Tag Archives: miracles

The Right Hands

My eight year old son tries to be fiercely independent. He wants to do things himself without my help. I can see him sometimes working on something he can’t quite figure out. I watch his frustration begin to rise, and I say, “Bring it here. Let me try.” Of course he keeps trying getting more upset. I make my offer again. Nope, he wants to keep trying. That’s usually when frustration starts turning into anger. He then has the choice to make – he can walk away from it or he can bring it to me. Once he puts it in my hands, I’m able to do with it what he cannot. Many times I’ll set it up so that he can participate in finishing it. When that happens, both of us smile and are happy.

In Matthew 14, King Herod has John the Baptist beheaded at the request of his step daughter. Jesus was sad over the loss of his cousin and went into a remote area to mourn. While he was there, someone spotted him and started telling people where He was. Soon thousands of people made their way to Him for healing. As it was getting dark, the disciples asked Him to send the crowds away so they could get dinner in nearby villages. In verse 16, Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary – you feed them” (NLT). I’m sure the disciples panicked and got frustrated trying to figure out how they could do it. They found five loaves and two fish and told Jesus that was all they had and they couldn’t do it. That’s when Jesus said, “Bring them here.”

The difference in both of these stories is whose hands things were in. How long do we try to do things while Jesus is telling us, “Bring them here”? You can keep trying to do the impossible on your own or you can trust Jesus with it. You can get frustrated trying over and over or you can put it in His hands. The feeding of the 5,000 was a miracle because the disciples were able to say, “We can’t do it,” and then handed over what they had to Jesus. One of the most difficult things about faith is letting go. We are fiercely independent people who want to do things ourselves. At the end of the day we have to choose whether we allow that frustration to turn to anger or put action to our faith and trust God with it. He is able to do above and beyond what we are able to. If we will trust Him, He will often allow us to participate in the miracle.

Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash

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The Last Word


A few years ago, my in-laws were on their way to Mexico to visit family. A few hours or so after leaving home, their check engine light came on. They stopped to get it checked out. A sensor had gone out and needed to be replaced. As soon as the repair was finished, they got on the road. An hour later, the check engine light came on again. They stopped to have the same problem repaired. When they arrived at the border, the light came on again so they had it checked out. The mechanic said the same sensor had gone out a third time. They were frustrated, but they replaced it again so they could continue.

An hour or so after they crossed the border into Mexico, the light came on again. Six times they had this sensor replaced within several hours. When it came on again, they decided to pull over and talk about their options. If they kept going and the truck broke down, the chances were high that they would be far from help without cell service. They wanted to deliver goods to their family who needed them and to visit family like they had planned, but they turned the truck around. As soon as they did, the light went off and never came back on.

When they arrived back at the border, they decided to get some food at the usual places. While there, my mother in law remembered she had gone to the doctor several months prior and never heard back. After eating, they went to the doctor, and he told her he had been trying to get ahold of her, but couldn’t. He was glad she came in because her test results showed she had cancer. She needed immediate surgery to remove it, which they did that day. They also needed a blood relative there with her in case of complications. Her sister happened to go with them on that trip. God changed their plans and they had the wherewithal to accept it.

Proverbs 16:1 says, “We may make our plans, but God has the last word” (GNT). Many of us are so fixated on our plans that we fail to hear what God is trying to tell us. We press on despite his attempts to turn us around. In some cases, it’s for our benefit, and other times, it’s for someone else. We need to pay attention to what God is trying to say to us throughout our days. It’s ok to make plans and to want to accomplish them, but not at the expense of ignoring what God us trying to get us to do. We need to give Him the right to have the last word in our lives.

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Miracles In The Wilderness

  
There were two instances where Jesus wanted to feed a large crowd. One was a crowd of 5,000 and the other was of 4,000. In both instances, they were away from the city with nowhere to buy food. In Mark 8, we find the story of the 4,000 people who were following Jesus and it says they ran out of food. Jesus had compassion on them and indicated he wanted to feed the mass of people. The disciples were incredulous and asked, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” (NLT)

They knew that Jesus was looking to them to feed the people. I’m sure the “we” in that sentence had some inflection in it indicating they thought He should be the one finding the food. He was the Son of God after all. But Jesus didn’t waiver. He stayed true to who He has been since the beginning of time. He looked to them for an act of faith. He wanted them to be the ones who looked at an impossible situation and to offer Him something to multiply. 

When their faith saw only the impossibility, He threw them a hint. In verse 5 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” He was looking for them to trust Him with their own bread so He could do what only He could do. He wanted them to see He could perform miracles in the wilderness if they just put what they had in His hands. He didn’t have to be in a lush environment or around a lot of people in a city to perform a miracle. He just needed to be by a few people with enough faith to trust Him with what they had.

