Month: February 2012

Can people perform miracles from God today?

It really amazes me how many people still put so much stock in the modern-day “faith-healers” and “miracle performers” of God. I don’t really see or hear about them very much around my area but they exist, and an untold number of them thrive on TV.

Probably one of the most amazing things about these “healers” is that the same routines manage to work almost as well today as they have in the past (Ecclesiastes 1:9). If people would only pay attention to the difference between the miracles done in the first century and the ones supposedly done today, it would become clear that they are not looking as closely as they should.

First off, why are the people who are “healed” never well-known to the community? Jesus and the apostles healed people who everyone knew about (John 9:1-11, 20-27; Acts 3:1-10, 4:1-12). There was no denying it. News spread fast and facts were verified. With the way the news media can travel and verify things today, not to mention cell-phones, how can a true miracle be hidden from the public? It must be a cover-up, right? The only cover-up that happens is when a hand covers the camera lens of the news crews that are sent to check the “miracles” out.

Secondly, why do the “faith-healers” and “miracle workers” stay away from hospitals and other areas where the sick can be found in large numbers? I am not saying this with sarcasm either. When someone with an undeniable sickness or physical impediment comes to be healed they are told that the reason they cannot be helped is because they lack faith! While it is true that Jesus did not perform many miracles in Nazareth due to their lack of faith (Mark 6:4-5), I still cannot help but wonder if today’s miracle workers would have turned someone away like Malchus (Luke 22:49-51; John 18:10). (more…)

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THE UGLINESS OF SIN…

The world and the Devil do their best to put sin in the “best light” they can. When you look at their view on sin, it’s painted as a pretty picture without a blemish to be found.

Beer always equals fun in the sun right? Plus according to science, alcohol (wine) is healthy for you.

Sex outside of marriage is a blast. We live in a day when there are no risks, right?

Tired of your marriage? It’s not hard to start over; it’s like taking out the trash.

Go out for a night on the town with friends to dance clubs, its great exercise!

Hey, murder can actually be entertaining and not that bad…it’s not that shocking after you see it for the 1,000th time.

Jealous and hateful coworkers, neighbors and family members make great comedy.

Isn’t this the way most of the world views the works of the flesh? Now think about the ugly side of the afore-mentioned “attractive” sins.

It’s “funny” how you’ll never see the beer companies show the crime and accident photos caused by alcohol. I wonder if any of their employees have a MADD license plate? Drink for the health benefits you say? Try grape juice, you’ll get the same stuff!

A little “harmless” sex? I wonder if people who say that have ever visited an abortion mill? (more…)

“UNTOUCHABLE”

What would the story of the compassionate Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37 be without the compassionate Samaritan? It would be a story with a pitiful ending!

In the lesson that Jesus taught, the traveling Samaritan went beyond the borders of race, beyond the borders of wealth and beyond the borders of public opinion to help someone who, in all honesty, might have walked right by him if he had been lying there in the ditch beaten, bloodied and robbed. Because of a lack of love, humanity can sink to its lowest when we can turn a conscience-free eye away from a soul possessing human-being that is in true agony.

Jesus told that story for a reason. There is no telling how many times He literally watched it play-out while looking at the Earth from Heaven. It is unfortunately still something He sees all over the world. Not too long ago there was a story that I read which left me asking, “Where was the Samaritan?” In the story, officials at the Indian hospital “Kanpur Medical College” in northern Uttar Pradesh state acknowledged that a woman who had given birth to a baby boy died a day later because she was not given treatment from the doctors. Even the hospital’s chief medical superintendent refused to use the life saving knowledge he had. Unfortunately, her son died the same day he was born. There were people who eventually tried to help her, but it was too late; she had been in her condition for too long. (more…)

A Quick Fix or A Permanent Fixture?

The sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John begins by saying,

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.” (John 6:1,2)

All of the people saw something wonderful. Every single one of them saw something great. But in the midst of all those people most of them just saw an opportunity. They saw a quick fix for their problems.

