Archive for the ‘Miracles’ Tag

Spirit-Empowered Ministry In Jesus’ Name!


Spirit empowered ministry in Jesus' name - 1

Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: Acts 3:1-10

Christian boldness isn’t something we simply have to “muster up” for ourselves; rather, it comes through faith in Jesus and through the gift of His Holy Spirit, who empowers and emboldens us to live for the glory of our Savior. He deserves first place in our lives, and this will be reflected in our actions for His name’s sake. If we are convinced that the gospel is true, then we must act on what we believe, praying to God for boldness and then proclaiming what we know to be true. We should find ourselves compelled to say and do bold things for the sake of the gospel.

Theological Theme:

The gospel spreads through bold and gracious witness to Christ.

Christ Connection:

Once the Holy Spirit arrived, the disciples began proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior. They put on display the power of His kingdom by performing miracles in His name. When confronted by earthly authorities, they reaffirmed their allegiance to Jesus and continued to declare the gospel with confidence that Jesus is mighty to save.

The Personality of the Holy Spirit: The Bible not only affirms the full divinity of the Holy Spirit but also His personhood. Many people have mistakenly believed that the Spirit is a force or power, not a person. However, Scripture affirms His personhood by acknowledging that He is treated as a person (Acts 5:3; 7:51; Heb. 10:29), acts like a person (John 14:26, 15:26; Rom. 8:14), has attributes of a person (1 Cor. 2:10-11; Eph. 4:30), and acts in personal ways (Isa. 63:10; Acts 13:2). In addition to these, the Bible also affirms that Christians relate to Him personally (Acts 5:3-4; 7:51). – The Gospel Project

“For better than all others he knows the nature of things. He knows that fierceness is not quenched by fierceness but by meekness. If you wish to see this in action, read the book of the Acts of the apostles and you will see how often, when the people…[were] rebelling and sharpening their teeth, these men, imitating the dove and answering with suitable meekness, released their wrath, quenched their madness and dissolved their impetuosity.” 6 –John Chrysostom (circa 347-407)

Missional Application:

God the Father calls us to follow Jesus through the example of the early Christians in how we boldly and graciously proclaim the gospel and minister to those in need by the Holy Spirit.

“Father, I pray for those in the persecuted church and for their leaders. Strengthen them, encourage them, and grant miracles of provision and deliverance. Cause the gospel to spread like wildfire. Give them so much joy, peace, and love that their persecutors will be convicted and fall down and worship you.” – Scotty Smith

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Jesus, The Christ, Raises Lazarus From Death!

Jesus is the Resurrection 1

Audio – Part 1a: 36 min”

Audio – Part 1b: 36 min”

Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: Mark 2:1-12

Jesus demonstrated His power over death by raising his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. This miracle story reveals the goodness and sovereignty of God, the curse of death and the power of resurrection, as well as Christ’s compassion toward those in pain. As we trust in Jesus—our powerful Friend who conquers death—we bring glory to Him in the midst of terrible circumstances.

Theological Theme:

The Son of God grieves the reality of death and overturns its power.

“A quaint Puritan writer said that if Jesus had not named Lazarus when He shouted, He would have emptied the whole cemetery!” 9 –Warren W. Wiersbe

Christ Connection:

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, we have full assurance that Jesus will one day defeat death forever and resurrect us from the dead.

“He leads her [Mary] to the knowledge of higher truths. Even though she had been inquiring only about the resurrection of Lazarus, he tells her of a resurrection in which both she and those with her would share.” 5 –John Chrysostom (circa 347-407)

Missional Application:

God calls us to glorify Him in sickness and death, trusting in His power to raise us from the dead.

“Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ sickness or even healed it from where he was; but he chose not to. He saw in this sickness an opportunity to glorify the Father. It is not important that we Christians are comfortable, but it is important that we glorify God in all that we do.” 3 –Warren W. Wiersbe

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The Greater Miracle Of Forgiveness!

Forgive 2 (Eph 4-32)

Audio – Part 1: 30min”

Audio – Part 2: 30min”

Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: Mark 2:1-12

True faith seeks Jesus not only for physical healing but also spiritual healing. Jesus is not only able to heal the sick physically but, being fully God, He is also able to forgive us for our sins and heal us spiritually. The gospel of Jesus Christ is able to heal sinners completely and make them whole.

