Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Matthew 16 (Part 5)
Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
Matthew 16:3 (NKJV)
If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.
Luke 16:31 (NKJV)*
Are miracles still happening today? Did Jesus bequeath us His same power? 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father' (John 14:12).
But do most people, including Christians, lack the discernment to recognize them? Have they been charmed or chained by skepticism, resulting in spiritual blindness? Have their brains intimidated their hearts, causing faith to cower in the corner?
During the mighty wonders of Jesus, the doubt of His enemies blinded them. Nevertheless, we mustn't rest assured that true disciples always see clearly. Because saints can be equally obtuse. Was Christ just a ghost walking on water--or passing through locked doors after his death?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Long ago, I decided big brains can become enormous stumbling blocks. Those who think they're smart and schooled enough to figure out every mystery, to rationalize every wonder, to treasure logic as their gospel...
To denounce faith as wishful thinking, to contend earth came from one big bang, to argue men descended from apes, to classify Jesus as a myth... can easily deny miracles. They'll both question the sight of others and refuse to believe their own eyes.
'This is why I speak to them in parables: 'Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand' ' (Matthew 13:13).
Toward past or present miracles, how should godly performers react?
1) 'Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it' (Proverbs 4:23). Don't believe your head over your heart. You'll go wrong every time if you do. Yes, the brain is a gift to be used, but don't get carried away by it.
2) 'With God all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26). Smaller signs and wonders surround us. They are like winks and kisses from God, just waiting on us to notice them. Major miracles still happen, too, but God doesn't often work in doubt.
3) People are starving for miracles, for proof of the supernatural. Hollywood is happy to pretend. So are fortune tellers, mentalists, magicians, witches and false prophets. If you report your own miracles, they may start to look up, and not down.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A19-31
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.