believed it for a miracle, but how often are these little prayers answered, and then we discredit the work of God with thoughts of ‘it would have happened anyway’?
In Mark 9:23 Jesus said “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Jesus does not lie.  If you can believe God for the impossible, God will do the impossible for you.  But our lack of faith does not diminish God’s ability to work miracles.  He no more needs anything of us to be able to perform a miracle than He needed help scooping up the dirt to make Adam!  But if you want to see God perform a miracle, if you are asking for a miracle, ask with faith, expecting to see Him work. 

Jesus said in John 4:48 that some people will not believe unless they see signs and wonders.  Miracles provide belief to those most difficult to convince of God’s existence.  So many people have been led astray by the scientific explanations of creation and nature.  They will no longer believe in God unless they see something that science cannot explain. I like how C.S. Lewis put it, when he said “In Science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find the poem itself.” Praise God for His supernatural miracles in ministry, or these people might never believe.
Don’t be deceived into accepting magic for a miracle.  Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:5 of those that were coming, having a form of godliness but denying its power. If the supernatural ability is taken as one’s own, such as with David Blane or Criss Angel, it’s not a miracle but magic.  In Exodus 7 Moses had been told to throw down his rod in front of Pharaoh, and it would become a snake.  But then Pharaoh called his sorcerers and magicians together, and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments.  For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.“  Miracles overwhelm magic because God is and will always be more powerful than evil.  Miracles are performed by those who have the Holy Spirit within them, and do not deny His power working through them. 

God provides many gifts for the body of Christ to effectively equip us for ministry.  1 Corinthians 12:27-31 says, Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?  Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Ah, there is a more excellent way than spiritual gifts!

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