The One Factor That is Common in Every Miracle

The little boy lay in bed in the middle of the night coughing a barking and wheezing cough. His Mama and sister just finished praying with him that he would be healed of his illness. Through the cough the young boy asked, “We just prayed Mom, but…. I am not so sure that God will heal me.” “God WILL heal you, James,” said his Mom, “You know why? Because the Bible says that if you have the littlest amount of faith, if you believe and trust God even the smallest bit, that any mountain will move. James, your cough is the mountain and I am trusting God will take your cough away.” A couple days later the little boy was breathing well, jumping and playing next to his siblings as if he was never sick.

The Common Factor is Faith

Matthew 17:20 (NIV) discloses that secret ingredient, that factor that is common in every miracle: faith. In the verse Jesus, the master miracle worker says, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” We must remember that the mustard seed is one of the teeny, tinniest seeds available on Earth, ranging about 1 to 2 millimeters in size. This is in similar resemblance to a small speck of sand. How amazing is it that something this small can move something that appears to be as big and as immovable in our life as a mountain?

Jesus says that we need faith for mountains to move, but what exactly is faith? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines faith as, “belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is confidence in what we hope fore and assurance about what we do not see. When I read both of these definitions I feel that they are very similar. Both definitions have a hope for something and a trust (confidence) that what we hope for and put into God’s hands He will indeed take care of. Faith is having a small wish and placing that hope, that wish, upon God. Faith is NOT hoping for something and then trying with all of our human might or resources to get that thing to happen. God can and may use you to accomplish a miracle, but only if you allow Him to have the reigns in guiding you and walking you through steps He wants you to do. The bottom line is that 100% trust, 100% confidence must be placed on God for a hope to be fulfilled; that is faith.

Analyzing Eyesight

Miracles are seen in the Bible through many workings and healings Jesus performed. One of my favorite miracles is when Jesus healed the blind man as written in John Chapter 9. The reason why this is my favorite is because I feel it is imagery of the concept of faith. Jesus had put mud over the blind man’s eyes and when the man washed the mud off his eyes it was then when he could see. I don’t doubt one bit that Jesus literally put mud on the man’s eyes, but try to think also about this concept figuratively. How often do we want something to happen so badly that we lose sight of what really needs to happen – that we stop placing our trust 100% on God?

Two of my children suffered from what I call, “modern-day leprosy” as infants. Their skin was raw, red, scaly, rashy, and to one point one of the children completely lost the skin off of his face. Doctors were baffled and had no answers or advice for us. Although I hoped for and prayed for healing in them, it seemed like every time I looked at their skin I took matters into my own hands. I put this lotion and that cream on them, tried numerous healing strategies and none of them worked. As a mom I felt helpless if I wasn’t actively trying to “fix” the skin condition, but in the meantime these attempts may have been making the skin worse.

At one point my husband made a comment to me when I was grieving how my precious boys looked. He said, “Do I need to put mud over your eyes?” That comment stopped me dead in my tracks. He was right – I was living based off of my own faulty human sight, not by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we should live by faith and not by sight. Once I stepped back and have the entire situation to God that is when my boys’ skin miraculously healed. After years of pure torture due to this “modern day leprosy” I started hearing God’s soft whispers to me as to what needed to happen for the skin to heal. By obeying God’s voice miraculously the children’s skin is now beautiful. When the trust was put 100% on God, when faith occurred, the miracle was seen.

Conclusion

When it is human nature to always be in control of what happens in our life, when things are taken solely into our human hands miracles won’t be seen. One cannot solely hope without trust or trust without hope for a miracle to occur. When desires are shared with God and then situations are handed over and surrendered to God, that is when faith happens and when miracles occur. Communicating to God and then surrendering to His plan may be hard. His plan may include using you as an instrument to execute a miracle to happen, or His plan may include another method. However, if we hope and surrender that hope over to whatever God sees as the best method to accomplish that prayer a miracle will be seen.

Lights UP North writes from deep inside the great Northern Woods in hopes of bringing inspiration, encouragement, and hope to others. Ministering to those who are suffering from eczema and allergies is another strong passion for Lights UP North.

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How to Teach Others to Follow Jesus

Many people “follow” others on Facebook, but statistics indicate many people are not “following” the church. According to an article in Church Leaders, an online publication, less than 20 percent of Americans regularly attend church.

If people are not coming to church to hear pastors and teachers, we must teach people about Jesus outside church doors, through everyday relationships. Here’s how:

God’s Word to Us

Biographers teach us about people from prior generations by writing their stories. Those inspired by God down through the ages wrote about Jesus; their writings form the Bible. Offer to partner with someone to study God’s Word. The gospel of John presents Jesus as God’s Son and tells about the miraculous signs he performed while on earth. Read and discuss a chapter a week with someone who wants to grow as a Christian and be discipled.

Form a small group Bible study with friends or colleagues. Work through scripture, such as the gospel of John, chapter-by-chapter or follow a study guide that focuses on Jesus’ teaching, such as the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.

