True Miracle

This past week a friend of mine lost his sister to cancer.  I did not know her but he told me she fought hard.  She never gave up.

My friend is a fellow believer in Christ Jesus.  He gives his life to Christ.  As a believer he prayed without ceasing for his sister to win her battle.  He talked to his sister about the healing power of Jesus and what faith in Him can do.  He even found a church where the pastor had a personal physical healing by Jesus and took her there.  He said she began to gain greater strength to fight for her life.  In the end though her life on this earth has gone.

After losing a loved one after praying and believing in miracles many would lose faith.  Many would turn from God.  But my friend is an inspiration.  He knows the truth.  He demonstrates true faith in Christ Jesus.  Instead of turning from God he boldly turns to Him.

At the viewing he said a few words about his sister.  He spoke of how he and many other family and friends had been praying for a miracle.  He said that many prayed for her life.  Then he spoke more truth of how in her battle with cancer he saw her grow closer and closer to the Lord.  He saw her faith grow.  You see, he knows the truth.  He knows the true miracle.  He knows the true promise of Christ Jesus. He knows that when we believe in Him we never die but we have eternal life.  Life without pain.  Life without suffering.  Life without cancer.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

While we all prayed for a miracle of her life continuing on earth, another one happened.  She came to truly believe in Jesus.  We prayed for her to live and now she lives forever.  If we believe, we will live forever as well.  My friend believes.  He will see his sister again.

Some may not see it as a miracle.  Some only see miracles as the blind seeing, the lame walking, the dead rising back on earth.  Once they see they will believe.  But believing is seeing.  Jesus didn’t work miracles in his life to draw attention to himself.  He worked them for the people who already believed.  All throughout scripture there are examples.

They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”  They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:38-43

I recently listened to a sermon by Alistair Begg about this passage.  He had a lot of eye-opening points.  The one that spoke to my heart about this loss is that after Jesus heals the little girl He tells those in the room not to tell anyone.  This is after He puts out all those who were laughing.  Alistair Begg points out that those who were laughing at Jesus, unbelievers, did not get to see the miracle.  He said something like, “those who laugh at the words of Jesus don’t get to experience the works of Jesus.”

Again I see that a true miracle did take place in my friend’s sister’s life.  She believed and now in her death she finally gets to live.

I pray that his family gets time to grieve.  I pray that when they are done grieving, whenever that may be, that joy comes in the morning.  I pray that they all see the miracle and they all find their way to give themselves to the Lord Christ Jesus.

To my friend, you are a godly man.  Your love and boldness for Jesus is inspiring.  Thank you for setting a great example for so many.

I saw how many people your sister touched with her life.  I am sure there are many more.  She is home now.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5:25

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Father

I am writing this to give thanks to my father.  He is my hero.  Anytime I need something he comes through.  He has always been there for my sister and I.

I haven’t been a perfect son. I remember things I have done and worries I have caused and he has stood by me through it all.

When I was a baby I had pyloric stenosis.  I don’t remember having it, but apparently, it is when your intestines are in a knot.  Having a little girl of my own, I can imagine how he and my mom must have felt when I was sick.  I know that I made it through that with him never giving up.There were other times growing up when I would fall down and he’d pick me up.  There were stupid kid things I did and he would love me through them, even when I caused damage to the house.  I remember this one time I was watching him fix something on the house.  He had his hammer and he was hitting nails into the wall.  So I grabbed my toy hammer and began to hit our plaster wall inside our house as I watched it crumble saying “look dad, I’m like you.”  How he or mom didn’t beat me I have no clue.

He granted me grace even when I damaged the house.  To this day I still mess up and I know he will always be there.

I know that God placed me in a house where I was loved.  I know my dad loves me.  Too many people don’t.  They have horror stories of their fathers. My heart breaks for them.  Coming from my situation is a big reason why I trust God.  You see, when we think of God as Father, Abba, most of us tend to think of our dads.  God as Father is a merciful, loving Father who gives us His grace through His Son Jesus.  Some people don’t know how to comprehend that if their image of God as Father is of their abusive father.  But Jesus is love, mercy, and grace.  He wants us to come to him as we are.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

My relationship with my father has made it easy to see my Heavenly Father as He truly is.  He is a loving God who loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son to die the most brutal death in th history of mankind.  He gave us Jesus not because we deserve Him to take our sins, but because He gives us grace because what we deserve is death.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

When I put that hole in our wall some might say I deserved a beating.  Instead what I got was grace.  Thanks dad for showing me how to be a father and showing me the Grace of God.  I love you!

Happy Father’s Day!

Mistakenly Defined

We all make mistakes.  No one is perfect.  We may strive to perfection and on the way we may find excellence.  In the end perfection in this world may never be reached.  It is pretty evident that we will mess up somewhere in our lives. It may be at work. It may be in our personal relationships.  It may be in our finances.

Wherever you mess up be careful to not let it define who you are.  We are not defined by our worst moment.  We can, however, be defined in our worst moment. But we do not define ourselves.  It has already been done.

In our mistakes, in our sins, in our lost moments, our Creator is our way out. He defines who we are.  He already created us in His image.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
(Side note: Notice use of “Our” referring to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)

We are created in the image of God.  The problem is we fell. We had the choice to stay perfect but made the choice to sin.  Now we have a sin nature that keeps us from seeing we can be better.  It can keep us from seeing we are created to be better.  When we mess up the enemy wants the mess up to define who we are.  The enemy will use it to his advantage to keep us away from God.

Yes, even our little mistakes may beat us down and keep us from God.  When we chase perfection in our lives sometimes we have a tendency to rely only on ourselves to get it right.  We start to worship the work to get to perfection.  We devote our time to making things better.  We devote time to self-improvement.

This is what the enemy wants.  He wants us to put our time into improving ourselves for ourselves.  He wants us to stay worried about our mistakes and our sins.  He wants us to feel we can never be good enough.

But God says otherwise.  He gave us His only Son and when we believe in Him we are more than conquerors.  We do not have to be slaves to our mistakes and our sins.  We do not have to keep beating ourselves up because we do not feel perfect.

His love makes us perfect.  His work on the cross took our sins.  We can now call on His power and turn from our sins.  His Holy Spirit is with us.  Allow it to work on and through you.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

God made us wonderfully.  Our souls know it and when we sin our souls know it is not right.  Jesus saves us from that.  Our souls long for Him and when you let Him in your life you will have the power to turn from sin.  It will not be easy, but on your own it will be impossible.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:20-23

You can be victorious over your mistakes.  You can be victorious over your sins.  This has been made possible because Christ Jesus is the greatest victor of all.

Will you let Him in?

Will you let Him be your savior?

Will you put your trust and your faith in Him?

“Jesus fulfilled His part.  Now it is time to do ours.” – Josh Conn