Miracles Glorify God

In Matthew Chapter 9, there is an instance where Jesus healed a paralytic man. Matthew 9:8 reads, “But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, who had given such power to men.”

God has given the believer supernatural abilities through the gifts He gives. The gifts of the Spirit – miracles – glorify God.

Signs and wonders are for the purpose of validating the Word of God, which is what will change people’s lives.

1 Peter 1:23 says, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,”…

So what’s the purpose of miracles? It is to get people to believe His Word. When someone hears about it being God’s will for a person to be healed, we demonstrate it by speaking over them in the name of Jesus. Their healing validates God’s Word. It’s not the miracles that change people, but it will cause them to believe that the word spoken is the Word of God.

In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus was teaching and preaching the Word to a large number of people. Four men showed up carrying a paralytic man on a bed, but couldn’t get anywhere near Jesus. So, they went up on the roof and let him down on the bed. and when Jesus saw their faith, He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Some of the scribes that were there started grumbling and wanting to know who can forgive sins but God? 

Then Jesus answered them and said, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk?’ “

Jesus produced the healing so people would know that, if He could do things in the physical realm that they could see happen at His word, then spiritual things such as the forgiveness of sins could also take place. Jesus used miracles to validate His Word.

In Hebrews 2:2, 3, it says that God confirmed this word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now put that with Mark 16:20 which says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”

The Bible says in Mark 17 and 18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (Verse 18) “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”

Acts 10:38 reads, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” Jesus and His Word confirmed and drew people to Him to hear His message. This glorified God. Jesus never healed anyone and made Himself more important than the compassion He showed for the people.

The word is preached, then confirmed with miracles, signs, and wonders. Too many sermons are preached Sunday after Sunday with no power behind them. The flow of God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, equips believers with gifts to perform these miracles and it will glorify God.

Too many Christians have no idea of the power that has been placed on the inside of them. Stop waiting on someone else to “do it!” You are equipped with the Holy Spirit to do just as Jesus did.

1 John 4:17 says that, “As He is, so are we in this world.” Just as Jesus is, so are we in this world. Instead of always looking for someone else to do the “laying on of hands,” you do it! Watch what will happen when you let the Holy Spirit flow through you for the benefit of someone else. Your healing might just happen while you are praying for someone else.!

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Using Your Gifts To Minister

How can we be an effective minister to others? In 1 Peter 4:11 it says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” A person does not minister out of their own ability, but out of the ability that God gives.

When the Holy Spirit comes to live on the inside of the born again Christian, God Himself comes to live on the inside of us. He begins to speak and flow through us. We need to remember that, when we begin sharing or teaching with other people, this is what is called the gifts of the Spirit. God gives every single person specific gifts in the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (Verse 5) There are differences of ministries, bu the same Lord. (Verse 6) And there are diversities of activities, bu it is the same God who works all in all.” This means that God works these things in all of us, as Verse 7 says. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all;

These verses tell us that God has put supernatural ability within every single Christian. Some may not feel or be aware of it, but this is a promise of God’s Word. We carry other people’s miracles on the inside of us. God has put the seed form of a miracle inside us for somebody else. Not a single Christian has been left out!

Nine different gifts of he Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, such as a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, discerning of spirits, working miracles, gifts of healing, etc. ( I might add, there is no gift of “discernment , as some like to say. It is a gift of discerning of spirits.) There are other gifts listed in Romans 12 also.

Many people have a gift or several, and are not aware of it. There are gifts for teaching, preaching, hospitality. You may have a gift to spot people who feel uncomfortable in a group of people and you go over and speak kind words to them and make them feel welcome. These are all supernatural gifts from God.The book of Romans, Chapter 12, speaks of people who have the gift of giving. They are able to give substantial money to keep someone’s ministry going forward. Some will have the gift of exhortation. There are some of you who have the ability to encourage those who are discouraged. God has placed these gifts and talents,that makes you gravitate toward doing certain things within the body  and on the outside reaching the lost.

The love that God has placed in you through His Spirit, will flow to others to encourage and help. Recognize that you are gifted in Christ and you are equipped to do all things for the kingdom of God.

