Small Miracles Happen All the Time

Small Miracles Happen All the Time

Small miracles happen all the time, but we still are constantly praying for a big miracle, such as having God intervene to end the use and exploitation of animals, simply because we want it to happen sooner.

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church

7 July 2013

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

2 Kings 5:1-14
Luke 10:1-20
Galatians 6:1-11

Small miracles happen all the time, but we still are constantly praying for a big miracle, such as having God intervene to end the use and exploitation of animals, simply because we want it to happen sooner.

There is nothing wrong with this; for the big miracle is our goal, but at the same time we need to focus some of our energy on bringing about the small miracles.

As an example, there are billions of people all around the world who contribute to the suffering of animals by raising them, killing them, testing on them, and eating them, as well as other forms of exploitation.

But when one of the people who has his or her heart softened by God and repents and becomes vegan, it becomes one of the small miracles that happen all the time.

These are the small miracles that encourage us to keep going in hope, as we discussed last week.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at 2 Kings 5:1-14, and even though it doesn’t address the abuse of animals, it does address the small miracles we are talking about.

1. Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper.

God had allowed this to happen, because Israel had turned away from following the will of God; thus, Aram became an enemy of Israel.

2. Now the Arameans had gone out in bands, and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.

3. And she said to her mistress, “I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.”

Even an enslaved child knew about the small miracles that God could bring about, just as they know that it’s wrong to cause an animal to suffer and die.

4. And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus spoke the girl who is from the land of Israel.”

Why would Naaman believe the girl, unless inwardly he knew that there was truth in what she said.

5. Then the king of Aram said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” And he departed and took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes.

Even the king seemed to believe what the girl had said, for he was putting a lot of money, if not real faith, behind her words.

Naaman also thought that he had to buy his healing, but this is not the way God works. All God desires is a soft and repentant heart.

6. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, “And now as this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

7. And it came about when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me.”

The reaction of the king of Israel is typical of people who are not walking in the will of God. They always look for an ulterior motive, instead of realizing that God could bring about the healing.

8. And it happened when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

At the same time that Elisha is sending this message to the king, he is also reminding the king of his lack of faith.

This is also the same way that we help bring about the small miracles that happen all the time.

We just have to remind people of the truth, and how what they are doing is causing pain and suffering, so that they will begin to think twice about what they are doing.

9. So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha.

10. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.”

11. But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper.’

Elisha was simply testing Naaman, for he knew Naaman really believed, even if he didn’t have the faith to act upon it.

And Naaman continues to rant…

12. “Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

13. Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

14. So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
NASB

Naaman’s healing is one of the small miracles we are talking about.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the other small miracles that came about indirectly through Jesus’ ministry, as we are told in Luke 10:1-20.

1. Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.

This is somewhat like Elisha sending his servant to speak to Naaman, and like us speaking to others about ending the suffering of animals.

We are all doing God’s work.

2. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

3. “Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

This is the same way that most activists feel, for there are relatively few workers, and their message most often meets with resistance and even hostility.

4. “Carry no purse, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.

This is going by pure faith.

5. “And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’

6. “And if a man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you.

7. “And stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.

This is when we find acceptance for the message we are bringing in preparation for the miracle or miracles to follow.

8. “And whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you;

9. and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

We know that the eating of animal products is the primary cause of most chronic illnesses, and that the eating of unprocessed whole plant foods prevents and even heals these diseases and, at the same time, protects the animals and the environment from harm.

This is how we help bring about the miracles of healing that God created when He made the plant foods He wanted us to eat (Genesis 1:29-30).

10. “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say,

11. ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’

12. “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14. “But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment, than for you.

15. “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

16. “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

We fully believe that the same fate awaits all of those who deliberately reject our message of peace for the whole of creation, and continue in their corruptive ways that cause so much harm to our fellow human beings, the other animals, and the environment.

17. And the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

18. And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

19. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.

This is just symbolic of the demonic activity in the world around us, because God does not want us to harm any of His created beings.

20. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
NASB

All we have to do is look around us to find an opportunity to minister to someone in order to hopefully begin to start a miracle.

We may not even see any results in the beginning, but occasionally we do; and the most wonderful joy sometimes comes years later when someone tells us how what we said helped change their life.

And we hear these things several times a year.

Small miracles happen all the time.

We have talked several times about not taking vengeance upon anyone, but to pray for them that they would repent and turn away from their evil ways, and become children of God, which is the context of Galatians 6:1-16.

And if and when such people change, they too become some of the small miracles, and that’s what happened to us many years ago.

1. Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

A vital part of looking at ourselves is in remembering what we used to be like, and how we changed into loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God.

2. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

3. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

4. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

5. For each one shall bear his own load.

In other words, humility must be a part of our loving message.

6. And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.

7. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

If we care only for animals and not humans, then we may actually be mocking God, for God’s love extends to everyone.

8. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.

9. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

10. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

This is what we were talking about above, for in doing these things, we help bring about the small miracles.

We don’t bring people into the kingdom by fighting or arguing with them; we bring them into the kingdom by loving them as an example of Jesus.

11. See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Paul wants to make sure that no one misunderstands him.

And likewise we need to constantly make sure that no one misunderstands us or our selfless act of try to help them for the glory of God.

When we do this, we will find that small miracles happen all the time.

Amen.

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