Posted in 2022 Lent Devotions

Miracles

“Mirror of the Passion” Lent devotion for March 23, 2022. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. (Luke 23:8)

So where have you been for the last three and a half years, Herod? You’re the ruler of Galilee and you never got a chance to see Jesus? Entire towns showed up to see Jesus. Crowds followed him from place to place. You could have caught his show at any number of places.

And let’s face it. That’s all it really was for Herod. A show. Herod wasn’t a believer. He was curious, but he was just part of that “wicked and adulterous generation” who always wanted a miraculous sign.

Do we ever come to see the “Jesus show?” Do we ever come to church simply to be entertained by musical talent or an inspirational speaker? Sure we do. And that’s just fine with the church, who will strive to provide entertainment and inspiration so that you’ll come to the “Jesus show.”

I know that’s harsh. But in our culture, we do expect to be entertained. We expect to be entertained all the time. And while there’s nothing wrong with entertainment, that’s not why Jesus came. He didn’t come to do card tricks or make balloon animals or make an elephant disappear. He came to save us from sin and death. He performed miracles to verify that he was the Savior. He performed miracles to help those who were suffering from so many different ailments. He performed miracles because of his great power and his great love. But he never played to the crowd.

There are plenty of folks who would like to see a miracle. I’m one of them. A wise friend commented, “There are miracles all around us, if you just take time to look for them.” How true. We can talk to just about anyone anywhere in the world at anytime during the day. That’s miraculous. A baby is born, breathes, cries, looks up at you, and smiles. What a miracle! The human eye can distinguish over 10 million different colors. Whoa. A really, really good cup of coffee smells and tastes so good. Same goes for bacon and freshly baked bread. Oh, yeah. You wake up fifteen seconds before your morning alarm goes off. How does that happen?

There are a lot of people who would like to see Jesus, too. I’m one of them. But not just for a miracle. Forever and forever.

Thanks for all the miracles, Lord. Amen.

Posted in Devotions, Lent, Ministry

2020 Lenten devotion #6 – Water into blood (part 1)

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

“If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” (Exodus 4:9)

So Moses has to convince an entire nation, all of Israel, that he is to be their leader who will bring them out of slavery. Not an easy task.

No problem. God will give you a few tools, a few impressive feats to convince them. A staff that turns into a serpent. A hand that becomes leprous and then whole again. And water from the Nile that turns into blood. You got this Moses!

You had me at “staff into serpent.” You have that kind of power at your disposal? I’m all ears. When do we leave? What should I pack?

Well, maybe. How did he do that? Is this for real? In a world of lies, fake news and scams, who do you believe? Who’s telling the truth? Who should you listen to? We’ve got scripture, history and eyewitnesses to shape our faith. Israel had ancient legends, bedtime stories and desperate prayers. We still have our doubts. So did they.

One way or the other, God was going to deliver his people. It didn’t matter whether or not they believed. It didn’t matter if Moses had to pull out all of the tricks God gave him. These folks were not going to stay in Egypt. They were going home. And they would know that it was God who made all the travel arrangements.

Drops of blood on the ground where Jesus was flogged and where he was crucified testified to the power of God to save us. Travel arrangements, right? Because of that blood, we’ll get to go home, too.

Chances are you’ll pour out some water today and it will turn into coffee, tea, lemonade or soup. We take those things for granted, but it’s really amazing when you think about it. Maybe one of those things will remind you to recall the powerful things God has done and the travel arrangements he’s made for you for eternity!

Thanks for the tickets to go home, Lord. Amen.