 

Divine Flow

The very first step in having the power of God flow through you to other people is to acknowledge the power and good things that are inside of us through Christ.

Philemon 6 says, “That the sharing of your faith may become effective, by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” When we begin to tell others the good things God has done in our lives, some people will be helped.

1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” Anytime we feel love flow out of us toward another person, that’s God flowing out of us toward them.

To help fully understand this, we have to be able to determine which of the four kinds of love there are. The highest form of love is “agape” love. This is the God kind of love and is supernatural. We need to recognize the difference between attraction, or desire towards somebody. A lot of Christians don’t know the difference and it puts them in difficult situations when trying to help someone of the opposite sex.

When that divine flow comes out of us toward another, it is not self-serving. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, gives the qualifications of God’s kind of love. It’s not envious, selfish, self-serving, easily provoked, etc. We all need to analyze what we call love and make sure it’s really God’s love. We don’t love a person because of what the person can do for us. (But I will tell you this, it is a whole lot easier to love someone that is kind to me and to others.)

When we are trying to help someone and we feel the flow start, always speak words of encouragement and if you can help them in any way, do so.

God is love, and when we love on other people, it’s Him loving other people through us. The way the power of God flowed through Jesus was through compassion and love. This compassion is not just an emotion, it will compel you to do something for another.

When Jesus was dying on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) He asked God to forgive the very ones who were crucifying Him, yet He had compassion on them. He made the choice to forgive. He did it and released it toward other people who didn’t deserve it. God will release compassion from inside us toward others.

It doesn’t have to be profound or necessarily some great word. God is love, and whenever we discern that love flowing through us, it’s the divine flow. Sometimes the person might just need to be told that, “God loves you.” We can always be a blessing to someone, if we’re paying attention. God will use us to reach others for His glory.

 

Does God Always Answer Prayers?

1 John 5:14, 15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (Verse 15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petition that we have asked of Him.

Matthew 7:7, 8 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. (Verse 8) “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”

These verses are very plain and tell us that God does answer prayer, and yet, everyone can remember a time in our lives when we prayed and asked, believing it was right, not selfish or outside God’s will, yet we didn’t see an answer.

God operates in the spiritual realm to answer our prayers, but it takes faith on our part to manifest. Faith is what takes things from the spiritual world and moves them into the physical world. Look at what Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

It didn’t say faith is the evidence of things that don’t exist. They do exist, but they are not in the seen, physical world but the unseen spiritual realm. Faith reaches over into the spiritual realm and draws those things into the physical world.

Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Are you in Christ? Then it is already there waiting for you to receive it! God moves and answers your prayer but you may never see it manifest in the physical unless you let faith bridge the gap between the unseen spiritual realm and the physical world we live in.

The best example I can give you as to why our prayers are delayed or we don’t see them sometimes, is found in Daniel, Chapter 9. Daniel had been praying for the sins of his people and confessing and then was asking for revelation. and Gabriel shows up. Daniel 9:23 says, “At the beginning of your supplication the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

Now look at Daniel, Chapter 10, Verse 13, which says, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the king of Persia.

We think a lot of suppositions that if God is really God and something is His will, it just happens like the snap of a finger, but that’s not true.

In Daniel 9:23, Daniel prayed and his prayer was answered in about three minutes, but in another instance following that prayer in Chapter 10, it took twenty-one days for the answer. In both instances, Gabriel tells Daniel from the first day Daniel’s words were heard, the command was sent, went out to bring him the answer.

If you put Chapters 9 and 10 together, you will see God answered both prayers instantly. One took three minutes for the answer to come, and the other took three weeks, but God wasn’t the variable.

God answers our prayers. He does things, but there are a lot of variables that can happen between the time He answers prayers and we see the answer manifest. We have to believe, faith has to reach into the spiritual realm and bring the answer into the physical realm.

When Gabriel said he was left alone with the king of Persia, this was a demonic hindrance. Satan is another variable that will throw all kinds of hindrances our way. Keep in mind, Satan will hinder through other people also.

