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SermonMiracles Happen
An all-creatures Bible Message

Miracles Happen
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
25 June 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Genesis 21:1-21
Matthew 10:1-23

Miracles happen all the time, but most of them are small ones, we just need to open our minds, hearts, souls, and spirits to see them.
 
When we see miracles happen it is awe inspiring, but they are commonplace for God.
 
We all too often try to explain a miracle away rather than praising God and thanking Him for allowing us to see them.
 
Have you ever been driving a car, and something alerts you that something is wrong even before you see it, such as someone, including animals, about to step or run out in front of you, and you stop in time; we believe that these are miracles, just as much as being able to walk on water.
 
Iíve looked back at times in my life, and realized that God had saved me from having something bad happen in my life, or changing my life in such a way that everything seemed to come together years later, and they even happened before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior; and they even happen before we may even believe in God, for He loved us before we loved Him.
 
Letís see if we can see miracles happen in the pages of our Bible beginning with Genesis 21:1-21Ö

1. Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised.
 
2. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him.

Abraham had lost faith in the fact that the Lord had promised that Sarah would bear him a child in her old age, and to make Him a father of nations, so instead of patiently waiting for God to act, Abraham had a child by Hagar, Sarahís maid, but God was faithful to bring about the miracle in Sarahís and his life.

3. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.

Miracles happen as we can see here.

4. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
 
5. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

This means that Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was nearly 90 years old; miracles happen.

6. And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me."
 
7. And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
 
8. And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
 
9. Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.

This is one of the reasons to trust in God to fulfill all His promises, for if we get impatient for God to act, our actions can cause long lasting problems, and this one is still plaguing people to this very day.

10. Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac."
 
11. And the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.

This is the beginning of the troubles that faced Abraham and his descendants to this very day.

12. But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.
 
13. And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant."

These become the Arab nations.
 
But donít forget that God blessed them, too.
 
So all the problems between these Arab nations, Christians, and Jews are all human caused, and God seems to have left it to humans to solve, and humans are doing very poorly at solving the problems.
 
And as we have seen, violence will never solve those problems; violence only promotes more violence.
 
If we want to have peace in the world, all parties to our conflicts need to start trusting in God, for miracles happen.

14. So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

What Abraham did was really ungodly, and shows a lack of love; for to send anyone out into a wilderness on foot with only these few supplies was actually a death sentence.

15. And the water in the skin was used up, and she left the boy under one of the bushes.
 
16. Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, "Do not let me see the boy die." And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept.
 
17. And God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.

God intervenes because of Abrahamís heartlessness, and to us it proves that miracles happen.
 
Why Abraham did this isnít important; we just need to recognize the hardness of heart when it occurs.

18. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand; for I will make a great nation of him."

This nation becomes the Arab countries, which spreads over most of the Middle East.

19. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.

See, miracles happen!

20. And God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness, and became an archer.

The problem of violence remains in Ishmael, for archery is a skill of using a weapon of violence.
 
Ishmael had a choice to follow the peace that came with Godís miracle, and oppose the hardness of heart of his father, but instead he chose the path of violence.

21. And he lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
NASB

And the problems of violence continued in the world to this very day.
 
Miracles happen, but most people ignore them or deliberately choose to follow the corrupt and ungodly ways of the world.
 
Letís now take a look at Matthew 10:1-23, and see how miracles happen in the hope that we will follow the path of peace that Jesus taught usÖ

1. And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

And just because other human beings are given the authority to heal people, doesnít make those healings any less a miracle.
 
Miracles happen sometime because God is working through some people, as Jesus is doing with His disciples.

2. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
 
3. Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
 
4. Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

The names of these disciples arenít as important as the fact that we understand that miracles happen, because people are willing to allow God to work through them, even Judas.

5. These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;
 
6. but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Itís not that Jesus doesnít care for these other people; itís that He wants to bring His message to the Jewish people through other Jews, that they might repent and return to the Lord their God.

7. "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

The Jewish people should understand this message, a lot more than the Gentiles, for if the Jews respond, they will also see the miracles happen to them, too.

8. "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give.

This is being a Christian, and the people will see miracles happen and will hopefully believe.
 
And then Jesus cautions the disciplesÖ

9. "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,
 
10. or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.

Jesus wants the people to see that these miracles happen as a free gift from God, and He doesnít want anyone thinking that they have to pay for these free gifts, so He doesnít want any of His disciples to take any money, even as a gift.

11. "And into whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it; and abide there until you go away.
 
12. "And as you enter the house, give it your greeting.
 
13. "And if the house is worthy, let your greeting of peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your greeting of peace return to you.

We believe that this comment from Jesus is because He wants to make sure that the people donít think that they are worthy of having these blessings and miracles.

14. "And whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Note very carefully that Jesus doesnít want any violence; He only wants the disciples to do this because it symbolically expresses His displeasure with those people.

15. "Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Jesus simply wants their own evil to come back upon their own heads. 

16. "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.

In other words, in anything that we do for the Lord, we still must be on the alert for evil, and spiritually defend ourselves from it, which can also mean to leave the places where overwhelming evil exists.

17. "But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues;
 
18. and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

These are the places where evil exists, and even there Jesus wants us to speak and live according to the peaceful ways of the Lord.
 
We are not to ever resort to the violence and evil ways of the world around us, and if we do this, we will see miracles happen, even if we die in the process.
 
In any event, we will be with the Lord in heaven forever and ever.

19. "But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak.
 
20. "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

And unfortunately the evil will continue, for that is the way of this corrupt world.

21. "And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.
 
22. "And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

We are never to give up.

23. "But whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes. 
NASB

Jesusí second coming still has not happened, but as we look around the world we can still see this evil in the cities both in Israel and around the world.
 
But is spite of this, the word of God is still preached, and even though most people donít follow Jesusí teachings and the heavenly will of God, the truth is still presented to people who have ears to hear.
 
And as we said in the beginning, miracles happen, and if our mind, heart, soul, and spirit are open to see them, we will see the glory of God in the midst of all the evil.
 
Like the disciples of old, we are to carry on their work of spreading the good news, and if we want to see miracles happen for both humans and other animals, we will diligently carry out the Lordís work.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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