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Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

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Mary sees Elizabeth – Luke 1:39-45(AMP)

39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favoured by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfilment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.”

The background to this story is that very recently, Mary, who is a young woman probably only about 16 years of age, is betrothed to marry a young man called Joseph. Mary receives a visit from the arc angel Gabriel, who tells Mary that she will become pregnant with the Son of God and that He will save His people from their sins.  This is obviously pretty big news! If this happened to someone today, we would most probably find it way too hard to believe! Nevertheless this was the key moment in history for God’s plan to intervene into the world of mankind who had become so estranged from God, violent and evil in his ways so that a saviour who was long promised was now about to be born.

This Saviour was the long promised Jewish Messiah, who the prophets foretold about for centuries. The bible is the most amazing example of supernatural occurrences such as the hundreds of prophecies that foretell of the birth of Jesus Christ. Such prophecies spoken and recorded centuries before His birth tell of the place of His birth, His place of growing up. His visit to Egypt. The destruction of children and babies around that time by Herod who chose to try and destroy the infant Jesus. And so on it goes. Any scientist who looks critically at these prophecies would likely come up with the conclusion that supernaturally men wrote what God inspired them to write and only God could have designed and written the bible. One scientist who took just eight of the prophecies about the coming of Jesus, calculated that the chances of any one person in history fulfilling just these eight prophecies was one chance in 10 raised the power of 54!

No doubt after the visit of Gabriel, Mary was deeply moved and starry eyed about this wonderful experience of an angelic visitation and the incredible news that God now lived on the inside of her womb!! However along with this surreal news came the hard cold realities such as morning sickness, the task of telling Joseph, the challenge of telling her parents – “Hey Mum, Dad, I’m pregnant!” You know when you’re a parent the story of the angel appearing would be lost somewhere in the stunning news that your baby daughter is PREGNANT!

When you first receive Jesus as a new Christian, you have this amazing time of wonder and sense of God being so very real, but then then the hard cold realities arrive in your scene too. You realize, “Hey my life belongs to God now, ummm, does that mean I don’t sear now? And no more sex before marriage for me! And that bit of weed I left in the car needs to get flushed etc etc….  Not that it isn’t worth it because, hey, I’ve been saved from hell; and now I know Jesus who is awesome, but yep, things need to change and there are consequences. I remember when I told all my friends at Uni that I had become a Christian. It wasn’t a bubbly gooey feeling of peace and love at the time!

For Mary it was now time for evidence. It was time for God to show up and confirm the wonder of what had just happened to her. She didn’t have to do this journey alone, God was walking the path with her all the way!!!  So Mary drops over to see Elizabeth. The angel had initiated this because at Mary’s visitation the angel tells Mary, “Your cousin Elizabeth is now pregnant also, she’s the one that was barren and couldn’t had kids!!” That pregnancy is linked to yours somehow. The reality was that Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. He was to be the forerunner to Jesus, six months older than Jesus and at the time of his unveiling to Israel would be a prophet to declare the soon coming of Jesus.

At the first meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, the baby leaps in her womb, a sign of recognition about who just arrived, the mother of my Lord! Not only that, but Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, this is something that was not to take place for others until the death and resurrection of Jesus when all the disciples were filled with and controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then Elizabeth prophesies the whole story about what the angel had told Mary. What a confirmation for Mary, and what a welcome encouragement for her to know God is doing something wonderful in me and it’s all part of a much greater plan! Elizabeth says “Blessed and favoured is the one who believed and trusted in what the angel had said!”

When you become a Christian you are inviting God on the inside of your life. There is evidence; God shows up and does amazing things for you because He wants your faith based on His word to bear fruit. At the early stages of your faith walk with Jesus you do have some challenges like telling others about your faith and having a change in your life style, but God will shows up in your world and will not leave you alone. He wants to walk this walk with you and show you that He is doing something wonderful in you and its part of a much bigger plan.

Now for so many of you it’s time to trust in and believe just as Mary did. Give your life to Jesus Christ today and allow God to come and live on the inside.

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The Answer No. 4

How many times in life have you been faced with a problem and thought, “Why am I the one who has to fix this? I could just walk away.” However, you believe that you are the one that must take responsibility for this one and so you begin the journey of discovering what the answer is.

Have you ever been in the situation of making plans and later finding conditions have changed? What you thought would be easy is now not happening. You’ve got a problem.

Sometimes life makes a U turn right in front of you and there was no indicator!

Like a friend of mine who who’s brother took a drug overdose and ended up a quadriplegic. His parents were not well enough to take care of him so my friend took ten years out of his life to become a carer for him. That’s a 24 hours a day life change.

How do you get through a problem like that?

Like the time we decided to move from Brisbane to Melbourne to plant a new church and the week we left, the sale on our house in Brisbane fell through, the market went flat and we ended up paying rent in Melbourne and a mortgage in Brisbane with no income.  How do you fix a problem like that?