If you are praying for a breakthrough in your finances, God is not going to print a bunch of money and rain it down from heaven, it will come through other people helping to make it happen. We just have to know the difference between the ones God sends to help and the ones Satan sends to hinder. That’s when the spirit will lead you into all truths. One of the biggest problems that I see with unanswered prayers is, people only want to pray when something goes wrong. Or, they will pray a couple of times and give up, saying that God didn’t answer. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you, and stay in that closeness.

God is faithful and He has never failed to answer any prayer that was based on His Word and prayed in faith. Your answer just might not show up the way you thought it would or in your timing.

 

God’s Kind of Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 says, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”

The Bible says to follow after love, pursue it, and make it your highest aim. It’s the only thing we’ll take out of this life into eternity. We will take the love that Christ has imparted into our lives by the Holy Spirit. Love is the only thing that has eternal value.

When we say, “We love our car, or I love ice cream,” it’s not the same love as a husband says to the wife. That kind of love, between husband and wife,  is “Eros,” which means sexual attraction or sexual love. The book of Song of Solomon, is about sexual love and God has restricted that kind of love to a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.

Another kind of love is called “storge,” which is a natural bond of affection in a family relationship.

Then there is “phileo” which comes from the root word “philia.” This word is used about seventy-two times in the New Testament and means a warm feeling of affection that comes and goes in intensity. “I fall in love,” “I fall out of love.” If a marriage is built on that kind of love, then there will be times when that love is high, and when it’s low.

However, the Bible says we are to love one another with the God kind of love – Agape” love.

1 Corinthians Chapter 13, gives the definition of what love involves. and then 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” And Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law of the Prophets.”

In other words: Whatever you would want others to do to you, do to them. How do you want to be treated? Treat others the same. This will go against our flesh at times, and will go against us seeking our own benefit first. I don’t think this can be done without the help of God’s Holy Spirit. The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is love, and God is love. He is the source of love and the One who will show us how to love through His commandments. He’s the One who will give us strength, even in spite of our flesh, to make the right choices and decisions and act on the right principles.

We are not to love in words only, but also with our actions. If you want to have a love that has true feelings in your life, practice “agape” love. Seek the welfare and benefit of others regardless of how you feel at first, and you will be rewarded beyond measure.

Jesus Christ was and is the greatest expression of love that ever came on the face of the earth, yet as far as the recordings of the Bible, He never said, “I love you.” Isn’t that amazing? Because love is more than a word.

Suppose a husband tells his wife, “I love you,” and then goes out and commits adultery. She wouldn’t think much of those words, would she? But if that husband doesn’t tell her he loves  her but provides for her, and is faithful till the day he dies, she’ll know he loves her by his actions. 90% of truly loving another is nonverbal. It’s not in the things one says, it’s what they do.

1 John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth.”

Matthew 25:35, 36 says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; (Verse 36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “

Then in verse 40 He says, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “

Matthew 22:37 – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Verse 39) “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

The Bible and Jesus teachings, show us that we have opportunities to love Christ in practical ways, by loving others. Love is kind, love seeks the welfare of others – just like Jesus sought our welfare when He went to the cross! Treat others right and they will know you belong to Christ and you won’t have to tell them that you are a Christian.

 

The Authority of the Believer

God has given us authority as believers and in order to understand this authority, we not only deal with the authority that we have but the authority of Satan.

Christians have been led to believe that we are fighting a being whose power is superior to ours, and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. That is not what Scripture teaches us at all. Satan is the hierarchy of principalities and powers, but look at what these two verses say in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:11, 12 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Verse 12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The only power Satan has against us is deception. He doesn’t have power to defeat or overcome us. Satan used deception, which includes being sly or cunning, in the Garden of Eden to deceive Eve. Satan didn’t have the power to force Adam and Eve into anything. He came against the nature of God and began to criticize Him by saying, “Has God indeed said…” In other words, “God doesn’t really love you. He’s holding something good back from you.” Satan got Adam and Eve to sin against God through deception because he has no real authority to come against God.