Partner with someone to hold each other accountable to read through the Bible in a year. Do a Google search for a daily reading plan and call or meet weekly to discuss passages covered. Less mature Christians will be fascinated to learn how Old Testament prophets spoke about Jesus as the coming Savior.

God’s Spirit in Us

As the saying goes: More is caught than taught. As we allow God’s Spirit to control our lives, we will respond to life situations as Jesus would. We demonstrate patience. We respond with kindness. We show compassion to those in need. And as others observe us, they learn how to follow Jesus.

Jesus modeled a life of prayer, so we will spend daily time in prayer . . . and let others know we’re praying for them. Even better, pray with others as they express needs and face life’s challenges. Even unbelievers appreciate prayers for their needs.

God gives each Christian spiritual gifts to use to build up other Christians. Exercise your gifts in a loving way and help others to discover their gifts. If they relate well to children, suggest they teach Sunday school or Junior Church. If they gravitate to teens, they might become youth leaders. Those with leadership abilities might serve on church boards or lead committees. In any of these roles they will be stretched and challenged to grow in their faith.

Mentoring and discipleship relationships offer a great venue to teach others about Jesus. If you’re married, you and your husband might take a newlywed couple under your wing. Mature Christians might mentor new or younger Christians. Just decide how often you want to meet and what you want to focus on.

You might pursue a shared interest, such as antiquing, read and discuss Christian books chapter-by-chapter or even serve together by visiting shut-ins or by helping at a local mission. As we get to know people and share how God has worked good out of bad situations in our lives, we prepare them for life’s journey. That’s mentoring and discipleship.

God’s Opportunities around Us

Religious holidays offer tailor-made opportunities to teach others about following Jesus. Let your Christmas cards celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by featuring manger scenes or other religious symbols. Invite others to join you in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Introduce them to God’s people, and let them observe the corporate joy of worship. After all, Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine happened at a wedding celebration.

Give gifts that express your faith. Subscribe to devotional magazines for family members and friends. Buy books for others that deal with challenges they face.

Suggest websites and blogs that others may follow to draw daily inspiration. Send cards when people fall ill and encouraging notes when they face struggles. Call, text, email. Keep in touch regularly so that as opportunities to speak of Christ arise, you have built a relationship and can easily converse.

Take someone to a Christian conference or invite them to a simulcast at your church. Hearing inspirational stories of courage and survival reinforces what we hear in our own circles.

Conclusion

We rub shoulders daily with people who need to know Jesus or need to be taught what it means to follow Him and grow as Christians. Some people have a knack for bringing God into conversations. Some of us have to work harder at it. But God needs all of us to represent him. He has no hands and feet here on earth except ours.

By faithfully living according to God’s Word, we model what it means to follow Jesus. And by keeping our eyes and ears open, we find daily opportunities to teach others of Jesus through our words and actions.

Shirley Brosius is a former director of Christian education who enjoys writing devotionals and newspaper articles. She also speaks as a member of Friends of the Heart, three women who share God’s love through messages and skits at women’s retreats and events. Shirley coordinates the women’s ministry and the nurture committee at First United Methodist Church in Millersburg, Pennsylvania. She can also be found online at www.shirleybrosius.com.

 

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4 Incredible Miracles that Science Cannot Explain

Science likes to try to have an explanation for everything, it seems. If by chance there isn’t evidence to prove an issue, scientists will still have a “theory” or a hypothesis for explanation and they will work as hard as they can to figure out the issue. The health of a person or the components of the world are issues that scientists tend to try to have a way of explaining. They will pull out one or two facts, no matter how minuet from biology to try to prove themselves. There are, however, four kinds of experiences in life that science cannot explain, even with the smallest biological facts: Changes of Heart, Financial Freedoms, Unexpected Gifts, and  Perfectly-Timed Provisions. The miracles that can be seen in these categories are baffling, exciting, and out-right impressive.

Changes of the Heart

Miracles concerning a change of heart are not necessarily seen in a physical sense. Scientists could try to muster up enough of a theory for physical heart changes. Miracle changes concerning the heart that science cannot prove, however, are changes such a state where someone who is hateful or sorrowful, maybe “rough around the edges” and has a complete 180 degree turn around into a nicer, more loving, and kinder person. When such a radical change occurs it really can be seen as a miracle of God. An example of this change has been seen through the testimony of a man named Brian Cole. Through the work of our miracle-working God, Brian Cole went from living the life as a Satanist to now working to help bring people to the Lord as a Minister. His story can be viewed here.

Financial Freedoms

Have you ever felt burdened with debt or bills that are just too much? Student loans or medical bills in today’s day and age are bills that commonly accumulate quickly. Do you ever wish you would get a phone call or piece of paper in the mail saying your large sum of debt has been simply forgiven? I bet many people hope for this kind of miracle – a random check, some money in the mail, loans cleared. Maybe a surgery got approved to covered by insurance literally an hour before the surgery happened. Financial miracles do indeed happen and should be hoped for. Read here about a testimony where this kind of miracle did indeed happen.