When life hands you a problem; Jesus is the answer.

There are only two reasons life hands you a problem. The first is so you can find Jesus and the second one is so you can get to know Him better; that is, grow your faith.

It’s all about faith. God wants you to learn faith; that is the constantly abiding trust that God is in control and He has taken care of everything.

I didn’t say there would be no pain, but there will be answers and growth and joy.

Let’s look at the day Jesus handed a problem to His disciples.

Mat 14:13  Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.

Mat 14:14  When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Mat 14:15  Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Mat 14:16  But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

Mat 14:17  They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

Mat 14:18  And he said, “Bring them here to me.”

Mat 14:19  Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Mat 14:20  And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.

Mat 14:21  And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (ESV)

Circumstances of life are constantly changing. A great friend of mine has a saying that I think is true: “Constant change is here to stay” Life just presents problems all the time. You can complain, but it won’t change anything. You can grow and that makes you a bigger person to handle the next challenge or problem. When you were a small child you handled it without stress; every time you fell over when trying to learn to walk you just got right back up and tried again. Every time you fell off that bike you had a bit of a cry, dusted yourself off and hopped right back on again and had another go. Now you’re older and wiser, when things go pear shaped, you whinge and complain and blame the government, your spouse and the economy and give yourself an excuse to stop trying.

I want you to notice something about this story. The crowd has been listening to Jesus all day…. That’s a long sermon. Wow, these people were hungry for spiritual truth. How hungry are you? But that’s not what I’m asking you to notice. The disciples are the ones who say to Jesus “Hey these people are hungry we need to send them to the shop for a burger. They were well trained in the Workplace Health and Safety requirements to ensure good practice!

So Jesus hands the problem back to them. “No, you feed them” Jesus hands them the problem knowing full well that He is the answer to their problem. He doesn’t just say to His disciples. “Hey let’s feed these people, go find anything you can and I’ll make it multiply. Watch this!”  If He did that people would be impressed but they wouldn’t learn what He wants them to learn. And that is: dependence on Jesus. In the same story told in the book of John it says as much.

Joh 6:5  Jesus looked up then, and seeing that a vast multitude was coming toward Him, He said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that all these people may eat?

Joh 6:6  But He said this to prove (test) him, for He well knew what He was about to do.

Joh 6:7  Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennies’ (forty dollars) worth of bread is not enough that everyone may receive even a little (AMP)

When a problem comes your way in life, it’s opportunity. The problem isn’t from God, the answer is from God. In this story Jesus didn’t create the problem. The situation arose through people wanting more of Truth. Then the disciples recognised – we have a problem. However, Jesus plans through every problem to make you grow and find Him in a deeper way. What He wants you to learn is to trust Him for the answer, and don’t slide into blame, complain and despair.

In this story the disciples recognise the need. These people need food. Jesus throws the responsibility for the problem right back on them. “You feed them.” Now they discover resources are not adequate. In life resources will never be adequate. When the problem comes, it’s a problem because the resources aren’t adequate. So the process Jesus wants you to learn is this.

  1. Take responsibility for the answer
  2. Take stock of what resources you have
  3. Give those meagre resources to Him
  4. Trust Him for the complete answer.

Simple right? When King David of Israel faced this issue in 1 Samuel 30:1-6 He learned that even his most faithful supporters turned against him in his moment of greatest need. When the problem – make that challenge – comes your way; it’s often the case that all your normal leaning posts will fall over. Everything you could look to for support and strength seems to disappear. Why is that? God wants you to come to the place where He, and He alone, is your answer.

In the midst of your reality, that is the reality of your problem, you need to remind yourself that He is with you. Isa 43:1  But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isa 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (ESV)

If you are facing mountains too high for you – Jesus is the answer. Each challenge is an amazing opportunity to find a new level of trust and faith in Jesus and see the answers come through. Why did Jesus say? :Mat 17:20  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Surely the most impossible task for any person would be to move a mountain. Yet twice Jesus says to His disciples speak to the mountain, and expect it to move. No matter how big your problem is the only question is will you trust Jesus for the answer?

Jesus is the Answer for everything you face in life. Learn to totally trust in Him and rely on Him.

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The Answer No. 3 Jesus is the answer when you are sick.mum and child

When sickness strikes a family, the struggle can be enormous. Have you experienced the feeling of helplessness that comes when someone you love is very ill and you wish you could do more for them? Pain can take over your life and render you unable to function properly. Illness is costly in so many ways; the suffering, the loss of function and productivity, the stress of coping and the financial costs are all huge and debilitating.

