Are you allowing God’s miracles in your life? (Mt 9–Part 1)

March 11, 2009

Matthew 9

Do you believe He can work miracles in your life?

Do you believe He can work miracles in your life?

Two main themes strike me as I read this chapter and after I wrote them out decided to break this into two separate posts. The first is the importance of Faith in God’s ability and willingness to transform our circumstances in order for Him to do that work in our lives. Since we covered that yesterday, I will only make a couple quick observations at the bottom. Feel free to make more that I have missed. Tomorrow, we’ll show that Jesus is not looking for the “religious types who seem to live their perfect “holy” life, but instead wants those who are hungry for more of Him.

Jesus heals one paralytic, a group of blind men, a woman who had bled for 12 years, and raises one girl from the dead in this chapter. In each case, the faith of those he ministered to seems to be crucial to His healing them. He specifically said this (v.2 & v.22), He asked to verify their faith before healing the blind men (v.28), and in the one case where the girl was dead and it was impossible to determine if she had faith in Him, He cleared the room of all the people who sneered at Him (thus demonstrating their lack of faith, even though her father had had the faith in Jesus to ask Him to raise her)(v.25). We spoke yesterday of the importance of you exercising faith in your day to day life, but this last point shows us that we should be careful about who we allow around us when we are at the work that God calls us to. When God calls you to something great, it will almost always be something that many of those around you think is impossible and a waste of time.

When Jesus encountered this situation in the room with the dead girl, He cleared them out so that the room was only filled with those who believed in God for this miracle before He asked God to raise her from the dead. This is similar to when He said that He could not perform miracles in His hometown because there were so many there who did not believe in Him. This is an amazing thing. Jesus, the living embodiment of God on earth, was constrained by a lack of faith in those He wanted to bless! Read the rest of this entry »

Is faith enough? (Mt 8)

March 10, 2009

Matthew 8

Faith can calm the storms of your life

Faith can calm the storms of your life

We finished the Sermon on the Mount yesterday here. My original thinking to do a bible study with a focus on Stewardship and Calling was not to go into minute detail, but instead to read a chapter a day and share my reflections on that chapter as it related to Stewardship and Calling. You can read about this original idea in the posts on 1/9, 1/12, 1/14, 1/16, 1/20, & 1/22 introducing this study. However, I felt the S.O.M. was important enough for us to dig deeper. Today, we’ll return to the study of a chapter where I’ll share my thoughts and hope that you fill in your thoughts and revelations on this chapter so that together we can produce a complete study on Stewardship and Calling for anyone in the world who wants to access it.

Matthew tells several stories of Jesus’ ministry and several things stand out to me; most of them are about Faith. Faith is not only the key to accepting the grace of God through Christ for salvation. It is also the key to accepting His grace into our lives in greater and greater capacity that it can transform every area of our lives. If we want more and more of God’s blessing to show up in different areas of our life…Faith in Him for this is a very important ingredient. Read the rest of this entry »

The spiritual world around us is real: Mission Trip Excerpt

February 6, 2009

(WEDNESDAY, even later that day – Reynosa, Mexico, 2006)

Our impromptu movie theatre

Our impromptu movie theatre

That evening we went to the Colonia. We were going to show the movie The Passion of the Christ after a short service. I went down the potholed dirt street to invite people to come. I played some soccer in the street with some boys and waited for the movie to begin. We had an overheating problem with the projector and it kept going out. Eventually we stopped the movie half way through and gave up. Afterwards, a man and woman came forward to be prayed for. I was supporting Deanna and Karin with prayer, who were in turn, praying for the woman. I could also hear Rabbi David praying for the man. He finished his prayer and moved to the woman we were with. He later told me that he could hear Holy Spirit telling him that this man was not willing to let go of his pain (alcoholism), but then turned and saw that the woman was willing to be rid of hers.

He stepped in to take over for the two women and I saw something amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Second Branch: Mission Trip Excerpt

February 5, 2009
(WEDNESDAY, later that day – Reynosa, Mexico, 2006)
Gateway's 2006 Reynosa Team

Gateway's 2006 Reynosa Team

Later that day were walking when I noticed a big healthy tree with a dead limb. I had a strong inclination to break off the dead branch. We then went down the alley. We ended up meeting two wonderful families there and Glen felt lead to buy them some groceries. On the way back from the store, Doug was carrying the box on his shoulder and hit the very dead tree limb I had wanted to break off. “I knew I should have broken it off, ” I thought. At that time, it didn’t mean anything more to me than this.

During our debrief, I didn’t say much because I felt that Doug and Glenn got into the Prayer walk more than I did, but I decided I would share a “little God story” about this tree branch. Everyone laughed at me for calling it such, but I almost didn’t bring it up due to the seeming irrelevance of it, but did anyway.

At lunch I wondered what God would have me do next as I had now done each thing once. He told me Covering Prayer. I asked why, and He said to pray for my mom. (If you do not know, my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer). I had not spent too much time thinking about her on this trip, but knew that we would be praying for her at some point on this trip. Now was the time. I came out of the room as different teams were preparing for their assignments and I just felt amazing. I was standing next to Trent and let out a whoop. I had never felt so good. Yvette who had seen the purple vision that morning came up and said she didn’t know why she was supposed to be in Covering Prayer again, but had felt since the morning that this was her day to pray for others. I told her that we would be praying for my mom among others.

She said, “Yeah, I thought that tree story was a metaphor of your mother.” I was dumbfounded!

Of course! Read the rest of this entry »

Believe What You Hear: Mission Trip Excerpt

January 19, 2009

74220033-1(June 25th 2006 – Reynosa, Mexico)


Today we started with teachings from David in the chapel as we would every morning.  He is an incredible man of God.  He is a Jewish son of a Rabbi who at 32 found Christ.  As such he is a teacher unlike any I have ever heard.  Most Christians tend to focus on the New Testament.  Rabbi David does no such thing and does an incredible job of explaining how the entire Tanakh (Old Testament) points towards Jesus.  What an education!  I only wish I could remember more.  David is also deeply conversant with the Spirit and it was awesome to watch him orchestrate us so that each one of us was exactly where we needed to be.

After our chapel/devotional time we went to a local church service.  This was a neat experience.  I really enjoyed the service, although it was 3 hours long and in Spanish.  During the service Karin saw a Mexican woman, and was immediately overcome with empathy for her and had to go over and give her a hug.  They were both overcome and began crying and blessing each other in separate languages.  This woman later felt prompted to go to the front and share her amazing testimony.  Read the rest of this entry »