Unexpected Gifts

Many times, especially when a person is facing a difficult season, will God give some unexpected gifts to display His love to someone. These gifts speak right to the heart of the person. I love the stories of lost wedding rings and how they miraculously show up. How can science explain the reasoning behind how such a small but very important item can come back across the path of its owner? When odds of re-finding such a special item are so low, the discovery is such an enormous and miraculous blessing – miracles of God. Enjoy these 3 testimonies of wedding ring gifts:

  • A woman finds her wedding ring in the burned rumble faster the recent wildfires in California. (video)
  • When a wedding ring was lost in the bottom of a lake, it was found 9  years later! (video)
  • A wedding ring appears grown into the owner’s carrot when pulled from the ground. (video)

 

Perfectly Timed Provisions

Have you ever prayed in such desperation and had the prayer be instantly answered in such a miraculous manner? I have. On a cold fall day I looked at the pay stub of my husband’s check. He had just started a new job and it was clear the funds were not enough to make ends even barely meet. In a panic I started crying and my daughter noticed. When I explained to her why I was crying she suggested praying. So, we sat down and prayed – my prayer was one of desperation from the heart. Wouldn’t you know it, but a few hours later there was a knock on the door and two men stood there holding their hats in their hands. Very politely they asked if I had owned any land they could purchase from me. Although I had never before thought of selling our land, the sale of it was exactly what we needed to get us by. How can science explain that timing and provision? It can’t.

Conclusion

There are indeed many events in life that cannot be explained by science.  These miracles, these events are not coincidences, but marvelous gifts of God. Changes of the heart, financial freedoms, unexpected gifts, and perfectly timed provisions are all examples of God’s miracles that no data or theory can even try to prove as different. God loves us and He loves to give us phenomenal, mind blowing gifts. It says so in Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” With this amazing verse and the previous examples of miracles that science cannot prove, if I were you I would be asking God for some miracles today!

Lights UP North writes from deep inside the great Northern Woods in hopes of bringing inspiration, encouragement, and hope to others. Ministering to those who are suffering from eczema and allergies is another strong passion for Lights UP North.

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Are New Testament Miracles Still Performed Today?

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 

The validity of a miracles is vulnerable to the scrutiny of the mind, to skepticism, agnosticism, cynicism and to the great force of logic resolution of the human brain: the power of perception. What we see is not always what we get. Sometimes our mind sees more clearly than our eyes. Unless otherwise proven, perception is truth; reality.

Christ commanded his disciples to go out into communities everywhere and continue his work, spread the gospel, heal the sick and to perform miracles based on the examples of his work and his teachings. There are many historical documents that present the theory of the apostles honoring their teacher’s wishes; and there are many stories and much evidence of miracles being performed throughout the past twenty centuries; and all of these supernatural events are similar to miracles documented in the New Testament.

Many saints have been canonized since Christ walked the earth and that is only possible through verifiable proof of a miracle having been performed using criteria based on the perception of what a miracle is or was at that particular time in history. The same is true today. Every now and then someone perceived to be spiritually special and to have done or been a vital partner to a special, supernatural event is beatified and canonized and inducted into the soulful stratosphere of sainthood. There will always be miracles; but our understanding of what makes a miracle may not always stay the same.

Perception

Not all abnormal, special Christian linked events are recognized as miraculous and many good, great, magnificent deeds drift by under our noses and the reason for that is: Perception. Miracles are not always easily identified, such as waving a hand over a diseased child and curing it of its illness. Try telling a young boy, starving and dehydrated from a lack of clean water, in some African village, that the gang of people wearing crosses around their necks, calling themselves missionaries and disciples of Christ, bringing fresh food and seeds for planting and clear water and equipment to drill wells, are not performing biblical miracles in his modern little life that was destined for a heart wrenching and premature demise. To him the missionaries were agents of Christ, doing his work as commanded, saving lives, preventing suffering and death. In our modern world, saving that child’s life, by those acting on behalf of Christ — does that qualify as miraculous?

Perception. Without the divine intervention of the missionaries in this boy’s life he surely would have passed from starvation or thirst or disease. But he was saved by disciples of Christ doing God’s divine work. So they didn’t perform a miracle by the waving of hands and make something magically appear or change. But they did use their hands commanded by their spiritual leader to bring food and water and to drill wells that significantly impacted human lives through divine intervention. And that constitutes a miracle in our known twenty-first century vernacular.

Perception. If we open our minds to the broader light that perception shines on such acts then yes, these events are congruent with our paradigms and beliefs, definitions and perceptions of faith and what is truly a miracle in our society.

The dictionary, any one, just pick the one you prefer, defines a miracle as: “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

For instance, since winter is coming, this year the Christian mission workers will be going out into the streets to work with the homeless and the hungry and the sick and these outreach workers will offer them safety and shelter and sustenance and these acts, done in the name of Jesus Christ, will fit the definition of a miracle; they will be manifestations God’s words, of his divine presence in our hearts and minds that compels us to target, impact and change human affairs.

