VIDEO The Greatest Miracle

Then [Jesus] came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried [the deceased] stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Luke 7:14

 

The four Gospels record three instances of Jesus bringing a deceased person back to life. The daughter of Jairus, a Jewish leader, died and was raised from the dead (Luke 8:41-42, 49-56). So was the son of a widow in the village of Nain (Luke 7:11-15). The best known of the three was the raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for four days (John 11:1-44).

Can there be any greater miracle than to restore a person from death to life? Our first response is to think, no—raising someone from the dead has to be the greatest miracle. But think about this: All three people Jesus raised from the dead eventually died again. In the face of that sad fact, Jesus gave Lazarus’ family new hope: Whoever believes in Him will live, even though he dies. And whoever believes in Him will never die! (John 11:25) So a greater miracle than being raised from the dead is the miracle of eternal life—never spiritually dying at all!

Have you received that miracle through faith in Christ? Believing in Jesus Christ means you will live forever with Him.

Eternal life does not begin with death; it begins with faith. Samuel Shoemaker


Luke 7:11-17 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Send Me

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” . . . I said, “Here am I. Send me! ”Isaiah 6:8

When Swedish missionary Eric Lund felt called by God to go to Spain to do mission work in the late 1890s, he immediately obeyed. He saw little success there, but persevered in his conviction of God’s calling. One day, he met a Filipino man, Braulio Manikan, and shared the gospel with him. Together, Lund and Manikan translated the Bible into a local Philippine language, and later they started the first Baptist mission station in the Philippines. Many would turn to Jesus—all because Lund, like the prophet Isaiah, responded to God’s call.

In Isaiah 6:8, God asked for a willing person to go to Israel to declare His judgment for the present and hope for the future. Isaiah volunteered boldly: “Here am I. Send me!” He didn’t think he was qualified, for he’d confessed earlier: “I am a man of unclean lips” (v. 5). But he responded willingly because he’d witnessed God’s holiness, recognized his own sinfulness, and received His cleansing (vv. 1–7).

Is God calling you to do something for Him? Are you holding back? If so, remember all God has done through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He’s given us the Holy Spirit to help and guide us (John 14:26; 15:26–27), and He’ll prepare us to answer His call. Like Isaiah, may we respond, “Send me!”

By:  Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

Reflect & Pray

Is God calling you to do something for Him? What’s hindering you from responding?

Jesus, thank You for calling and enabling me to serve You. Help me to see this as a privilege and to serve You willingly.

To learn more about the Trinity.

Praying to Our Sovereign God

John 15:7-16

Have you ever wondered why the Lord wants us to pray? After all, He controls everything, and His plans won’t fail because of our lack of intercession. Yet amazingly, through prayer, He allows us the privilege of being involved in His work. Prayer connects inadequate people to an all-sufficient God.

One of the reasons for prayer is that it teaches us to depend on God. That’s why Philippians 4:6 tells us to talk with our Father about everything. James 4:2 adds that sometimes the reason we don’t receive is because we haven’t bothered to ask. However, this doesn’t mean we’ll automatically receive whatever we request. God isn’t subservient to us—He works all things after the counsel of His will, not ours.

Another reason we should pray is because God wants us to bear much fruit. If we abide in Christ and His words abide in us, our requests will align with His will, and we’ll receive what we ask (John 15:7). Then our faith will be strengthened to trust Him in even greater ways. And the more we rely on Him to provide, protect, and guide us, the deeper our relationship with Him will grow. 

The Righteous Judge

“That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

People often make erroneous judgments. Even those who are officially appointed or elected to judge others are sometimes mistaken, and so we have a whole system of appeals courts. Yet even the Supreme Court, composed as it is of fallible human beings, often seems to be wrong. But as Abraham recognized long ago while interceding for the people in Sodom, we can be confident that the Judge of all the earth will do right!

He not only can judge our actions in relation to His revealed will but can also discern thoughts and motives and, therefore, “judge the secrets of men” (Romans 2:16), and He will do so in absolute rightness. Furthermore, “he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:…and my judgment is just,” asserted the Lord Jesus (John 5:22, 30). To those who reject or ignore His redeeming love, relying instead on their own worth, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

To those who have been redeemed through saving faith in Christ, there will, indeed, be a Judgment Day, but it will be for dispensing of rewards for faithful service rather than for salvation, and this also will be done righteously. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). HMM

Pleading For God’s Help-Psalm 108

Save with Your right hand and answer me so that those You love may be rescued. God has spoken in His sanctuary: “I will triumph! I will divide up Shechem. I will apportion the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, Manasseh is Mine, and Ephraim is My helmet; Judah is My scepter. Moab is My washbasin; on Edom I throw My sandal. Over Philistia I shout in triumph.” Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? (vv. 6—10).

