Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Miracle

The blind beggar said: 

“Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. 
One thing I do know. I was blind ... but now I see!” 
John: 9:1-34

This story appears pretty simple to understand … don’t you agree? 

A man blind from birth is sitting on the side of the pathway begging from the people passing by. Another man and his friends approach. The leader spits in the dirt at his feet and then bends over and picks up the wet dirt and rubs the mud on the man’s eyes. Anyone watching would think this man was horrible to abuse this poor blind beggar in this way.  But the man then tells the blind man to go wash in the nearby Pool of Siloam. A few minutes later the beggar returns healed from his blindness. How can anyone who saw this or knew the man doubt that it was a most amazing miracle? John 9:1-34

When Jesus healed the blind man in this story, it was only one of His many, many miracles. One of the amazing things about the story is the way in which different people saw the miracle. The blind beggar who was healed certainly understood the reality of the miracle as he very boldly stated: “I was blind and now I see.” And those who knew him recognized the miracle for what it was as well. The undeniable evidence demanded it.

But the Pharisees wanted to disregard this amazing miracle and discredit Jesus, and so instead they diverted the focus of the discussion onto their foolish manmade laws. If you look at the circumstances around you today, it is easy to see many examples of our political leaders doing the same thing over and over with us … majoring on the minors, and neglecting the most important issues.

The Pharisees simply did not want to acknowledge that which was right in front of their eyes, so they changed the subject from the facts about the miracle, to false statements about Jesus. Sound familiar?

But let us not get diverted here … I want to talk about miracles. No rational person can intelligently argue that if the story of the blind beggar is true, that Jesus did not perform an amazing miracle. And therefore this miracle and Jesus Christ’s hundreds of other miracles are compelling evidence that Jesus was much more than just a good teacher. And that the deeper story that he is actually God the Creator and Messiah might be true. This makes it easier to understand why those today, who do not believe in Jesus do not want to talk about it.

So that leads me to my question for you:  

Do you believe that God still performs miracles today?

No I am not talking about those phony healers you might see on television. I am not talking about any kind of people healing other people. I am confident that God could easily give a healing gift to any person he chooses; but I am not talking about that here. My question is about Jesus the Creator God answering prayers that bring about results that are clearly miraculous. I am talking about the Creator intervening in the affairs of men here and now. Yes or no?

If you answered; “yes” … can you give me some examples? If you believe in God’s miracles but can’t point to ongoing specifics, then possible you need to consider things differently.
And if you say; “no” … then is Christianity real in your life?

This leads to the real question about miracles we all must consider.

Do you have a prayer problem?

Do you understand what I am saying here? If you say I am a Christian, and yet you do not see the miracles that God provides around you every day; then your thinking is possibly confused. And your faith may be weak. And you most likely have a prayer problem.

James speaks clearly to this problem here: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1: 5-8

What does it mean to be double-minded and unstable in all your ways? 

This is the person who continually claims to be a Christian but follows his feelings and logic instead. This is the person who unconsciously follows his or her pride and lust, and the teachings and ways of the world and his human nature, instead of Christ and the promises for us in His eternal Truth.

The apostle Paul has the solution to this problem and gives us three habits that will help us see God’s miracles: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

1.  Be devoted to prayer
2.  Be thankful in prayer 
3.  Be watchful in prayer

So what does offering up a prayer to God, and how we pray have to do with miracles? The verse above tells us: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” So how valuable is this promise from God? How would you like a generous portion of wisdom from the Creator of all things about whatever it is that you choose to ask about ... without reproach, criticism, or rebuke? What would the value of this wisdom be to you? It would clearly be a most invaluable miracle. And it is yours or mine, for the asking … all we have to do is be devoted to prayer, be thankful, and be watchful.

We are promised the wisdom of the universe on virtually any subject. If you really believed that, how much stronger and how much more powerful would your faith become? Why do we need to be thankful? And why do we need to be watchful? Well that is obvious. It is clear that God has no need for us to be watchful or thankful, and He gains no benefit from our thankfulness to Him. God has given us this wisdom of being watchful and thankful for our spiritual benefit. The more watchful and thankful we are … the more we will see the Lord working in our lives.  And of course the more our faith will grow. It is to our benefit that we are faithful; because when our faith is strong; we will be looking for the hand of God, and we will be able to see His miracles all around us, more easily.

So what about miracles? Have you witnessed any miracles lately?

What if I told you that for the past year, I have been walking around in the middle of a miracle? And that I had reached the end of myself, and Jesus rescued me. He gives me new wisdom every day that results in His never-ending provisions? Well it is true, but I will not go into the details quite yet. I will explain though that for the past year, each day, I talk to strangers who call me about my product ... and at the end of the day, God provides manna from heaven, into my account.

I know you might say: Miracle? How is that a miracle? … that is the same thing many other people experience on their jobs, every day. That might be true; but there is much more. At this point, I will only just repeat … we need to be more watchful and thankful. 

Am I to pretending that my good fortune is a result of my great faith, and that my prayers are somehow more spiritual than others? Not hardly. But I do want to thank my family and friends for their prayers.

And I am totally confident that these daily provisions are miracles … absolutely YES; but I must admit that the understanding of it all is beyond my comprehension. Then how do I know that this is a daily miracle of God, and not just coincidence or luck?

That’s easy! Just like the blind man … I was reduced to nothingness, but now I see.

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6: 32-35

God Bless you my friends, Bob

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