Miraculous Healing

Pope John Paul II was canonized in 2011 due to prayers made by a Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora Diaz, the sufferer of an incurable brain aneurism. She claimed to have prayed to the deceased pope for her life and then said that she heard his voice tell her to get up and go to the kitchen to see her mother. Bed ridden with pain, Ms. Diaz managed to rise from her bed and did just what she was told to do by the pontiff and from that day on her illness vanished.

Perception. No magic hand waved over Ms. Diaz to cure her. Just the voice of a former pontiff who gave her instructions to get up and walk, something she was incapable of doing. For these instructions, and obviously a very special Christian full of divine value, John Paull II is now considered to be a saint.

Mother Theresa was made a saint after prayers were spoken to her by an Indian woman, Monica Besra, requesting to be cured from abdominal cancer. She was relieved of all evidence of the disease and lives cancer free today.  Again, in this example there are no special, divine theatrics, not even a voice was heard. An assumption of the spiritual power of prayer uttered to Mother Theresa quantified that a miracle had been performed on Ms. Besra.

Perception. Does a miracle have to save someone’s life? If a tidal wave rages through a shoreline and destroys everything in its path except the local church and a hospital, is that a miracle? Did God’s hands steer the tidal wave around the church and hospital knowing how badly they would be needed in the coming days?

If someone prays day and night for God’s intervention to be lifted from poverty and they win a lottery is that a miracle? Were prayers answered? Is the response by God to prayer a divine act of intervention in human affairs – which by definition is considered a miracle?

Our perception of divine intervention seems to be the method of calibration for determining the presence of a miracle in today’s society. And it seems to be connected to the broad definition of what a miracle is in our language. Also, if we analyze Christ’s charge to us to continue his work and pay particular attention to the words “He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” Jesus literally states that the teachings and miracles he had performed can and will be performed by everyone or anyone that believes in his deity and in the kingdom of God. Basically, that means we are all capable of performing miracles if we follow his example and live our lives according to his belief in us to do great things for our communities.

Many New Testament miracles are done daily in this world. If we combine the meaning of the word and our perception of the word’s potential then the easier it will be to look around our neighborhoods, read our newspapers or watch local, international news programs and pick out miraculous events occurring around us everywhere.

Perspective

My second daughter was born with a small hole in her heart and required surgery to keep her alive. It was a tense time and many prayers were said on her behalf. She turns nineteen this year and has never had another problem with her heart. Just this past Monday, my six year old grandson had surgery on his eyes to restore vision and correct ongoing problems with his eyes. One hundred years ago these two events would have been heralded as great modern day miracles. Today, some would call them wonders of modern medicine.

Our ever expanding technological abilities seems to have lessened what we now perceive to be miraculous but for my daughter and my grandson prayers were indeed answered and the result was, with the help of gifted physicians, two healthy, growing, learning, loving human beings that were healed, from my perspective, by the manifestation of divine acts.

So, as far as New Testament miracles being performed in our day and age, well, Monday’s surgery on my grandson’s eyes is about as contemporary as you can get.

Perspective. It either changes or affirms everything.

j. Alan Vokey is an author of essays, short stories, poetry and an online Illustrated Christian Blog. He is also a fine artist and illustrator. His work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and journals across North America. To learn more, visit his web site at: jalanvokey.weebly.com

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Does the Word Miracle mean the Same Thing Today as in Bible Times?

The subject of modern day miracles is a controversial one, to be sure. A subtle war is being held on several fronts between Christians who believe that God acts with overt miracles much as he did in Biblical days, and those who believe that – if God does any modern-day miracles – they are subtle ones intended for his purposes – not showy ones like the kind that prophets and apostles performed.

Signs and Wonders

The Miracles of scripture served a very specific purpose, related to the testimony of prophets. The benchmark for miraculous deeds was set by Moses. Asked by God to go and free his people from Pharaoh, Moses complained that no one would believe him. After this specific complaint, God gave Moses miraculous signs to perform in order to bear testimony that he spoke on behalf of God. Thereafter, practically every prophet of God did something miraculous in order to prove that they were speaking the words of the God of Abraham.

This was a principle well-understood by ancient peoples. Jesus, one may note, was asked on more than one occasion what sign he would give that he spoke the words of God. And in his day, Mohamed was asked for a sign that he was a prophet, and refused to give one.

Hence, for ancient peoples, Miracle was a word used to indicate a sign or wonder given by a prophet as proof they spoke for God. Frequently, the Miracles weren’t even particularly beneficial to the audience. Moses’ trick of turning his stick into a snake and vice-versa, had no purpose but to show he spoke for God. This as opposed to the parting of the Red Sea which both showed the power of God and became the penultimate event in the freeing of Israel from Egypt. Elijah’s trick of bringing on a drought and calling fire down from heaven did no one any good, but it definitely proved that there was a God in Israel.

Miracles as Blessings

The real difference came to pass in the days of Christ. No longer were miracles showy events meant more to impress than anything else – practically every miracle Christ performed was beneficial to the subject (with the possible exception of the cursing of the fig tree). In fact, when Mary insisted that Jesus do something about the wine situation at a party, Jesus chided her saying that his time had not yet come. Presumably he was saying that, since he had not begun his ministry yet, any miracles he performed would not serve the intended purpose of giving authority to his teachings.

