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Posts Tagged ‘miracle’

When it comes to believing in Jesus, I have been asking myself several questions.

Through which eyes do I see him?

How far does my belief extend?

Do I look and believe in the ability of the one I follow or do I look at the growing crowd?

Philip and Andrew were two of Jesus’ disciples. They spent days, weeks, and months with Jesus. They had seen countless miraculous signs and wonders. These fellas had personally experienced the hands of their friend healing wounded hearts and broken bodies.

There was one particular day where Jesus performed on miracle that affected  five thousand people.

The day was hot and the sun was beginning to set. Jesus surveyed the growing crowd around him and asked Philip, “where can we buy bread for these people to eat?

Jesus had a way of always asking rhetorical questions. He already knew what he was going to do.

How many times has God asked us questions – invited us into being a part of something great – and we answer logically or without faith.

I have responded to God’s questions so many times with my eyes on my own limits. I even have a tendency to water down what God wants to do through me because I think I’m too small to do it.

God asks us questions already knowing what he is going to do. He just wants us to believe.

Philip and Andrew illustrated both responses in this story. Philip relied on his logic and limits. He looked at the overwhelming number of people and
responded accordingly. Philip thought that it was up to him to do something miraculous and big. Even though he had just spent days being a part of miracles, signs, and wonders. That day he chose his limits.

Andrew responded differently to Jesus’ question. He answered with two key words, “here is.” That is what God wants to hear from his people, “God here is…” Andrew believed beyond his limits and in the one he followed. He was focused on Gods ability.

Andrew lacked the how but he had the who and what.

Andrew placed in Jesus’ hands all that he had to give. He believed beyond himself. When Jesus asked the question, “what can we do to feed these people?” Andrew responded with “I can’t, but you can.

Philip and Andrew had human responses. They were both limited and logical. One responded out of his limits, and the other presented his limits to the only one who could use them.

Which disciple are you most like?

What stops you from presenting all you have to Jesus?

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I read a quote that has been perfect timing for my season of life.

T.D. Jakes said “we grieve over what we’ve lost because we don’t see the miracle in what we have left.”

Grief is just hard. Feeling the impact of loss is a very real and on going thing. There is no time line or warning for grief.

After natural disasters strike, we are captivated by pictures of devastation.

The voice of loss is always louder than the voice of survival.

What we have, what has survived in and with us, matters so much.

It is a miracle.

It is like looking down and seeing a flower in the midst of a warn down battlefield.

The hint of life in the midst of loss is a miracle.

Gratitude changes the perspective of every situation and circumstance.

Even if you are not experiencing loss, gratitude is still life changing.

What are you grateful for?

What are your signs of life?

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I love those times when I just “get it.” I cling to those times where revelation has carried stored up information from my head and turned it into the “Aha!” of my heart. I love when I read something a thousand times and can still walk away with thoughts like, “where has that nugget been!?

I feel like I am a Pez dispenser of aha moments these days. It is changing my sight. Isn’t that the way it should be after getting something?

Life should look, feel, taste, smell, and sound different when we really get something. My life has changed drastically the past fifteen years since God has been in me. Even after “so long” I love that I still have those moments where I finally find freaking Waldo, and really grasp something. (I used to have an excited dance when I found Waldo).

I can already see and feel my words and thoughts being changed by what God has helped me to get. These moments feel like small miracles for my heart.

Peter is one of Jesus’ disciples who I think really gets what I’m talking about. The B.C. Peter, (before Christ), was pride filled, strong willed, hard headed, and a big talker. Peter operated out of self-sufficiency a lot. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter was a changed man. Peter went through a time of really just getting it. The information that Jesus was ingraining into his mind finally hit his heart. Peter really believed.

He believed not just because of all that he has seen Jesus do, and heard all the things Jesus said to the crowds, but because his heart was changed.

During those three years of walking with Jesus, Peter’s life was changed inside. His character looked different. He grew in humility and gentleness. Peter even started to listen first before speaking his mind. That is hard for a leader.

There is one story in particular that illustrates a different Peter to me. It takes place in Acts chapter 3. You see, Peter experienced not just miracles seen, but a miracle known in his own life. He acted like it.

One day Peter and John were walking up to the temple courts to pray. There was a man being placed by the gate entrance who had been crippled his whole life. This man had been placed there every day to beg. It had become his life’s routine.

So Peter immediately walks over to this man and addresses the real need of his heart. Peter had experienced the power and life of what Jesus offered to him, and he offered that known miracle to another.

After experiencing a miracle work in my life, my confidence and sight changed. Miracles give you sight to see different. Aha moments change your life in lasting ways. I know, for me, I can’t help but want to give that out.

People who know that a miracle has been done in their life and heart offer differently.

Peter looked at this man and told him that he does not have the tangible, but he has something better. Peter offered this man the miracle of Jesus from his own life. Peter acted like a miracle. Even if you just read the first three chapters of Acts, you will find a different Peter then you might’ve read about in one of the gospels.

Believing in God will change your life. Believing has caused me to speak, think, and understand different. That is what I want my life to offer.

