The Last Miracles of Jesus

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The Last Miracles of Jesus

It is important to notice the ‘firsts’ in the bible. They have important insights for us. For example, the first time the word ‘love’ is used in scripture is in Genesis 22:2 when God told Abraham to take his only son, whom he loved, and sacrifice him to the Lord. This story is a picture of Jesus being God’s only Son, whom He loved, thus why it is important to note that it is the very first time that word is used in scripture.

 

Another example is in Exodus 20:3 with the Ten Commandments. The very first one is that we have no other gods before the Lord. If we get this one mastered, the others will follow suit, and not be as likely to cause us to fall.

 

In Galatians 5:22-23, we find the fruit of the spirit. The first one is love. Why? Because if we have love, then it only makes sense that we will have joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. True love will emanate these others qualities in our lives.

 

I believe it is also important for us to look at the ‘lasts’ in scripture. My friend, Kathy, saw a very interesting insight that really peaked my interest on this topic.

 

The last healings Jesus did in Matthew and Mark was blind Bartimaeus. In the book of Luke, it was the healing of the ear of the high priest’s servant, which Peter cut off. Notice that these final miracles had to do with sight and hearing.

 

As we look at the warnings Jesus gave us in Matthew 24 regarding the end times, we see many of them had to do with these two things! He warned us what to watch for, as well as what things to which we should not be listening.

 

Verse 5: We are to watch out for (look, see) those who come in His Name, deceiving many. Keep in mind, this does not just mean people are going to be saying, “Hey! I am Jesus!” Rather, it is referring to those who claim to represent Him, but what they preach and teach will be a false gospel.

 

Verse 6-7: We will hear about wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nation. We will see famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

Verse 9-10: We will see Christians murdered and hated by all nations. During that time, we will see people betray one another, as well as hate one another.

Verse 12: Because of how lawlessness will abound, we can watch for the love of many to grow cold.

Verse 15: When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”… –Notice that He says when “you” see. He is speaking to believers here. If believers will not be here to see this, why is He mentioning it?

Verse 23-26: Jesus tells us look out for false Christs and if we hear anyone tell us where to find him, not to believe them. He tells us to watch for great signs and wonders to appear, deceiving many, even the elect.

Verse 27: Jesus tells us that His coming will be as lightning flashing across the sky. In other words, He is saying that all will see it. It is not a secret coming, where we just suddenly disappear, and no one knows where we went.

Verse 28-31: Notice He says “immediately after the tribulation.” He is telling us what to watch for, what to listen for, and the order in which these events will happen. We will see the sun darkened, the moon won’t give its light, and stars will fall from heaven. Next, He will appear and all tribes of the earth will see Him coming. He tells us to watch for angels to come and to listen for the sound of the trumpet. This is the rapture of the church!

 

I hope this study has peaked your interests in looking at the deeper meaning of things in scripture, like when you see a list of things mentioned. Study it and search why something is mentioned first. What is the significance? I believe you will see the Word become more alive in your life, as well becoming much more interesting to study!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

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Bad Decisions — Tim Dilena

Excellent message!

Waiting in Expectation

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Waiting in Expectation

Psalm 5:3 speaks of laying your requests before the Lord and waiting in expectation. I have done this concerning my daily bible reading.  I do not want to just read the Word to have something to cross off my to-do list.  I want the Lord to speak to me through it.  After all, His Words are life. In fact, much of what I have written in recent months is a result of that expectation, and allowing Him to speak to me through His Word.

For those of you who are parents, think back to those ‘firsts.’ Do you remember the joy you had when your baby smiled for the first time, took that first step, said “mama” or “dada” for the first time? Do you remember how you just beamed with joy?

I remember when we were home schooling in those early years. I was trying to teach my daughter how to read. It was a glorious feeling when she was able to start reading on her own. And I was the one who taught her! It was a proud moment for both of us!

As parents, whenever our children have their ‘firsts,’ or understand new concepts, there is such delight for us!  Those are big moments for us!