Jesus freed people from demons, healed their illnesses, raised them from the dead and fed them when they were hungry.

After Jesus, the Apostles did the same: healing and casting out demons in order to show that they spoke on God’s behalf.

It is probably because of the nature of latter-day miracles that in the modern mind, a miracle is identical with a “blessing.” A person has a rapid recovery from a fatal illness, and it is praised as a miracle. A person is in a destitute situation, and they pray to God for a miracle. A person helps another in an unexpected way, and they are called a “miracle worker.”

Given his providence in human affairs, God is undoubtedly involved in these blessed and fortunate events, but it is difficult to argue that these are supernatural acts of God directly intervening in natural processes – and not God using natural processes in order to bring about some kind of blessing.

By the ancient definition the curses of God on the Egyptians as well as Jesus’ cursing of the Fig Tree were, by their definition, “miraculous.” They were also less than joyous and pleasant events.

In addressing the ancient definition of Miracles, Caleb Johnston – a member of The Mentionables Network – says:

“[The Modern definition of miracle is] Fairly straight-forward (at least it seems so to us), not so much in Hebrew. Keep in mind that Hebrew has a unique language feature: word meaning is often very dependent on context within the sentence. This feature makes a study on an English word very difficult but in the same way it raises interesting connection. So let’s take a look at a few words:

  • נֵס(nes) a standard, ensign, signal, sign
  • מוֹפֵת(mopheth) a wonder, sign, portent
  • אוֹת(oth) a sign
  • תִּמְהִין(temah) a wonder
  • מִפְלְאוֹת(miphlaah) a wondrous work
  • פֶּ֫לֶא(pele) a wonder
  • יָצָא(yatsa) to go or come out

…In English we find that the primary definition of miracle is somewhat dependent on the existence of a materialistic worldview. However, in Hebrew we don’t see this dependence. Instead we see that the focus is not directed towards the act as much as it is who is causing the said act.”

So in brief: yes. The ancient meaning of ‘Miracle’ was a sign from God. The modern definition is essentially an unlikely and fortunate occurrence that directly benefits someone.

Joel Furches is a writer who has worked for 15 years researching and writing on topics of religion. He has a BA in psychology and an MA in education. He can be found online at hubpages.com/@bombadere

 

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What Does the New Testament Say About Miracles?

Webster’s Dictionary defines miracles as: an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God; a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement. When you ask almost anybody about miracles, the first thing they would probably think about would have something to do with Jesus and His plethora of miracles in the New Testament Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Miracles existed in that day and time during Jesus’ three-year ministry.

The Miracles of Jesus

Everywhere Jesus had gone, He was healing someone whether it was mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually. There even existed a myth where church fathers claimed that Jesus performed so many miracles during His ministry that there was not even enough room to fit them into a book! Spectators called miracles “magic” back in the New Testament, but for believers, those miracles represented the very power of God.

There are at least twenty scriptural references in the New Testament regarding miracles. We do know that faith was a requirement for a miracle to occur. We are reminded of the time when Jesus had gone to the home of Peter to heal his bedridden mother-in-law and He had ordered the unbelievers to leave the room for their unbelief could have possibly thwarted the miracle He was about to perform.

The New Testament is full of miracles that are designed to strengthen one’s faith in the Almighty God. Even after Jesus left this earth to sit at the right hand of the Father, the disciples carried out His mission of miraculous works. They drove out demons, healed the sick, and etcetera.

Miracles were basically performed when all human capabilities have been surpassed in situations and feats that they no longer could control. In scripture, we see what is happening in regard to miracles: Matthew 19:26 tells us that with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Matthew 21:21 tells us that our faith gives birth to miracles. Romans 15:18-19 in a nutshell tells us that miracles, signs and wonder come from the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:11-12, the Bible tells us that God worked through Paul to heal the sick and release them from evil spirits. Other scriptural references regarding what the New Testament has to say about miracles can be found in: Acts 3:16, John 2:11, Mark 9:23, Matthew 17:20.

Modern-Day Miracles

What do Americans think about miracles? According to Pew Research, an estimated 80% of adult Americans believe in miracles. However, 57% believe in the birth of Jesus Christ through the virgin Mary which is also a miracle. 65% of Americans believe in the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also, other research has claimed that the belief of miracles by Millennials has drastically dwindled down in the past few years.

And for those that are asking, yes, miracles do happen today. We see them every single day when we wake up in the morning. God is still healing people all over the world from certain ailments and diseases. He is still giving a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless. Those are miracles. A recent study by Premier Christianity showed that a group of missionaries were holding revivals in Mozambique amongst the Makua Tribe where hundreds of deaf people could hear again. In the Far East, there recently had been a woman who was diagnosed with cancer and died. Two hours later, a Baptist minister prayed over her and she was raised from the dead. To unbelievers, miracles seem foolish, but to us, it is the very power of God! And as my 73-year-old grandmother would say, “God is still in the healing business.”

