Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Miracle of the Transforming Power of Jesus

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I grew up in a church that believed God retired in the First Century. To us, the Great I Am had become the Great I Was. We were Cessationists but not Deists.

Cessationists believe that all aspects of the supernatural (gifts of the Spirit and miracles) ceased with the death of the last apostle. Deists go much further, arguing that God has always been an impersonal God and that the miracles recorded in the Bible are simply myths.

Both views are totally unbiblical. In the book of Malachi, God assures us that "I, the LORD, do not change" (Malachi 3:6). In 1 Corinthians we are told that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit will continue until Jesus returns (I Corinthians 1:7). And Hebrews 13:8 proclaims that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever."

One of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible for me personally is the one in 1 Peter 5:6-7 which states that the Creator God of this universe is a personal God who cares earnestly about every detail of our lives. Here's how it reads:

"...humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

Isn't that wonderful? Unlike the aloof, distant and arbitrary false god of Islam, the one and only true God is a personal God who hears prayers and answers them and who still performs miracles.

Miracles Today

Most of the miracles God performs today are miracles of timing. A man in desperate need of cash to pay his rent prays earnestly for God's help. On the day the rent is due, he opens a desk drawer and discovers some mail he had placed there a month earlier and had forgotten about. In the mail is a birthday card from his parents, and in the card is a check that more than covers his rent. The world calls this a "coincidence." I call it a "God-incidence."

Of course, God can still perform miracles that violate laws of nature, and He does so from time to time. People come back from the dead, others are healed instantly and dramatically, some may pray for protection from a serious storm and then witness it veer away at the last moment. Again, the world cries out, "Coincidence!" And in the process, God is not given credit for a miracle.

One of the greatest examples of this tendency can be seen in the response to the regathering of the Jewish people and the reestablishment of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The Bible prophesied this would happen in many places (see, for example: Isaiah 11:10-12, Isaiah 66:7-8, Ezekiel 37:21-22, and Zechariah 12:1-9). Based on these prophecies, and others, Bible prophecy experts predicted 500 years ago that the day would come when God would regather the Jews and re-establish their state. The world laughed, including Christian leaders who did not believe in the Bible prophecies. And when these prophecies were miraculously fulfilled in detail in the 20th Century, the unbelievers, together with many Christian leaders, shouted, "Coincidence!"

A Daily, Recurring Miracle

One recurring miracle of God that has occurred every day since the Cross is the miraculous transformation of people through their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When a person puts their faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of them and starts shaping them into the image of Jesus. This transformation process — as in the case of the Apostle Paul — can sometimes be sudden and dramatic.

We here at Lamb & Lion Ministries recently experienced such a transformation. In the summer of 2012 we were notified by a law firm in Illinois that we had been named as a beneficiary in a man's will. He was one of our Prophecy Partners.

The Testimony of a Will

With the letter of notification came a copy of the will. It was dated August 14, 2006. The will stated that the man had no legal heirs. He specified monetary gifts for three friends. The rest of his estate was to be divided up among Catholic charities and a list of liberal organizations in America, like The Harvard Stem Cell Institute. And to top it off, he specified that $2,000 dollars was to be spent for a party in his memory at a local bar, with drinks on the house.

At this point in reading the will, I was in a state of shock and was wondering how in the world it applied to us. The next page made that clear.

Three years later, on November 20, 2009, he had revised the will. The gifts to the three friends were still there. The party had been canceled. And the estate was to be divided among three evangelical organizations — Lamb & Lion and two Messianic ministries!

This will is a clear testimony of the transforming power of Jesus. It is obvious that sometime between 2006 and 2009 this man had encountered Jesus, had been born again, and had experienced a complete change in his values.

Now, that's what I call a genuine, certified, bonafide miracle! Praise God!

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