Rich wood and string tones of intertwined cello and harp played Sweet Hour of Prayer and other prelude reflections. Guest musician Tyler Stembridge joined our dedicated team in accompanying our worship of God in song and committing to each with The Servant Song.
After Megan read Matthew 11:2-6, Pastor Kevin challenged us to see that our richest blessings often aren’t found in seasons of comfort, but in close walks with God through difficult times. In prayer we lifted up Melinda’s health & financial needs and various praises and petitions for loved ones and people all over.
Pastor asked: Why did Jesus do miracles? Was it just to satisfy immediate needs? Was it just to feed the temporary physical hunger of the thousands without lunch? Why did Lazarus die twice?
Jesus first said to the long-term invalid in John 5:1-16 “Do you want to get well?” We might assume he would. But we’re prone to the preference, addiction even, of continuing in the comfort of our dysfunction. Jesus next words were “Rise, pick up your mat and walk.”
Though his physical ailments were healed he was too self-focused to ask who Jesus was or thank Him. Because this transpired on the Sabbath the man was questioned by Jewish authorities about breaking the law. Essentially “Who violated our laws by doing God’s miracles?” After Jesus warned the healed man in the temple not to sin, the man went back to give up Jesus’s name to those looking for the one responsible for violating the Sabbath.
Oddly enough it was God’s wise plan that this person be the one healed that day and that it be done on the Sabbath. Miraculous physical healing exposes the spiritual root. The man’s body being healed wasn’t enough. He ultimately needed to be born again and have a new identity in Christ.
Do we also settle for just changing the external trappings without really changing who we are? Are we at times too eager to avoid blame and to judge others, oversimplifying by forcing things to be binary with us safely on the “right side”.
God does miracles
- For His name’s sake
- To reveal greater Truth
- To increase our belief and our faith
- So that people might know God’s authority over sin
- To draw people closer to God
- So His heart might be displayed in peoples’ lives
- To change me
Our nature is to focus on the immediate. It’s natural and good to ask God to give us our daily bread. But the Lord’s Prayer is mostly not about that. We need to mature in our thinking and perspective and communications even to God.
Instead of putting so much focus on escaping unpleasant temporary situations, we need to pray for God to change who we are….so we know and yield to and persevere in His plan for His name sake. In so doing we will live richer lives as the Kingdom of Priests that we’re called to be.