The greatest miracle in human history is none other than Jesus Christ rising from the dead three days after being crucified. This astounding miracle was the absolute best that God could have ever done.

Briyant Hines is from Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of 5, he decided that he was going to become a Minister of the Gospel. He just received his AA in Religious Studies from Beulah Heights University. He has written for devotional magazines, Christian magazines, Christian blogs, as well as The Front Office News, FanSided, and Cleveland Sports Talk, DevoZine, Christian Media Magazine, and more. Connect with Briyant on Twitter.

 

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Are Miracles Contrary to Science?

Are Miracles Contrary to Science?

In a world where science and the supernatural are no longer reconcilable, can they co-exist? Are miracles diametrically opposed to the laws that govern our universe? People of faith are confronted with an increasingly antagonistic scientific community, which generally opposes any acknowledgement of the supernatural, and more importantly, the divine.

Gone are the days of Bacon, Newton, Pascal and Galilei; these men, who saw a partnership between their observations of science, and the immutable hand of Providence, have been replaced by Nye, Hawking, Dawkins and Tyson, to name a few. The shift has trickled down the ranks within the hallowed halls of science to the point where there is very little room for acknowledgement of the supernatural.

The gap between these two camps appears to be widening, and that means that more and more individuals who espouse a belief in the miraculous, and who also have a deep respect for the scientific method, find it difficult to reconcile the two. The writer of this article is one of those who has seen miracles in action, and has also grown up with a love for science and the logical basis of that pursuit.

Science and Miracles

First, let us look at science. Webster’s definition is, “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.”  Science, and the scientific method upon which it is built, is based on repeatable, observable data. It is an objective pursuit of the mind, where logic, both deductive and inductive are employed to form hypothesis and draw conclusions.

Science is noble and ancient, permeating as far back as history can be traced. Humans have been created with a mental capacity unmatched in the natural world, and it is apparent that any who pursue science as a career, contain a certain level of acumen and brilliance.

What about miracles? Have you had an experience or seen something that you could not explain logically? That is the rub between science and miracles. Since science is based on observable and repeatable data, and miracles are usually a one-off, then it falls outside the realm of what can be defined by science. Webster defines a miracle as, “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”

Based on this study, and the definitions of both science and miracles, it can be deduced that miracles fall outside the scope of science because they are extraordinary and not naturally reoccurring. That does not mean that they cannot co-exist, because science can only address the physical world, not the supernatural.

Conclusion

However, while miracles cannot be explained by the limitations of science, they are not contrary to science either. There are no scientific laws governing what science cannot explain. That is the complexity of the quandary that followers of science and the supernatural find themselves facing. It is not a matter of black and white, but “both…and” in this situation.

Walker Haynes is an award winning director, producer and actor, and his work in the entertainment industry spans over a decade. His company, A STREAM IN THE DESERT PRODUCTIONS, LLC, has taken multiple movie projects from the writing process through production, post-production and distribution. Walker is currently in development with his next feature, “The Curse Of Pirate’s Cove,” a family-friendly film based on his award winning script.

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Proof of God’s Miracles Today

Some people may be skeptical that God still does miracles today. But there is proof of God’s miracles today. The definition of a miracle is “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.” If you look around at your world, you will see many examples of God’s miracles.

The miracle of life is just one of God’s many miracles that He performs. You reading this article right now is a miracle. The fact that you woke up this morning is a miracle. With every breath you take, that is proof that God still does miracles today. Would you be able to remember to pump your own heart every single second? Probably not. Yet our heart never stops pumping. That is a miracle.

Healing

When people think miracle, the first think that probably comes to their mind is “healing.” And while healing is not the only miracle, it is a miracle. I’ve personally experienced supernatural healing during altar time at church, both for myself and friends. I’ve seen people who were told they would have to have a serious surgery to heal them, but when we prayed for them they were completely healed; no surgery necessary.

Salvation

Salvation is arguably the most amazing miracle of all time. When we are saved, we are literally snatched out of Satan’s hands and placed into Jesus’ arms. When salvation occurs, the person being saved is no longer forced to spend eternity suffering in the pits of hell, but they are now able to spend eternity in the presence of their Lord and Savior. I have been praying for my grandparents to be saved. They aren’t saved yet. I have faith that they will be saved, and that will be an amazing miracle.

Gifts of the Spirit

The gifts of the Spirit is also a miracle. A few of the gifts include prophesy, speaking in tongues, healing, and encouragement. There are more listed in 1 Corinthians 12. The gift that I’m going to focus on right now is the gift of tongues. When we speak in tongues, we are speaking in a language that no man can understand. It’s a special language between you and God. We as humans are not able to speak in tongues without the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I believe that it is a miracle. Tongues is not the only gift that is a miracle. Every gift of the Spirit and the fact that we as sinful humans are able to receive those gifts is a miracle.