Now picture God, our Perfect Father. Surely He enjoys and delights in those moments when we see new things in His Word!  So go ahead, get into your bible, wait for the Lord to speak to you, and delight His heart!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Peaceful and Steady

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Peaceful and Steady

It seems to me that many Christians are facing diverse trials. One thing after another seems to go wrong. I know for my family, we have been hit hard. It started when a tree fell on our house. Eight weeks later, and we still don’t have a new roof because it won’t stop raining long enough for the roofers to do the job. That means the hole in the ceiling hasn’t been repaired. There’s no sense in doing that until the roof is fixed. Just a few nights ago, my hubby and I were watching TV when we heard a loud crash. I knew immediately what it was – the ceiling caved in. Thankfully, the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as what it sounded.

During this time, we had one weekend where all three vehicles needed attention. After thinking all was taken care of, mine started acting up again. It’s nothing major, but it is annnoying!  My daughter and I were both battling colds, then I ended up with a UTI. One evening, when I was using the broiler, I almost set the house on fire! I have had some major things happen at work, which required immediate attention, and the list goes on. I know I am not alone in dealing with these types of things. So many of my friends are going through some really tough trials. Honestly, it seems to me that the enemy thought he could bring me down with the tree issue. When a big issue didn’t sidetrack me and wreck my faith, it was like he switched gears, turning to constant, irritating things, day after day – just trying to wear us down.

Yet, I noticed something. In the midst of all of this, I have maintained my sense of peace, and my faith has remained steady. As I was reading through some scriptures, I began to understand why I remained firm and wasn’t swayed by what we were seeing happening in our lives.

Proverbs 14:27 tells us “The fear of the Lord is a well of life. Its waters keep a man from death.” (NLV) I had been diligent to “wash” myself in the Word. (Ephesians 5:26) The Word cleanses us. It can wash over all of those trials and irritating things of life and give us a peace that passes all understanding. It gives us perspective because we are reminded of the eternal, which makes the passing struggles of this life easier to face.

Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart that has peace is life to the body, but wrong desires are like the wasting away of the bones.” (NLV) As I have been diligent to study the Word, I have noticed that I don’t get “rattled” as easily. It’s easier for me to see the good in a bad situation because I have focused on Psalm 119:68 where it says God is good and all He does is good. (Emphasis added) Because I have been meditating on that scripture, I look for the good in the situation. For instance, when the cars all needed attention, my husband was able to do two of them himself. The result was that it cost less than $300 for all of them to be fixed! Also, I was off work that weekend, and just wanted to stay at home, so my daughter was able to use my car while hers was being fixed. No one was inconvenienced or stressed about having to find a ride! So what the devil was trying to use to discourage us turned out to be even more reason to give the Lord praise!

“For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.” Psalm 112:6-8 (ESV) This scripture has come alive for me in recent weeks. We have had a lot of bad news recently, but my heart is not afraid. My heart has been steady, peaceful, thankful, and trusting the Lord in the midst of all of this.

Are you struggling? Have your trials worn you down, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually? I want to encourage you to start digging into the Word of God. His Word is life! It is Living Bread for us! It will nourish us, encourage us, direct us, and bless us. “Blessed are those who obey his written instructions. They wholeheartedly search for him.” Psalm 119:2 (GW) When you wholeheartedly search for the Lord, He cannot help but bless you because His promises are faithful and true!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Perfectly Seasoned

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Perfectly Seasoned

 

If you put too much salt in a dish, you ruin the dish. The taste of the salt is too powerful and overpowers the rest of the ingredients.

 

On the contrary, if you put too little salt in the food, the dish will taste bland. It’s not tasty and you likely won’t want another bite.

 

If you make a batch of brownies from scratch, failing to add that one-half teaspoon of salt, the brownies taste bitter. What is normally a delicious treat becomes detestable to our taste buds.

 

We are called to be the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13) There is a lesson to be learned from the above examples.

 

Have you ever met someone who constantly speaks of the Lord, but it’s done in a way that just turns your stomach? I often use the phrase “bible thumpers” to describe them. This is an example of one who puts too much salt into their words. It overpowers the hearer, making them want to get away so they don’t have to ‘taste’ anymore of that salt. The cause for this may be that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. (1 Corinthians 8:1) Perhaps we are filling ourselves up with knowledge, but not letting God transform our hearts to exude His love.