Theological Theme:

Humanity’s greatest need is forgiveness and spiritual restoration.

“Come, and see the victories of the cross… Christ’s wounds are thy healing, his agonies thy repose, his conflicts thy conquests, his groans thy songs, his pains thine ease, his shame thy glory, his death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.” –Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

Christ Connection:

Through His healing of the paralyzed man, Jesus demonstrated His authority over human suffering and His authority to forgive sins. By claiming to forgive sins, Jesus was putting Himself on par with God—the only One who can command disease and wipe away our wickedness.

“Often we think we know what our greatest need is, but really we are only focusing on our circumstances. In reality the problem you are facing today is not your spouse, children, or parents. It is not your job, boss, or coworkers. It is not your lack of resources, shortage of time, or insufficient income. Just like this young man, your greatest need is for the Messiah Himself. Jesus saw everything clearly—far more clearly than we do. He used this teachable moment to make the point concerning our greatest need in this life or the life to come! Jesus forgives the sins of all who come to Him in faith.”  –Daniel L. Akin

Missional Application:

God calls us to be active in bringing people to Jesus—the only One who has the power to heal our physical infirmities and forgive our sins.

“The announcement [of forgiveness] and presentation of radical healing to a man in his entire person was a sign of the Kingdom of God drawn near. The paralytic experienced the fulfillment of God’s promise that the lame would share in the joy of the coming salvation.” –William L. Lane

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Jesus Provides Bread From Heaven!


Video – Watch on You-Tube:

Audio – Part 1a: 28min


Audio – Part 1b: 22min


Audio – Full Message:


Bible Verses: John 6: 29  Matthew 14: 13-21

“Jesus provides not only for physical needs but also for spiritual ones. He showed compassion for the crowd following after Him, He took what was available and worked an amazing miracle to feed a multitude, and He chose to communicate that blessing to the crowd through His disciples. Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5,000 demonstrated His deity in providing bread for the crowd, even as He Himself is “the bread of life” (John 6:35).” – The Gospel Project

Theological Theme:

Jesus is the Son of God – [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], who provides bread from heaven.

“Jesus did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to be bread. He did not come to be an ever-ready bellhop for our bellies, but to be the all-satisfying bread for our souls. O, he cares about our physical lives in this age, but he cares 10 million times more about our eternal lives.” –John Piper

Christ Connection:

When the Israelites were hungry in the wilderness, God provided manna from heaven. Jesus is the greater Moses, the One who not only provides bread from heaven but who also speaks of Himself as the Bread who gives life to the world.

Missional Application:

God, Through His Holy Spirit, calls us to be the people through whom Jesus meets needs today.

“Our compassion for others leads us to share our money, our meals, and our home. We give words of peace and comfort and hope. And even when we’re exhausted or grieving or raw ourselves, we don’t harden our hearts. As Jesus would say in John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you.” The Father has proven His love by sending His one and only Son (John 3:16). The love of the Father and the Son and the Spirit was not limited to emotions—God acted on it. Likewise, we as followers of Christ are not called to feel compassion but to be compassionate. Before He ever provided the crowd with a meal, Jesus provided them something far more valuable—Himself. The bread from heaven in the exodus nourished God’s people, but the Bread of Life satisfies forever (John 6:35-38). So, in His compassion, He healed their sick…..

When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we learn that we’re called to be servants, but sometimes that servitude leads to much more—sometimes we are conduits of His miracles. Sometimes we think we’re crazy (or we’re sure others will think we’re crazy), but we step out in faith. Sometimes we have no idea why we left our everyday routines to go out of the way, but then we see clearly that God used us to show His glory to someone.” – The Gospel Project

“The greatest miracle of all, however, is the miracle of a changed life—and this can happen, as we open our hearts and lives to Christ. Do others see Christ in you—His love, His compassion, His purity, His joy? Make sure of your commitment to Christ, then ask Him to change you from within by His Holy Spirit, and make you a living witness to the miracle of His transforming power.” –Billy Graham

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Jesus Turns Water Into Wine!


