February 3, 2015

The most convincing miracle

Today, I’m still thinking about the purpose of miracles. What is the difference between the miracles God performs and those done through other means, magic arts, and so on? For me, one of the most convincing miracles is one that God alone can do and it cannot be duplicated.

And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” . . . But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. (Exodus 7:1-5, 22)

Again, the Pharaoh would not be impressed by the miracles, but after the Lord brought His people out of slavery, the Egyptian people knew who was God. His magicians could duplicate (some) of the miracles, but they could not duplicate God’s deliverance of His people from slavery, nor bring them into a personal covenant with Him.

The miracle of conversion to faith in Almighty God is an amazing thing. It results in an intimacy unmatched by any other. The closest like it is intimacy of the lovers in Solomon’s poetic book: “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.” (Song of Solomon 1:14)

The romantic side of me would like to stay there, however the next reading brings me back to that unduplicated miracle again. Andrew was fascinated by Jesus. He went looking for his brother, Simon Peter. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (John 1:42)

Many people say that people never change. I agree in one sense; God does not wipe out our personality, but He does transform lives. Simon Peter was a good example, as was the Apostle Paul. He was persecuting Christians and having them killed, but when Jesus appeared to him, he became one of them, pouring out his life for all who followed Jesus.

Applying these passages to my own life means that I cooperate with God in the ‘changed life’ department. I’m to refuse to let the world shape my thoughts and actions. People should see the difference between me and those who do not believe. I’m also to let God deal with the sin in my life so that family, friends, and those who know me will be amazed that I once was a nag, or a egotist, or a yappy person, or (fill in the blanks) and now I am not.  

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