Love

Love. Unconditional love. God’s love, the love of family, friends, pastors, teachers, and strangers. That someone could live a sinful life but love us so much that He was willing to die a sinners death to show us how much He loved us. That’s a miracle. We often let people down. We constantly let God down. But the people that truly care about us love us unconditionally. No matter what we do or how bad we screw up, our family, friends, and God will never stop loving us. That is such an amazing miracle. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Moving Mountains

Miracles occurred often in Bible times, because Jesus was walking the earth during that time. But ever since Jesus ascended into Heaven at the end of Acts, many people have been quick to say that miracles don’t happen anymore because Jesus isn’t here anymore. But what they don’t realize is that Jesus is still here, dwelling inside of His followers. Before He went back to Heaven, He told His disciples that they would do the things He did, and even greater things. And that promise is still active today.

Faith is the cornerstone of miracles. The Bible promises that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, then we will be able to move mountains. That scripture doesn’t mean literal mountains. I believe that it means mountains in people’s lives. Mountains such as sickness and unsaved family members. So if we have faith and believe that God still does miracles, and that He can do miracles through us, I believe that we will be able to move the mountains in people’s lives. “He said to them, ‘…For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’” Matthew 17:20

So next time you’re wondering about whether or not God still does miracles, take a look around you. Miracles are often right under your nose.

ESV used for all scripture

Tiana Franca is a 14-year-old writer/blogger who loves Jesus. Find her online at her website Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

 

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5 Great Books on Miracles

Of the hundreds of books written on God’s Miracles over the centuries, how do you pick five great ones? Since I am writing this my preferences obviously take the lead. First, let’s agree on one point. The BEST place to find miracles and have them explained is God’s Word. I recommend a thorough examination of the scriptures as your first step in the study of miracles. Use your concordance and find scriptures about miracles and study them in context of the verses before and after the particular passage.

For those wanting a short cut let us look at the works of some contemporary ministers who have written or have had books written about their miracle ministries. I have picked five because they just stand out for me. Two of them were written by instructors in Bible school, one was a text that I had assigned in Bible School. The last two are just plain good ones. They are discussed in no particular order.

“Healing the Sick” by T. L. Osborn

T.L. Osborn was my favorite teacher. He was always so excited about God and how God showed Himself through miracles in TL’s ministry. The book Healing the Sick was one of his best books. Published by Harrison House 1986, [ISBN 0-89274-403-0]

Another book, Proof of God’s Love [ISBN 9-780879-43102], specifically addressed miracles. TL Taught by using real life examples of miracles and how they impacted the lives of those who witnessed them.

His style was very descriptive of the location, the attitudes of the people before and after seeing the miracles happen. He preached the Word of God in an uncompromised manner correctly making God the author of all miracles that happened. Miracles were the “advertising” that got the attention of the audience so the saving gospel of Jesus Christ would be believed.

“Miracles” by R. W. Shambach

R. W. Shambach was another of my Bible School teachers. His book Miracles [ISBN 0-89274-811-7] chronicles 50 years of his ministry. It was written a few years before his passing on to be with the Lord. He was a very outspoken man and did not mince words. He described incidents clearly and like TL, gave all the glory to God.

He used scripture to give the authority for the supernatural events that occurred in his meetings. Miracles followed his ministry and this gave him credibility with sometimes reluctant hosts in venues that ordinarily would not welcome a preacher. Everyone is interested in miracles even if the bearer of the story is someone you might not usually visit with. He used his fame to build a large ministry that continues today under the supervision of his family.

“Smith Wiggleworth Remembered” by W. Hacking

Smith Wigglesworth. He was once quoted as saying he only read one book: the Bible. He learned to read by reading the Bible and never felt the need to read anything else. Since Smith never wrote a book himself, we have those written by others to testify of the miracles in Wigglesworth’s ministry. The best of these is by W. Hacking: Smith Wigglesworth Remembered. It was published in 1972 by Harrison House in Tulsa OK and was a text I read in Bible School. One of the chapters “Divine Audacity” summed up Wigglesworth’s ministry. [ISBN 0-89274-203-8]

He was outspoken and very assertive while still a humble servant of God. Once a Methodist preacher came up for prayer and Wigglesworth instructed him to place his hand on his own back and rebuke the devil. The pastor was timid and spoke softly, Smith called out to him to speak with authority, loudly. Cast that devil out!  The man did and the malady left him instantly. Smith involved others and encouraged others to be bold. Books like On the Holy Spirit a compilation of Wigglesworth’s ministry will also be a blessing to you. [ISBN 0-88368-544-2]

“I Believe in Miracles” by Katherine Khulman

Katherine Khulman had a very successful miracle ministry in the early part of the 20th century. She founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel which is a major Pentecostal Denomination today. Her book I Believe in Miracles [ISBN 978-0-88270-657-3] sets out her ministry and her fervent belief that the supernatural power of God was just as available to us today as it was for the Apostles centuries ago. Her passion was missions and she sent hundreds of missionaries across the earth to bring the miracle power of God to the world.