Part 1a: 26min


Part 1b: 30min


Full Message:


Main Passage: John 2:1-12 NLT

“John did not recount the story of Jesus turning water into wine for our entertainment; by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he intentionally presented the truth that Jesus’ miracles reveal God the Father. Through the details of this miracle, we see Jesus’ compassion for our needs, a glimpse of His identity, and His ability to reveal God in all He does.” – The Gospel Project

Theological Theme:

The miracles of Jesus were part of His purpose in bringing glory to God. – [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit]

“With [Jesus], nothing is incomplete or done at the wrong time, just as with the Father there is nothing haphazard.” –Irenaeus

Christ Connection:

Sin has disrupted our relationship with God, leading to spiritual barrenness and sorrow in our lives. Christ’s miracles are a sign that joyful reconciliation with God is possible again through faith in Jesus’ glorious life, death, and resurrection.

Missional Application:

God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us to do whatever Jesus tells us to do as we seek to display His glory and lead others to faith.

“Now this transformation of the water from its own substance into another, testified to the powerful presence of the Creator. Only he who had made it out of nothing could change water into something whose use was quite different.” –Maximus of Turin

By this first sign, Jesus revealed His glory, ‘the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (1:14). His glory would be revealed in greatest measure in his cross, resurrection and exaltation, but every step along the course of his ministry was an adumbration of that glory.” –D. A. Carson

 “So what does this have to do with me?” you might ask. “Jesus is not on earth anymore; I don’t get to see His miracles.” Correct. But you are a miracle of Jesus, pointing others to God.

“Me?” you might ask, “I’m a sinner saved by grace.” Exactly. And when you tell others how Jesus won your heart, called you by name, and changed you from the inside out, you are just as amazing and awe-inspiring to unbelievers as the turning of water into wine.

Just as Jesus considered His purpose before each miracle, we should consider our purpose before each conversation, each lunch meeting, each relationship, and each trial: Am I reflecting Christ? Do I point others to Him? Can others tell by my words and actions that Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords, and the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world?The Gospel Project

Photo compliments: BLCF: thefirstmiracle

God – Father, Son and Spirit of Unusual Victories!

Josua 6 God of Unusual Victories

Full Message, 27mins.:”

Theological Theme: God – Father, Son and Spirit achieves victory through the faithful obedience of His people, no matter how unusual His commands may seem.

Christ Connection: God’s ultimate victory over His enemies, and ours, takes place through the faithful obedience of His Son – Jesus Christ.

Missional Application: God calls us to battle against evil in this world using the weapons of prayer, His Word, and our testimony in the Holy Spirit.

*picture courtesy of

What’s the Point of all the Miracles in the Gospels?

Icon Jesus and Peter on the WaterI think this is an important question because we don’t see these sort of miracles taking place today. I know, some Christians would have you believe that we do, but let’s be honest – we don’t. Despite the best efforts of televangelists, sixth-hand stories in forwarded emails, and “you have to see this” posts on Facebook, we do not see people walking on water, rising from the dead, or having demons cast out of them as the Gospels (and the book of Acts) depict it.

There’s a longstanding tradition in Christianity, and this is reflected in the Gospel accounts themselves, that says the miracles that Jesus performed (and those performed in his name by the Apostles) were meant to prove Jesus’ Divine origin as the Son of God. That alone would be explanation enough for why these sorts of miracles no longer occur: having served their initial purpose in proving Jesus’ Divinity, they are no longer needed.

But we want them don’t we? When it’s our child who’s sick, when we are facing death, and when defeat seems to be overwhelming victory we long for God to step in with what Robert Capon has called “right-handed” power and prove to the whole world that he exists and that he is on our side. Instead, we see God acting with what Capon calls “left-handed” power. We see her working in littleness, lostness, and death.

Let me suggest another reason for the miracles of the gospels: what if – and this is just a “what if” – the miracle stories of the Gospels are meant to show us the general uselessness of miracles for the cause of growing the Kingdom.