Our do-it-yourself society has developed another dimension over the past few decades—professions geared to helping us do it ourselves. All of these professionals—financial advisors, tax consultants, career counselors, psychologists, family and children’s service personnel, marriage counselors—are in business for the primary purpose of adding input to our decision-making. These advisors, especially if they are Christians, are generally motivated by genuine concern for people, and we benefit from their training and expertise.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22). There are times when tragedies, crises, or life changes create tension in an individual or a family. Professional Christian counselors who listen with empathy and a strong commitment to confidentiality can help untangle our knotty problems.

But David sounds a warning note: “Have You not rejected us, God?… Give us aid against the foe [fear, financial reverses, family crises], for human help [godless] is worthless” (vv. 11-12).

The Lord is the source of all personal strength and confidence and the ultimate answer to every problem we face in life. Sensitive counselors are often instruments of help and healing, but “with God we will perform valiantly” (v. 13).

Personal Prayer

O God, I thank you for your trained representative of personal healing and deliverance, but may I never make the mistake of placing all my faith in human counsel. Your right hand is my strength!

Katargeo

When I was a child … I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.—1 Corinthains 13:11

Today we ask ourselves: how do we deal with those pushes from our past which tend to influence and control our present attitudes and reactions?

We must find how and where they began. They come especially from the early formative years of childhood. There we were subjected to influences, ideas, and experiences that helped to shape our expectations and attitudes to life. Many of these influences, ideas, and experiences were good—and this point must not be overlooked—but by the same token, many were bad. These negative things sometimes stay inside us and can become dictating forces in our lives. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to track down some of these hidden agendas, and we then need to deal with them in a mature and adult manner.

How do we do this? Look once again at the verse before us today: “When I became a man, I put aside childish things.” The Greek word for “put away” is katargeo. It is an extremely strong word, meaning “to put away, to break a hold, finish it off, have done with, render inoperative.”

Childhood agendas don’t just fall away like the leaves fall off the trees in the autumn; we have to “put them away”—we have to katargeo them—and be finished with childish things. If the Holy Spirit has identified any hidden agendas in your life, then bring them to Him now and lay them at His feet. Decide to have done with them. Get out of the passenger seat and into the driving seat. Remember—with God, all things are possible.

Prayer

O Father, give me the victory over all the enemies that may be within me. Katargeo them—render them inoperative—once and for all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Heb 12:1-13; Isa 55:7; Eph 4:22

What are we to throw off?

What does “forsake” mean?

Love Story

Hosea 1-3

Hosea is the second greatest love story in the Bible, second only to the story of Christ. Hosea is the prophet of grace, the St. John of the Old Testament. This is the gospel according to Hosea.

God speaks to Hosea and humankind through the personal tragedy of the prophet. His grief becomes a doorway of discovery for the world to see a portrayal of the grace of God. The deeper insights and lessons of life are often given in the crucible of suffering.

Hosea is shocked as he walks into his home. His three children are unattended. He calls for his wife Gomer, but there is no answer. She is nowhere to be found.

He had been warned that this would occur. God had instructed him: “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife” (Hosea 1:2). She would become symbolic of God’s message to Israel. In response, Hosea had married Gomer and three children were born of their marriage.

Israel, like Gomer, had been unfaithful and said, “I will go after my lovers”

(Hosea 2:5). They were bold and willful in their pursuit of sin. But God, after their needed chastisement, in unfailing love, tenderly renews His covenant with them:

“I will betroth you to Me forever” (Hosea 2:19).

Hosea goes in search of his faithless wife who had abandoned her home, husband and children for a life of shame. He finds her where she has sold herself in adultery, and from the slave market he buys her back. In loving discipline and restoration to chastity, he reconciles her to himself.

When Gomer abandoned her home and family and went after other lovers, Hosea could have given her a written notice of divorce and been done with her. Or, according to the law of the land, he could have had her stoned to death as an adulteress. He did not seek his legal rights but instead paid the price for her redemption.

It is the love story of each of our lives. We have been called to be the bride of Christ, His Church, to be pure and faithful. But we have left Him in search of other loves. We have flirted with and gone after other gods. But God, the divine Lover of our souls, has searched to bring us back to Himself. He has paid the terrible price of our redemption on Calvary.

We are Gomer on the auction block of sin. Satan bids for our soul. But when all seemed lost, God sent Jesus Christ into the marketplace. He bid the price of His precious blood. There was no higher bid than that. He made the scarlet payment on Calvary for our eternal redemption.

Henry Gariepy, Light in a Dark Place