What you believe dicatates how you will live your life and that will be inevitably what you offer.

What are you believing that enables what you offer?

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I have referenced before that trust is hard for me. I am pretty skeptic when it comes to taking a step in faith. My first instinct is to protect myself. My logic assesses the situation and then weighs the trust level. This mentality makes faith hard for me. It would technically be called “controlled faith.

The gospel of John is my go-to book in the bible. When I want to read about Jesus, it is John’s perspective that I run too. When I want to read about God’s love, John is where I start. When I just want to be reminded of a man who believed and understood that God loved him, John is my boy.

I am always drawn to the faith of the first twelve disciples. I love reading about their questions, skepticism, and remarks, when they were first introduced to Jesus. I also like watching their responses shift to being blown away by Jesus.

Lately, I have been stuck on Nathaniel. Nathaniel was the brother of Philip. Nathaniel was a skeptic. His response to his brother’s claim of finding the Messiah reminds me of what I might have said. Nathaniel’s response was one of question and maybe of self protection.

What draws me into this story is how quickly the shift in trust and belief happens. Jesus takes Nathaniel’s skepticism head on. Jesus calls out Nathaniel in personality and truth. Jesus describes Nathaniel as, “one without deceit.” Nathaniel, I’m sure taken aback, responds with confusion. Jesus simply states, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.

It took one way of being known by Jesus. One thing shifted the faith of Nathaniel. Skeptisim melts to embrace. Protection changes to trust.

It took something tangible for Nathaniel to believe. Mind you it was not something big, but something. It took a fig tree kind of faith for Nathaniel to believe.

I started reading on and in the proceeding two chapters there are numerous stories of people believing after witnessing a miracle. People would also demand a miraculous sign before they would believe what Jesus was saying.

I had to ask myself, do I have fig tree faith? Do I only let down the walls of self-protection if I see something tangible regarding God? Do I settle for fig tree faith when God is telling me, “you will see greater things than these?

I want to believe in the God of “greater things.” I know my trust comes with proof. Where is the faith in that? Honestly, there is no faith. Faith happens when we are waiting in hope in the unseen. Faith believes in the not yet and hopes in the dream of some day. God is known in those places. Faith is the place of “greater things.

Are you settling for fig tree faith?

How are you hoping in the unknown?

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For the past week I have been wrestling with this nagging concept that I will call, “False Humility.” False humility is that response that looks like humility, may even sound like humility, but it is really insecurity. There is a fine line between the two. False humility is very subtle and often dismissed. I am having a hard time dismissing false humility in me.

I will admit that I am really bad at receiving compliments. I dismiss them even before the compliment is fully out of the person’s mouth. I am not a good receiver period, but more so with compliments. For me compliments highlight my insecurity. I respond out of that insecurity, but that response can also look like humility. It’s not. I think the lie behind false humility is that I think dismissing a compliment, or encouragement, makes me look humble. I can’t even say, “thank you” before I am justifying why I am not that compliment.

Choosing humility does not come at the price of my own self-worth. If I am responding in a way that dismisses my self-worth that is insecurity. Tearing myself down is not humility it is insecurity.

So what does “false humility” look like?

Here’s an example from my life. Let’s say someone compliments me on something I have done. They tell me that it’s really good. My immediate response is, “I could’ve done better. It’s not my best work. Or really you could’ve done better.

A more identifiable example has to do with looks. If someone compliments me on my looks some how I immediately dismiss their words. My response can sound like, “it’s not my best hair day. Or this outfit? I got dressed really fast.” Subtle but dismissive. This says more about my insecurities than my humility.

What does humility look like?

Humility is a character trait that acknowledges the need for a savior. A person of humility is real about their weaknesses in a way that acknowledges a need for grace and forgives, but does not diminish their self-worth. Humility acknowledges sin, but does not diminish the worth of the sinner. The person who humbles themselves is teachable. Teachable people don’t claim to know it all, but also doesn’t dismiss what they do know. Humble people are approachable and open for conversation, even hard ones. Humble people own their stuff, as well as, engage to make things right. Humble people do not dismiss their self-worth in any of those areas.

Humility does not take the place of honor, but considers other better than themselves. False humility in this mindset can sound comparative, and more often involves a blow to the self. Humble people who are able to consider others better looks like celebrating another person gifts and talents. Humility can celebrate someone else fully without comparison.

Jesus was perfect humility. Jesus chose to die to himself all the time in humility. Jesus never dismissed his self-worth, or the worth of others. Jesus never compared himself to anyone. Jesus valued everyone. He considered everyone better than himself and valued them fully.

Jesus spent many days giving the most incredible speeches to hundreds and thousands of people. BUT then he washed feet and touched the untouchable.

One day Jesus gave an amazing speech and performed a miracle to feed five thousand plus people, but he also helped pass out that bread and the  fish he just multiplied. Jesus never acted like he was above anything.

I want to be a person of true humility. I want true humility to take root in me. I desire my response to say more about him than my insecurities.

What does your humility saying?

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