 

There are other times when we may not speak the Word of God with enough salt. Perhaps we speak of Him, but we don’t make it attractive because we speak of constant trials or how the Lord has not answered our prayers. We don’t focus on God’s wonderful attributes, like His forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. This is an example of not using enough salt. The person gets bored with what we say because we haven’t seasoned our words with enough salt. One of the reasons we may not have enough salt in our words is likely because we fail to spend enough time in His Word, letting it transform us from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

 

Finally, we have the example of the bitter brownies. What would leave our words with a bitter taste in their mouths? The answer can be two things. One reason could be that we have a love problem. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love isn’t rude, envious, selfish, or easily provoked. It could be in our own presentation of the Lord. We talk and talk, but our words lack love.

 

However, what if the problem isn’t us? Sometimes, regardless of how we present the Lord to others, they are not going to be receptive. Truth hurts. Facing the reality of what true repentance is may turn people away because they simply do not want to change. They would rather hold onto their sin and do things their own way.

 

Father, season our words with your grace and love. Help us to be diligent to study and meditate upon Your Word so that our words will be like apples of gold in settings of silver – beautiful and captivating to our listeners. Amen.

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Hurricane Names and Meanings

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I decided to look up the names of the hurricanes/tropical storms that have already impacted the US, along with a couple of storms that are still out in the distance, but could be heading this direction.  What I found is quite interesting.

Olivia — olive branch

Gordon — spacious fort

Florence — blossoming, to flower

Joyce — Lord

Helene – light, torch, bright

Isaac — he laughs

I’m not sure if the meanings behind them are significant, but IF they are, is this the meaning?  

As a nation, we think we are at peace, living spaciously with our blossoming economy, but the Lord is lighting the torch on our nation and He laughs.
Disclaimer:  I am NOT saying, “Thus saith the Lord.” 
I’m only pondering the meanings of the names of these storms
and wondering if there is significance to it.

True Prosperity

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True Prosperity

There has been a lot of false teaching over the years about how God wants us to be rich and prosper. I do believe God wants us to prosper, but prospering doesn’t always mean financially. After all, if a concept is in the bible, it should fit all people of the world.

I recently heard about a man who preached a prosperity message to men in prison. Seriously? The love of money is what likely landed those men in prison! What about those in a third world country? Do you really think that kind of message is applicable to those people? This proves to me that this prosperity gospel is a false gospel. It is what Paul would call a ‘different’ gospel, and those who preach it should be cursed. (Galatians 1:8)

Over the last several months, I have made a concentrated effort to be in the Word. I have done so with no other motive than this: I want God! He is my one desire in this! I want to know Him, I want to learn from Him, I want to be guided by Him, and Him alone! It has been an exciting journey, as well as very precious. There is nothing that compares to digging deep into His Word, allowing Him to teach you.

However, something has happened during this time of intensive study in His Word. In February, I was given a promotion at work, which came with a significant raise. In May, I got my annual raise. One day in June, I came into work to find that I had been nominated for a Hero Award, which is a huge honor, just to be nominated. (At this time, I am still waiting to see if I actually win that award.) That same day, I discovered those in my department were all receiving a market adjustment to our hourly pay. This was completely unexpected.

Now this means I got three raises in less than four months! That is unheard of!!! And to get the nomination for that award during this time is incredible.

That doesn’t even count the joy and peace I have gained through my time in the Word because of how the Lord is increasing my faith. It doesn’t count the unbelievably sweet fellowship I have gained with our Father, nor the excitement I have every day as I search His Word for what treasures He wants to show me. All of these things are priceless!

Needless to say, after the announcement of the third raise, my heart was overflowing with God’s goodness toward me. While I was pondering on all the Lord has done in my life recently, 3 John 2 came to mind. It speaks of prospering in all things, even as our soul prospers. It occurred to me – this was exactly what was happening in my life! I made the choice to choose God’s Word and to be faithful, and I didn’t do it because I was looking to gain awards or more money. I did it only for Him, because He is already my exceedingly great reward. (Genesis 15:1) But look what the Lord did! He gave me so much more!
I share this to encourage you to get into His Word. Do it to gain Him, and nothing else. I have a feeling if you do so, you will find the blessing of the Lord abounding in your life!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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