Consider the arc of Jesus’ story for a moment: a miracle worker appears in Galilee, claiming a special relationship with God, and his miracles result in what? A mass conversion of the whole nation? A turn of the people away from darkness to light? Not exactly. Instead, he is rejected and crucified. The right-handed power of God is proven to have little to no effect in bringing people to trust God. Instead, it seems to be the opposite: the more God acts with power in Jesus the more people angrily reject him. Even Jesus makes this point in the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man when he says “. . . neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)

There’s something in our nature that says “if only God would show up with power; if only God would work a miracle, then I would believe and so would others and then we would be convinced that God really loves us.” It is this wishful thinking that sends so many Christians chasing after the miraculous in Facebook videos. But the Gospels themselves reveal that our thinking is more wishful than factual. The Gospels tell us that God did show up with power and did work miracles and all it did was freak us out and cause us to try to kill him.

Perhaps one reason for the miracles in the Gospels is to help us understand where and how we should be looking for the work of the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit: not in the flashy, powerful, and supernatural, but in the pain of our crucifixion, in the darkness of the tomb, and in the places at the margins of society where no one cares except the one who is Love.

~ Jonathan Stepp

P.S. There’s no need to post your personal miracle stories in the comments section. I too have experienced the inexplicable and been encouraged that the Father loves me in Jesus because of it. This post is about the kind of public events that we see in the Gospels.

An Evening Stroll

He stands on the beach in the dark and stares across the wild, windswept lake. The moon is hidden behind the clouds of the storm. Dawn is still a few hours away. The pounding of the surf and the crash of the tempest driven waves are the only sounds.

A deep breath, pulling in the scent of the fresh rain and the howling wind. He’s been praying since sundown, alone on the hill top. He feels better now. John is still dead, that obviously can’t be changed, but he has a peace about it he didn’t have before. Like yesterday’s red sky, John’s death can only be a sign of a coming storm. And yet here he stands, in the midst of the storm prophesied by yesterday’s red sky and it’s not so bad after all. Maybe the tempest to come after John won’t be as bad it seems now. The anticipation of fear is always worse than the fear itself.

Well, no one knows what tomorrow brings but he knows he can rest in the Father’s love. That love, that embrace, that assurance pouring into his soul through the filling of the Holy Spirit – that’s what kept him on his knees all night, even after the others had gone on ahead without him. And as he stares out at the crashing waves in the storm, and the specter of storms to come lingers in the back of his mind, it is that baptism of the Father’s assurance through the Spirit that gives him peace. He is loved. His future is secure. And not only his future, but the future of everyone he loves. And even the future of his enemies. The Father has embraced it all.

And then the still, small voice: “Walk out on the water.” What?

“Dad, is that you?” he asks. Again, the Spirit’s voice resonates in his soul, “go ahead, it’ll be fun – one for the books – the night you walked on the water.” He doesn’t need to hear it a third time. He only does what he sees his Father doing and he can clearly see that his Father is doing this.

A few brisk, long strides out into – no, wait, onto – the water and he is really doing it. The water crashes all around him, it’s like trying to climb up an enormous mound of hay with everything shifting constantly under him – but somehow he keeps his balance. Climbing two, three, even four feet up the face of the waves and then back down into the trough behind the wave. It’s like walking through an incredibly convoluted field of desert sand. His feet, his legs get soaked by the rising and falling waves of the lake but he never sinks.

“Wow, Dad, I am actually walking on the freakin’ water!” he prays. “Something so amazing, silly, and inspiring at the same time.”  He can feel the Spirit’s empowerment, right down through his skin and flesh to his bones – somehow, miraculously, making him less dense than the water. He can feel the Father’s love embracing him – somehow, miraculously, holding him up so that his feet touch, but never sink below, the surface.

And now the moon at last breaks out from behind the clouds. The rain fades away but the wind keeps blowing. In a pool of flickering light he can see the others in the boat, straining with all their might to row against the waves. He laughs out loud, “they are going to jump right out of their skins when they see this!”

He wonders: How much do they already know that they are in him and he is in them? How much do they see that they are also embraced in the Father’s love? Can any of them see that all of this, the Father’s love, the Spirit’s empowerment, the walking on the water, includes them?

Only one way to find out: walk up to the boat and see if anyone wants to join him.

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