What Begets Miracles?

“The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant.” – Matthew 21:14,15 We learned yesterday about the atrocities that were being committed by the money changers, and how — since Jesus hates injustice — He swiftly drove them out of the temple courts. However, an interesting and oft-overlooked part of this story is that no sooner did He turn over the tables and clean up the mess than He began healing everyone in sight. Though we typically read about Him doing one miracle at a time, on that day, a wave of the Holy Spirit’s power washed over Him, and He restored everyone who came into His presence. This caused

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The Allure of Gentleness

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” – Philippians 4:5 I don’t know about you, but the world we’re living in wears on me sometimes. Especially since the dawn of the pandemic, it seems like there’s an angry energy that’s permeating society. While I believe it’s fueled by political tensions, a barrage of fear, and the pressures put on us by an increasingly media and image-driven culture, at the end of the day, it’s draining. Sharp edges and harshness seem to be all too common in interactions and reactions, and this is precisely why the children of God need to step up and be the antidote. Like Dallas Willard once said, there’s an “allure in gentleness,” and especially in times like these, we can be a source of healing and comfort to people. Because we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the power to forgo

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Jesus Did the Work

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 Years ago, I was eating lunch at my favorite deli, and I got into a rather deep discussion with a man who was studying philosophy at a local university. Interestingly, he was not a Christian — or even an agnostic — he was a full-blown atheist. He was a really nice guy, and he used to eat there almost as often as I did, so I frequently had conversations with him. As we were engaging in a dialogue one day, he declared that the only reason I was a believer was because I didn’t want to go to hell when I died — I wanted to go to Heaven. When I rebutted his presumption, he took it a step further and told me

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Giving Sight to an Invisible God

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” – John 16:13-15 One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through years of studying the Bible and doing ministry work is that we gain greater authority when we understand our call. The Lord’s gift to us in Jesus is one of impartation; in other words, He has given us His Spirit to make us holy and powerful like He is. Though it can

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Help Isn’t Hurried

“In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.’” – Luke 10:30-33 Today, I want to remind you of something important: you cannot help people and be in a hurry. Yesterday, we talked about becoming compassionate listeners and how, by opening our ears and hearts up to others, the Holy Spirit can use us to bring healing to the world. However, if

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A Compassionate Touch

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” – Mark 6:34 While there are many words we can use to describe how healing happens in the church, if I were to pick one, it would be compassion. Nearly every time Jesus restored, touched, or taught in the Bible, it says that He had compassion for the people He was helping. In fact, this familiar word literally means to “suffer alongside.” The term passion, which is often used to describe the cross, comes from the french word for suffering, which is pati, and when you add the prefix co, it means to “suffer with.” Truth is, there’s great healing power in offering sympathy and tenderness to an emotionally-wounded neighbor, and since we live in a world that can’t seem to stop

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The Anointing of David

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:13 We’ve been talking a lot about the power of our anointing in Christ, and today, I want to explore the Biblical roots of this authority. It’s interesting to note that when Jesus walked the earth, He was frequently called Son of David. This is because He was recognized as being from the lineage of the Jew’s most highly esteemed and beloved leader. Though centuries had passed since he walked the earth, no good Hebrew could forget or cease to honor the legacy of King David — the man after God’s own heart. He had been anointed before he ever ascended the throne, and from that moment, he was full

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He Has Anointed YOU!

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” – Isaiah 61:1 When we come to know Jesus, He imparts to us the call to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, and share freedom with captives. And while this sounds overwhelming upon first hearing, the truth is that He has chosen us specifically for the job. In fact, He has anointed and set us apart to break spiritual strongholds and pass on divine power — the key is that we must believe it! We are equipped to do everything our Savior says we can do, because our anointing has nothing to do with our talents or training, but solely with His

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Saved From the Serpent

“They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’ Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.” – Numbers 21:5-7 I’m always fascinated when I read the account of the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land, because no matter how many times God showed them His glory, they seemed to forget and go back to complaining. Even though they were in the middle of one of the greatest epochs of all time historically speaking, they refused to

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