You may be in a wilderness right now wondering what God is doing. You may look around you and think you don’t have anything to offer God to take care of the mass of problems in your life. I believe God would say to you what He said to them, “How much bread do you have?” What is your bread that God could multiply? What is it that you can offer Him in the wilderness that He can multiply? Remember your multiplication tables, anything multiplied by zero is zero. God has to have something from you to multiply. If your faith can’t see what your bread is, ask God to point it out to you like He did with the disciples. Then when you put it in His hands, He’ll perform miracles in your wilderness. 

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10 Miracles Of Jesus

  
1. Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”

Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.” She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did. When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”

This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11 MSG)

2.   A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. (Mark 1:40-42 NLT)

3.   LATER ON there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). In these lay a great number of sick folk–some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)– waiting for the bubbling up of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted. There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the Sabbath. (John 5:1-9 AMP)

4.   Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27 NLT)

5.   They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.” So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, “Don’t enter the village.” (Mark 8:22-26 MSG)

6.   One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. A woman there had an evil spirit that had kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free from your sickness!” He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God. (Luke 13:10-13 GNT)

7.   One of those days, as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting by, who had come from every village and town of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was [present] with Him to heal them. And behold, some men were bringing on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to carry him in and lay him before [Jesus]. But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him with his stretcher through the tiles into the midst, in front of Jesus. And when He saw [their confidence in Him, springing from] their faith, He said, Man, your sins are forgiven you! And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason and question and argue, saying, Who is this [Man] Who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone? But Jesus, knowing their thoughts and questionings, answered them, Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise and walk [about]? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the [power of] authority and right on earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralyzed man, I say to you, arise, pick up your litter (stretcher), and go to your own house! And instantly [the man] stood up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went away to his house, recognizing and praising and thanking God. (Luke 5:17-25 AMP)

8.    When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to Capernaum. At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed. (Luke 7:1-10 NLT)

9.   That evening his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves.” “They don’t have to leave,” answered Jesus. “You yourselves give them something to eat!” “All we have here are five loaves and two fish,” they replied. “Then bring them here to me,” Jesus said. He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children. (Matthew 14:15-21 GNT)

10.    After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.
The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.” (Matthew 28:1-7 MSG)

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Active Faith

I’ve always enjoyed reading the miracles that Jesus performed. There are a lot of similarities in them. A lot of the times Jesus tells the person, “Your faith has made you whole.” That phrase has always stood out to me because it puts the power of the miracle in the hands of the one receiving it. Other times, Jesus tells the person to go and do something and as they turn away to do it, they receive their healing. Again, it was their action that triggered the healing. In the miracles that I can think of, it’s always a partnership between the person in need and Jesus.

The disciples found five loaves and two fish and jesus fed 5,000. The blind man at the Pool of Siloam had to go wash his eyes for sight. The invalid lowered through the roof by his friends had to pick up his mat. Peter had to cast his nets on the other side. The woman with the issue of blood had to touch the hem of His garment. The ten lepers had to go show themselves to the priest. Each of these required action on the person’s part. They had to act in faith to receive their miracle.

At work, I study Brian Tracy philosophies in sales. One of the things he talks about is the Law of Belief. It says that your beliefs become your realities. He adds to it that people always act in a manner consistent with their beliefs. I immediately translate that to a life of faith. Peter believed if he got out of the boat, he would walk on water. No one else got out of the boat. It makes me think that he was the only one who truly believed he could do it. Each person in that boat acted on their belief. I quickly realized that my beliefs are not what I say they are, but rather what I act on.

There’s a difference in saying I believe in something and in acting on that belief. My actions speak louder than words. James put it this way: faith without works is dead. You could also say, “Faith without action is dead.” The Bible is full of miracles and promises of God that require action on our part. You and I are part of the equation that God uses to solve problems. When we truly believe that He can use us, we start acting in a manner consistent with that belief. We actively become His hands and feet. Until that point, as James put it, our faith is dead.

What has God asked you to do that you’ve been holding back on? Where has He asked you to go, but you still haven’t moved? Put your actions where your words are. Step out in faith and act on what you believe. Peter did and he’s the only disciple that can say he walked on water. It’s time we got out of our boats and started trusting God to do the impossible. If we truly believe that all things are possible with Him, we’ll act in that manner. Believe what God tells you, trust in His Word and put your faith into action. Your life will forever change at that moment.