Satan has no authority over the believer and he doesn’t want us to know that he really is a “defeated foe!” His only power is through deception and lies. Don’t give him ammunition by your words or actions.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the Apostle Paul tells us our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Every weapon of our warfare refers to our mind, dealing with our thoughts.

Now in order to understand our authority we have to go back to Genesis 1:26 which basically says when God created Adam, He gave him dominion…, over all the earth. Now look at Psalm 115:6, which says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s, but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” God had ownership of everything by right of being the Creator, but He gave dominion, or authority, over the earth to physical human beings. Satan has never had the right and power to rule over the earth. He took it through deceiving man to sin. God gave that power to mankind, and when man fell, he yielded his God-given authority and power over to the devil. God never gave Satan that power to oppress man and rule this earth, man did.

The only reason Satan has ever been able to oppress, dominate, or cause problems is because people yield their God-given authority over to him. Only people who have physical bodies have the authority and power to rule and exercise influence in this earth. Satan has to come to us and get us to yield our authority to him. That’s the reason he likes to “inhabit a body.”

In Scripture, demons have to have a body to possess because Satan can’t do anything unless he is using a physical human body to work through. It’s not that God doesn’t have the authority to stop Satan, it’s because of God’s integrity. He gave authority to man and He can’t just take it back and still be true to His Word.

So what did God do about this problem? He came to earth Himself and became a Man. Then the devil was in big trouble, because he didn’t see this coming. Satan had been using mankind’s power, and God couldn’t intervene directly to solve all these problems, because man willfully, legally gave their God-given authority over to Satan.

But here comes God, no longer a Spirit, but in the form of physical flesh. This was bad for the devil, because God not only had authority in heaven, but becoming a man gave Him authority on the earth. Think about that for a moment.

Jesus said in John 5:26, 27, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, (Verse 27) “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.”

When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus didn’t yield. Satan lost every battle with Jesus. Jesus then took our sins, died for them, went to hell, rose again and then said in Matthew 28: 18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

In the next verse, He basically told His disciples to go and do these things. In effect He was saying, “I now have authority in heaven and earth, and I’m sharing it with you to do these things.”

This time, however, there’s a unique difference in the authority God has given back to believers. It is joint authority between us and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our authority is shared with the Lord Jesus, and His authority is shared with the Church.

We need to recognize that we’re the ones who now have authority and the power to overcome Satan. Satan is fighting us with thoughts and our weapons are such that we take captive every thought that comes against the Word of God.

 

Renewing Your Mind

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

When we meditate on things, we ponder and plan, we are purposeful in our thinking, we choose our thoughts. A transformation will come in a person’s life if they renew their mind, thinking on: what is noble, just, lovely, good, and true. These are all good thoughts. If a person will do this, their precepts will change for the good.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”… The Bible also tells us that “we won’t be conformed to this world,” if we renew our minds. When we renew our way of thinking by meditating on God’s word, we commit our way of thinking to His way and His will. If we don’t want the worlds results, then our thinking has to be renewed!

Most people think or ponder on things and then they act on them. Romans 8:6 says, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Here is what a carnal mind thinks on: adultery, things of the world, money, covetousness, self-satisfaction. A carnal mind makes decisions on emotions.

If a person stews long enough on something bad that someone has said or done to them, they will act on those thoughts. When someone plays those thoughts over and over in their mind, they will eventually act on them. Our minds can become a spiritual battle field, and if a person acts on emotions, most of the time they get bad results.

Just a few years ago, I went through some really hard financial times that lasted for about five years. I was studying one day and found a verse that completely changed my outlook on my situation. Isaiah 26:3 – “You (God) will keep him (you or me) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You (God). Because he trusts You.

The Bible says that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. If we resist the devil, he will flee. The devil can’t read your mind, but what’s on most people’s mind comes out of their mouth. Words of faith in the One true God needs to come out of our mouths, and then the devil won’t have any weapons to use against us.

We should think on the good things of God. Let them flood your mind and heart and watch things around you start to change. Too many people cancel out their blessings by praying one thing and then contradict what they just prayed by the negative things that comes out of their mouth with words of doubt!

Get in the Word of God and find out who you are in Christ and know that victory is yours through Him.