Later in the same chapter, after feeding the crowd with the bread and fish, Jesus and His disciples go to the other side of the sea only to be followed by the same crowd. When they found Him they asked Him how He got to the other side of the sea and Jesus responded by saying,

…Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26,27)

The people were looking for Jesus, they were interested in Him, and they wanted to find Him, but not for the right reasons. So in verses 28-40 Jesus taught the people that He did not come to be a quick fix for the problems of everyone; He came by the will of the Father to be a permanent fixture in the lives of fallen mankind. Jesus did not come to be a temporary answer – He came to be the permanent solution!

When we turn to God do we go to Him because we think He is the fastest way to fix a problem or do we go to God because we know that He is the only way to fix a problem? When a need arises in our life God wants us to know that He desires to be there for us (Matthew 6:24-33) but we have to ask our self, “Do we only turn to God when we need something?” Do we act like the people in John 6 and see Jesus as a quick fix for our problems or do we look at Him as the One that we want in our lives forever more?

The people got what they wanted; they got a temporarily fully belly. But after Jesus told them and the others that were listening what He wanted from them (verses 41-60) they left Him never to return anymore according to John 6:66. Jesus wanted a life long faith from them. He wants the same from us. He wanted a faith that considered Him to be the permanent fixture that they needed; not as the quick fix that they saw Him to be.

As the people left Jesus standing there, He asked the twelve if they were going to do the same. And what was their response? Peter said,

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68,69)

So how does Jesus look at our faith? The answer is found in the question, “How does our faith look at Jesus?” Is Jesus just a quick fix till things get better or is He a permanent fixture in our lives?

Think about it. EA

The Gospel is for All…

Afraid you can’t become a Christian because you have a past?

Well, that didn’t stop the people who Peter wrote his letter to from becoming Christians. He told them, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1st Peter 2:9,10) Don’t let your past control your present; and don’t let your present ruin your future. Christ died because we all have a past, but He also died because He wants us all to have a future.

Afraid that God won’t accept you because of where you were born or because of the color of your skin?

Well, that didn’t stop the people who Paul wrote his letter to from becoming Christians. He told them, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Don’t let the negative opinion of others or your own doubts stop you from accepting the fact that Christ positively loves you. Jesus died to bring all of mankind back to God.

Afraid that you have waited too long and are too old to obey the gospel and become a Christian?

Well, Paul didn’t hold a person’s age against them when he instructed Titus to teach the church that “…the aged men be sober, grave [serious], temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness….” (Titus 2:2,3) As long as a person comes to God the way He has taught in His gospel you can become a Christian. Christ died so that no matter how old a person may be they can experience a new birth (John 3:3-5).

The gospel is for imperfect people. The gospel is for sinners. The gospel is for all.

And why is that? It’s because everyone needs it. Paul taught, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). That’s why he said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first and also to the Greek (gentiles). For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16,17).

When we’re willing to repent and obey the gospel of Christ then we can become a Christian exactly like the people who read the original letters that Peter and Paul sent. How did they do that? Read 1st Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:26,27 and Titus 3:3-6. These scriptures are apart of the same letters that teach the world that the gospel is for all. That includes you! EA

History Has Told and History Will Tell

No one can deny that America has made its mistakes in the past. Our nation, like all other nations, has made major mistakes. That being said, I now want to say this very plainly: our leaders in power are denying our history to our detriment. I am not talking about decisions that were made in the past. I am talking about the ones that are being made today.

High poweredpoliticians have been picking a fight with theHighest Power” in the land for the last several decades and the taunting has gotten a lot more intense over the last few years. Some people are determined to make God history in our country. But if we can learn anything from history, it is that a nation that has a history with God but no present does not have much of a future to look forward to.

How can we own up to so much of our past but still deny the Power that has allowed us to even have one? Listen to this historic song written long ago by a writer named Francis Scott Key! The United States Congress adopted this original poem turned song in 1931 and it became known as our National Anthem. Read the whole thing because believe it or not, there may be something in this song that you’ve never heard before!

“Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming? (more…)