DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Miracles
 

When you are young, you dream and you believe in miracles. One of the saddest things that can happen to a human being is, the sin and the world take away our faith that miracles can happen. Instead of believing that life can be great, we simply try to survive. God does big miracles but He also does small miracles. God raises the dead but He also provides wine at weddings. God knows about the whole universe and about every sparrow that falls to the ground. He knows about the number of hairs on our head.

We gonna look at 3 places where Jesus raised the dead. And we are going to ask the question why God did miracle in these situations.

1. Desperation

Luke 7:11-19
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.
12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out--the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.
13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."
14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!"
15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."
17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
18 John's disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them,
19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"


This passage tells us the story of a widow in Nain. Imagine what a widow would have gone through seeing her only hope (son) passing away. Over and over in the Bible God came when the people were desperate. God does not come to the comfortable and He comes disturb them. But God comes to the disturbed in order to comfort them. He came to the Israelites when they were in slavery, they cried out in pain. In the days of the Judges He came when the people cried out to Him. This is one of the keys to miracles. It is to be desperate.

Today may be you are facing a problem. May be it's a tough situation. May be it's a health problem. May be it's a money problem. May be it's a relationship problem. And you see no hope; no way out. This is when God is ready to work. But you got to go to the city gate and meet Jesus. If he can't see you He won't touch you. Many other people in the city buried their dead but Jesus did not heal them. But this woman was desperate. And in our times of desperation it is then we should turn not to bitterness, hatred or sin but to God.

When you think you are all alone, Jesus is sitting right next to you. He wants you to see Him. He wants you to find Him. And some of us we faced many tough times and still we don't look for Jesus. God does miracles when in our desperation we seek Him.

2. Courage and Faith

Mark 5:21-24, 35-43
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.
22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet
23 and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him.


This passage tells us the story of Jairus daughter. This man was the ruler of the synagogue. His 12-year-old little girl is dying. He was desperate. A crowd as usually was surrounding Jesus. And Jairus begged Jesus for help. Even though he was a religious leader, a pastor, he was willing to say, "I need help". Then what happened? Jesus helped a woman who interrupted Him.

If we were Jairus, we would have felt very stressed out as Jesus was helping this woman. While Jesus was talking, the bad news came. Your daughter is dead, don't bother the teacher anymore. Those who have children cannot imagine the sadness they would feel if they heard that news. Jesus ignored what they said. See people tell you to stop bothering with Jesus, you got to ignore them. Jesus told them not to afraid but believe. Once again one sentence from Jesus Christ raised the dead. This is amazing.

Jairus must have been so happy. But it took courage and it took faith and it took humility for him to talk to Jesus. What would people think of us if we do what we think is right? Often the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do. It pleases you to give in to the crowd than to stand by conviction.

3. Love

Luke 7:11-19
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."
5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
7 Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."
8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light.
10 It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better."
13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,
15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
28 And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you."
29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39 "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."
40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs.
48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all!
50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,
52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.
53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover.
56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the Feast at all?"
57 But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him.


This tells us the story of Lazarus. Jesus saw how troubled they were. He saw them crying. He saw also not only them crying He saw the friends the Jews would come and they also were crying. If you cry at someone's funeral that is not your family, that shows love. There was so much love there. Jesus saw that love and He wanted to do something. Look at some conversion stories in our ministries.

Why our ministries grew - there was so much love.Oh, brother there were mistakes. You know parents love their children. That doesn't mean they don't make mistakes. We pray to God that we don't grow up always talking about the mistakes of our parents instead of the love of our parents. God does miracles because He sees the love in our lives.

Love is not easy. Much easier to love a stranger (beggar) than to love someone you know. The stranger never sinned against us. But wives, husbands, children, they've sinned and we have sinned against them. Much harder to love them. Very hard to love sinners and yet the Bible teaches when sinners can learn to love each other, the world will know that we are disciples of Jesus.

Not by hatred, nor by division, not by condemnation but by our love, God's love is made evident to the world. You want to see miracles show some love. God looks for people who are filled with love so He can do some miracles. The human solution to problems is to get stressed out, to get selfish, to push people away and to work on the problem.

Miracles we want them. How can we have them? Jesus is enough. We need desperation to find them. We need courage, faith and humility to say I need help. Do not hesitate to talk about your life to someone who can guide you with scriptures. We need love. No matter how desperate your situation is you can always show love. Hard to love sinners but that's what Jesus did. Miracles, let's see them.