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Miracle In The Making

I saw God do the impossible last week. A friend called me to get prayer for his wife. She was wanting to go on a mission trip to a country that required a Visa. He told me, “If that Visa doesn’t leave the embassy in Washington, D.C. today, it won’t get here in time for her trip. The embassy is closed because they’re under several inches of snow and it’s not stopping. We know God wants her to go on this trip, but it’s not looking good.” I immediately thought of Jesus’ words, “With man, things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible to him that believes.” We prayed right then for a miracle.

The next day he told me that they called all day and no one answered. She was supposed to leave in the morning and they were still having trouble. I told him the story of my in laws. A couple of years ago they were headed to Mexico. On the way, their truck broke down. They stopped in San Antonio and got it repaired. They continued on their journey only to have the same issue. They stopped and had it repaired again. They crossed the border and the truck started doing it again. The check engine light was on, the truck was sputtering as it had before and they were concerned about going deeper into Mexico.

They prayed and decided to turn around and go back to the border. The moment that they did the U-Turn, the check engine light went off and the truck began to run smoothly. When they got back to the border, they believed that was God telling them not to go on their trip. My mother in law remembered she had gone to the doctor in that town several months before on a previous trip, but had never heard back. She went to the doctor that day and found that he had tried to reach her. Her test had come back that she had early stages of cancer. They were able to get her treatment and kill the cancer.

My message to him, and now you, is that God will speak to us through a donkey (ask Balaam Numbers 22:28), a Chevy or an embassy. If God says, “No,” it’s as good as if God says, “Yes.” Either way, it’s His will. We aren’t to get worked up when things are happening and stop signs get in our way. We are to trust that He sees what we can’t. I told my friend we will keep praying that if she was to go,that God would make it happen. If she wasn’t to go, then He would stop the Visa from getting here. Of course, at that point, it was too late to get it here.

An hour or so later I got a text from him. It said, “God just might be cranking up the miracle machine.” I replied, “Of course He is.” The snow had stopped, they had returned to work, the Visa had been approved and was sitting on the consulates desk. They were missing the UPS envelope to return it to her so it was just sitting there. They couldn’t go get an envelope and UPS refused to take one. My friend called FedEx and they were willing to take one to the consulate. They were able to get the Visa over nighted to the airport first thing Saturday morning so they could pick it up on their way to the gate. She got on the flight and made the trip even though it had been impossible for man.

Whatever impossible situation you’re facing today, God sees it. It may seem impossible to you, but we serve a God who specializes in the impossible. He is not bound by the things that make it impossible for us. He does not panic when things look dim. What He does is crank up his miracle machine and sets things in motion so that we get our miracles at just the right time. When He sets up road blocks or tries to stop us, He knows what lies ahead and the miracle is that He prevents us from walking into a trap by any means possible. His “yes” is as good as His “no”.

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Good Is The Enemy

I heard a quote from Jim Collins that resonated with me. He said, “Good is the enemy of great.” The more I thought about it, the more it sunk in how true this statement is. We quit trying to be great because good becomes acceptable. Good leads to satisfaction. Satisfaction leads to contentment. Contentment leads to stagnation, and stagnation is the beginning of the end. We as Christians have grown comfortable living good lives. We have accepted the lie that being good is all we need to be. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you could live a good life. He died so you could live a great life.

In John 14:12 Jesus said, “The person who trusts in me will not only do what I am doing but even greater things.” When is the last time you saw someone feed 5,000 people with a couple of loaves of bread and some fish? When is the last time you saw someone walk on water? When is the last time you saw someone raise another person from the dead? Jesus said we could do these things and greater things than these. We don’t see or do those things today because we’ve accepted the lie of the enemy that good is enough.

In II Corinthians 6:11-13 Paul chastised the Corinthian church because they were accepting the lie that good was enough. He said, “Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!” Living a good life is living a small life. It’s fenced in to the boundaries that you have set on yourself.

We have to open our lives up to the possibility of fulfilling Jesus’ promise to us. Either we believe He meant what He said or He is a liar and our faith is in vain. The early church was able to do greater things. Christians throughout the ages have done greater things. Where are the men and women today who are doing greater things? Why have we fenced ourselves in with unbelief? Why have we settled for a watered down Gospel that just encourages us to live good lives? You were created to be great! You were made to do greater things!

To leave the good life and enter the great life, we have to be dissatisfied with good. We have to press on in our walk with God. We have to make the sacrifices of spending time with Him instead of our devices. We have to pursue Him the way He pursues us. We have to expect Him to move and work in our lives just like He did in the disciple’s lives. If you don’t believe He can or will do greater things through you, you have allowed yourself and future to be fenced into a small life. Live expansively and start desiring and expecting to be great today. Write out what you believe God will do through you and then say it out loud. Declaring leads to believing. Believing leads to expecting. Expecting leads to performing, and performing is the beginning of living a great life.

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