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It Will Take a Miracle

IT WILL TAKE A MIRACLE

Mark 9:20-24
And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Do you need a miracle? Would you like to see a miracle? If so, we need to go beyond religion and move past head knowledge.

To see a miracle, it is not enough to have information about a powerful Lord; we must have faith in His power and His promises.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Regardless of what some people may think and say, Jesus has not changed. He remains a miracle-working Lord on our behalf, who is ever-present in those who have been born again by His Spirit.

As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to act in faith for Christ’s miraculous power. We are to take the love of Jesus to those around us. To do so, we need to take our eyes off our own needs and become vessels of His Spirit and His love for others. The Lord works countless miracles through those who believe, pray, and act in His Name.

However, there is a danger in looking for miracles. Every Christian must check himself to discern whether or not his mission and actions honor and glorify God. We continually have to ask ourselves, “Are we still serving the Lord and our neighbor faithfully and sacrificially, or have we drifted into a ‘Lord, bless me’ mentality?”

Jesus knew exactly where people’s hearts were when they began following Him. And He knows our hearts, too.

John 6:22-40
On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

First, let’s consider why Jesus refers to “signs”. Think about what a sign does. A sign is not our destination or desire. It points to something. When a road sign reads, “Texarkana 50 miles”, we know we are not in Texarkana, but we are on the way. Likewise, Jesus was letting the disciples know that the loaves and fishes weren’t the point. They were signs that revealed who He was: the Bread of Life.

When looking for a miracle, we must be careful that we do not make the same mistake as this crowd. They were looking for bread to satisfy their hunger and they were missing the Bread of Life sent down from the Father in Heaven to give us eternal life, the real miracle.

Let’s be honest. Often when we pray, we are not seeking God, we want an answer to our need now, today, this hour. For the Christian, knowing God isn’t about being “blessed now”. The Lord won’t bend to our lusts to give us everything we want, when we want it. His desire is to have an intimate relationship with us—an ongoing, long-term relationship that bears lasting fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit—again, a real miracle.

Hebrews 2:1-4
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Some people teach that miracles don’t happen today. I wonder if they are saved, because our salvation is a miracle—totally a supernatural work of God. It isn’t an explainable natural event. No, there is nothing natural about salvation.

Furthermore, all of our Christian life is supernatural. It is a life dependent upon the supernatural power of God from the very beginning, and cannot be lived without faith in the supernatural. The power that keeps us in Christ is totally supernatural.

The world lives in darkness, but we have the Light, because we live in the realm of the supernatural. There is nothing natural about our body being the temple of the Holy Spirit. Nothing is natural about being in the presence of Almighty God.

We live in the supernatural by faith in Jesus Christ, the same Christ who fed crowds of thousands with just a few loaves and fish. His power delivers us from all bondages. He empowers us to walk in freedom. And He gives us peace in the midst of trials and tribulations to show the world His miraculous power in our lives.

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Troubles are guaranteed to come upon all who follow Jesus. Yet when those troubles come, we can say with confidence, “Do it again, Lord. You have worked miracles before in my life. You have delivered Your servants supernaturally throughout history. Let Your glory and strength be made perfect in my weakness.”

Occasionally, we are approached by people wanting a hand-out. What they really need is a miracle. How do we get them to see Jesus and not just “bread and fish”? We must learn to discern the Holy Spirit’s will on each occasion. There is no formula or standard operating procedure for handling these situations. Again, this is why we must be filled with the Holy Spirit at all times. Then we can respond in faith, and we may see miracles such as the following example.

Acts 3:1-10
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.
And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Prior to this, Peter was amazed to see Jesus heal other people. Now, I imagine, Peter was probably more amazed when God used him to heal a lame man. It was one thing to witness a miracle by Jesus, but it was quite another to step out in faith and see that God works miracles through us like He did through Jesus. When we hear the Holy Spirit and obey in faith, we are not only personally blessed, we become partners with Jesus to destroy the works of the enemy and see the Kingdom of God come to people’s lives.

I know you wonder, “What if I pray and they are not healed?” You know why we ask that question? We are putting our faith in ourselves and not trusting God. Does God have to heal immediately for you to believe Him and trust Him?

When we see a need, we should ask God what to do, listen to the Holy Spirit, and do what He tells us to do. If He tells us to pray, then step out in faith and pray with that person for their need. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to say. It doesn’t matter where we are—whether it be in a restaurant, on the street, in stores, or with our neighbors. If we do this, we will see hurting, sick, depressed, and lost people receive a miracle from God in ways we never imagined.

Don’t let fear, social conformity, or any intimidation hinder you. Satan wants us to be afraid to pray for miracles, but God wants us to have faith in Him—in His power and wisdom.

2 Timothy 1:6-7
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

This Word is for us today. Stir up the gift of God, which is God in you. When you were born again of the Holy Spirit, He put His supernatural power, the Holy Spirit, in you.

Some of us have never used what God has given us.

So how do we stir up the gift of God? It starts with desiring all that God has and all that He wants us to be.

Luke 11:9-13
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, it will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

We must quit blending in with society.

We must ask and be filled with the Holy Spirit daily so the gift and power of God will cause us to be Christ’s witnesses and ambassadors in society.

Remember, the only thing that stops the child of God is unbelief, which comes from the devil. So we must ask God for His grace to honor Him and make full use of the power of the Holy Spirit He has given us. That is how souls will be touched—as they see the reality of Jesus Christ living in us.

Don’t just pray with strangers. Pray also with your family and friends. Notice I said with them, not just for them. We have a tendency to tell them we will pray for them, but they need to hear our prayers. Their problems go beyond counseling, parenting strategies, and even preaching. The battle for salvation and deliverance takes place in the spiritual realm. It is going to take a miracle, birthed by the fervent prayer and fasting of Spirit filled believers, who have faith in Jesus Christ to bind the enemy, to deliver, to love, and to save those in darkness or in bondage.

The greatest miracle we will ever see is when God gives grace to a sinner to believe, to repent, to die to self in baptism, and to be born again of the Holy Spirit.

People are tired of religion—dogmatic traditions that fail to produce the reality of Jesus Christ in lives of its followers. The first century church was effective because they had faith to believe and act on what the Holy Spirit told them to say and do. Unbelievers could tell they had spent time with Jesus because they acted like Jesus. We must spend time with Jesus, too.

John 5:39-40
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

How different life would be if we spent time with Jesus and acted on what He said in the Scriptures every day, everywhere we go, with everyone we meet!

1 John 2:3-6
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Let the world see Jesus living in you by walking in the same way in which He walked. Tell everyone you can that Jesus loves them—not only by what you say, but how you treat them. Pray for the sick and needy every opportunity you have when God tells you to. Then you will begin to see miracles like those you have read about in the Scriptures.

When we step out in faith, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, darkness will succumb to the Light. Evil will flee from works done in the Name of Jesus.

John 15:4-5
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Notice we can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ. We must be in Christ and Christ must be in us. Otherwise, we are just practicing a powerless religion.

If you don’t have Jesus living in you, you need the miracle of the new birth. Jesus will be born in you if you believe He is the Son of God and give Him your life. Confess your faith publicly and repent of the sin of self-rule. Die to yourself in baptism and your sin will be forgiven and you will be born again of the Holy Spirit, who will give you power to be a witness of Jesus Christ.