Monday, January 24, 2011

Miracles - January 24, 2011

2 Peter 3:13-14 (New International Version, ©2010)
13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

For those who are believers in Jesus Christ, we have been given an incomprehensible gift; I mean that there is no way in our finite minds that we can truly understand what has been done for us. We are living almost 2000 years removed from the events and times that the apostle Peter is writing in. All we can do is accept it in faith as being true. For many around us, that is just too much to ask, so how can we be sure that if we go through living a faithful and righteous life that God will indeed bless us by sharing His kingdom with us?

I believe that for us the best way for us to know that what we believe are the existence of miracles. What do I mean by miracles? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a miracle as "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs, or an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment". I would add that these events occur without natural explanation.

Yes, there can be false miracles, but usually these will be found out, because we know from the experience of our own lives that anything but the truth will be revealed as a lie in time. In our country we don't hear much about miracles, because we live in a land on cynics, and anything attrubuted to being a miracle of God is quickly supressed as something else. Contrary to that are the amazing things happening in third world countries, where there are documented cases of many miracles that are bringing many people to belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

That doesn't mean that they are "cornering the market" on miracles. Last week I spoke with a friend who had just been released from being in the hospital for almost two weeks. He had a auto-immune syndrome that had left him paralyzed and unable to walk. For several days the doctors could not determine what he had. They tested and tested him and filtered his blood, but they still couldn't find his problem. Finally days later, they discovered the link to his paralysis. The news was dire, because my friend was told that they could not say when if ever he would walk again.

During this time, many people in my friends church were praying for him, and as he tells it, the news was not getting any better. Once the really devastating diagnosis was revealed, although many hearts sank at the news, it only led his church to pray for him even more. Finally one Sunday evening, many church members showed up at his bedside to pray. Joining hands they prayed for healing and a miracle in the name of Jesus. God heard their prayerful plea, and much to the amazement of the hospital staff, my friend regained his ability to walk. He is now a walking, talking testimony of the grace and mercy of God, and a real-life miracle.

Now this is a long story, and for some no matter what kind of miracles God might provide, they will never believe. It has been that way since Christ walked the earth and it will continue to be so. But for us, God reveals himself daily in the changed lives of those who reach out to Him and accept His gift to us. The true miracles are those once lost souls who are now walking, talking testimonials to the radical change of life found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation is real; since we know that, it is only fitting that we live lives that are testaments to it.

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