“Miracles” by C. S. Lewis

The fifth book is by C.S. Lewis it is entitled Miracles [ISBN -10-0060653019] [in the public domain and widely available online] Lewis discusses at some length what miracles are and it is a good book to read before engaging in a discussion with an unbeliever about miracles. He helps us get to a place where both parties can agree on a point of discussion so arguments do not ensue.

Here is a quote: “The difference between the two views (those who believe in the supernatural and those who do not) might be expressed by saying that Naturalism gives us a democratic, Supernaturalism a monarchical, picture of reality. The Naturalist thinks that the privilege of ‘being on its own’ resides in the total mass of things, just as in a democracy sovereignty resides in the whole mass of the people. The Supernaturalist thinks that this privilege belongs to some things or (more probably) One Thing and not to others—just as, in a real monarchy, the king has sovereignty and the people have not. And just as, in a democracy, all citizens are equal, so for the Naturalist one thing or event is as good as another, in the sense that they are all equally dependent on the total system of things. Indeed each of them is only the way in which the character of that total system exhibits itself at a particular point in space and time. The Super-naturalist, on the other hand, believes that the one original or self-existent thing is on a different level from, and more important than, all other things.” Obviously we as Christians are the supernaturalists as we believe God is sovereign and He can and does perform miracles at His will.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe that a thorough search of scripture is the best place to start. Then you can read the experiences of the various authors to build your faith with real life examples. Finally C.S. Lewis’ work which has been reprinted numerous times is a good book to give you insight into reasons why some do not believe in miracles, and perhaps some insight in how to witness to them.

You can learn more about Larry at www.thehelpsminister.com. And, enjoy his books about Church organization and volunteer workers in church.  You can also join his blog and ask questions.

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The Problem with Miracles

When I was a kid, I always waited for the Sunday paper to arrive and would dive into it for the comic section where I would find my favorite hero character, the Phantom. He wore a cool outfit, did death-defying acts and always saved the girl. Superheroes have become big business today grossing billions of dollars in movies, cable television, memorabilia and adult graphic novels (today’s vocabulary for comic books). Saturday mornings have become devoted to channel after channel of cartoons and cartoon superheroes.

God the Superhero

Though we don’t speak it aloud, we like to think of our Lord as just such a character. The one who sees through it all, confronts evil, destroys it and saves the day. Perhaps that is why we smile when we read of His cleansing the temple or feeding the five thousand. That’s the Lord we want to follow. That’s the Lord who can do everything. But God is not a comic figure and will not be seen as such.

By His eternal existence, He defies our understanding of Him and cannot be contained by our logic or personal desires. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8,9) Even our childlike imaginings of Him as a superhero do Him a disservice. Many of those in the day of Jesus looked for the signs and proofs of His claim to deity. A desire that to this day falls short of His expectations for us.

But still, we long for the miracles. It is there that we believe that we can call upon the doubting to look and see and so believe. And we have all seen our share of miracles. I have seen more than once the images of cancerous tumors that were no longer there but a few days later. Like you, I have seen the addicted walk away from their obsession to a new life, the disheartened find a new purpose in their marriage and the dying find a peace that passes our understanding.

The problem with miracles is us. We define a miracle by that which we did not expect or an event that supersedes what we see as normal. God is not limited by either our definition or our version of normality. His creation of our physical universe is more than enough to make us stand in awe but the real miracle is that He remains actively engaged in this creation every moment. (John 5:17) What should take us to our knees in worship is that He has made us responsible beings who are patterned in His image for whom He will move heaven and earth for our benefit. (Mark 6:47-51) That He even loves such as us is a miracle in its own right.

There is an unsearchable wisdom to all He has created and in that there is an order and plan that He does not always reveal to us. (Matthew 5:45) We continually stumble upon more of that wisdom and order as science continues to discover all that it does not fully understand. The complexity and simplicity of this world humbles us. God may choose to do that which we deem miraculous but it was not done for our admiration. It was done because it served His will and fit in the order of His plan.

God’s Reason for Miracles

God never used miracles just to impress or cause people to believe in Him. He is not so petty. That realm belongs to the false prophet or preacher. What we have learned about God doing the miraculous is that it is usually connected to faith. (Hebrews 11:29-30) If Jesus performed a miracle, it was in response to faith and not an attempt to create it. (Mark 2:3-5) We marvel at how many times He told others not to spread news of His miracles because that only brought people curious to see a miracle and not a desire to hear His message.

Jesus never did a miracle that was not in keeping with His Father’s mission for sending Him. He never performed a miracle for His own benefit nor treat them as acts of magic. To do so would belittle His Father and the purpose for His coming.

The same should be for us. God is not our superhero. He cannot be reduced to a comic figure. He will complete what He has begun in us and in this world. Now and then we will be graced to see that work take miraculous form but it will be only seen in faith. The greater miracle of this life will be seen in that man or woman who has found faith in the compassionate person of the Lord. Who prefaces any request that appears supernatural with the caveat “If the Lord wills…”

God still performs miracles. He always has. Just not for our amusement or our longing for a superhero.

Michael Hogg is a husband, father and grandfather who is honored to preach, teach and pen a few words about the grace of our LORD for a life better than I deserve.

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