People are living longer these days. Since the 70’s life span averages in Australia have increased by 10 years. Yet there’s a far greater load on the health system than ever before. The rates of heart disease, stroke and diabetes are rising all the time. Alzheimer’s disease is rising rapidly even in the lower age brackets. In spite of incredible advances in medical science; sickness is more prevalent than ever. No doubt our unhealthy life styles including lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and over eating have led to obesity and illness. Stress levels are rising (See the previous blog) pollution and contaminants are poisoning our air and water; and processed food adds little of the food value we once enjoyed. There is so much need in human lives even in this great country of Australia.

Jesus is the answer. All the way through the gospels we see Jesus healing people at every turn. He is still the same today. He never changes; He is the same yesterday today and forever. Heb_13:8  Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). (AMP)

So many people don’t come to Jesus for healing of their physical bodies because they think that this is only available through faith and they just don’t have faith. I’m here to tell you today Jesus does heal through faith but you have faith. It’s part of your capacity as a person created by God. Jesus said: Mat_17:20  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. (AMP)

Many others don’t come to Jesus for healing because they mistakenly believe that healings and miracles only took place in Jesus day and are not for today. These wrong ideas come from erroneous teaching, and rob people of the answers available to them.

Still others don’t come to Jesus for healing because they don’t know anything about it and that it is available. We see people healed often in our local church. We have seen and experienced miracles as people have prayed and trusted in Jesus’ power.

An Australian preacher who has great success praying for the sick is John Mellor who comes each year to this church and we experience healings and miracles as Jesus touches peoples lives. John has placed many of the miracles on Youtube as testimony to the miracle power of Jesus to heal. You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/JohnMellorMinistries

Jesus is the answer for you today. If you or your loved ones are experiencing sickness in your bodies Jesus can heal you. He is the answer. Let’s look at one of the most inspiring stories in the gospels about healing.

Mat 15:22  And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon!

Mat 15:23  But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.

Mat 15:24  He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 15:25  But she came and, kneeling, worshipped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me!

Mat 15:26  And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.

Mat 15:27  She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups (little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters’ table.

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.

In this story Jesus goes to a part of Israel which is a sea port on the Mediterranean Sea. There were in these regions obviously many people who were not of Jewish origin. Yet as with people every where it was sickness that brought this woman to Jesus. There was a great need in her life; her little daughter was very, very sick and she needed a miracle. Have you ever had a child who was very sick? I’m sure you felt that you would do anything to see them helped.  This mother was desperate find help for her daughter. She had heard about Jesus and His miracles and she just decided that she was going to get one of those for her daughter.

The problem was: Jesus was on a mission to bring the message of God’s love and power to the Jewish people first and then have His disciples take it to the rest of the world later after He had died and rose again. So in effect this woman was asking for a miracle about two years too early. This wasn’t some arbitrary idea of Jesus to be exclusive with the Jews, He was fulfilling a promise God made long ago to Abraham and his offspring that He would bless the whole world through them.

But this woman would not be put off. She refused to take no for an answer. And she got her miracle. Jesus said it was faith that gave her the miracle. We look at that exchange and we see a woman who seemed to make a clever deduction about what Jesus was saying, but Jesus saw her faith, it was that determination and that persistence that won through. Is your faith like that? So often we have negative feelings and we just want to give up. There will always be big obstacles to your miracle just as there was for this woman. Your obstacles might be:

  1. It’s never happened before to me.
  2. What would my family say if I received a miracle at a church?
  3. My doctor said there is no cure
  4. We already prayed and nothing happened.

I could go on ad on. But this woman was so determined to receive that she just kept on asking and asking of Jesus. Mat 7:7  Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. (AMP)

You may say “Yes, but Jesus was physically there, He had to deal with it. I can’t see Jesus. I don’t know if He can hear me. It’s not the same”  Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, when he had died rose again and ascended into heaven His disciples healed people everywhere. Act 3:6  But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!

Act 3:7  Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady,

Act 3:8  And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (AMP)

Jesus is still healing people all over the world. Just watch a few of those John Mellor videos to inspire your faith. There’s about 2000 of them on that youtube channel. Perhaps you will say to me, “yes but I have no faith, it can’t happen for me!”

Don’t give up. Come to Jesus, He will meet your need, be persistent and determined. Luk 18:1  ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

The opponents of healing and miracles will tell you about people who prayed like crazy and didn’t get healed as if this was evidence that no one will get healed. This kind of upside down logic, if applied to cars for example, means that if your car breaks down just leave it because someone once tried to get their car fixed and it didn’t work, so don’t even try and get yours fixed!  If there’s only one miracle in our day and age then it’s proof that it can happen. So if it can happen and you need a miracle why wouldn’t you go after it? Instead of looking at the ones who didn’t receive why don’t you look at the ones who did?

Jesus is the answer when you have a need. When you need a miracle or a healing, come to Jesus. Go find a church that believes in healing. Watch some of those John Mellor healing videos, read the gospels and get inspired. Go after it and don’t give up.

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