i believe in miracles

do you? why not add your miracles too?


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Our Body, Ourselves: 1 Cor 12: 12-14; 4-11; 15-26; Eph 4:11-13; I Cor 12:27 (how I would say it)

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A human body has a lot of different parts, but all of them form one body. It’s just the same with God’s children in Christ. Whether we’re Jewish or American or Mexican or Mongolian, we have all been washed clean by the same Holy Spirit, and that same Holy Spirit has nourished us all and formed us into one corporation—a body.

But we’re not a huge, single cell amoeba. This body, like our own, has a vast number of individual components. We all have unique functions to play in the body of Christ, and every single function was assigned by the Holy Spirit. We may do different kinds of work, but we all work for the same company and have the same CEO.

We have each been assigned a function that contributes to the overall good of this company. For example, the Spirit may have assigned you to counsel others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the function of teaching others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to readily believe in things that seem impossible, or maybe the Spirit assigned you to play a role in supernatural healing. Others got the abilities to do supernatural works, still others to be God’s mouthpieces to the present generation by applying his Word to our lives today. Maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to figure out when people are being sincere, and when they aren’t. Maybe the Spirit assigned you to be a linguist of natural or supernatural languages. Regardless, it is the Spirit who assigns every ability to each person as He determines to be correct.

Think about your own body for a second and imagine if your foot copped an attitude and said, “I’m on strike because I wanted to be a hand, not a foot.” Or what if your ear piped up and said, “I think I should have been the one with vision, and if I can’t have it, I’m out of here!” They may have a valid point, but could they possibly opt out of being part of your body because they’re not pleased with their assignments?

If your body parts were to choose their own jobs, they might all choose to have vision, and then you’d be mute and deaf. Or if the whole body wanted the ability to hear, you’d starve to death. But our body parts can’t choose their jobs, and so it is with the spiritual body we’re a part of. God has assigned us our function exactly how He wants it. And we’re not a huge eye or ear, we’re a huge multi-faceted body.

So you who have the ability of vision, you can’t disown your hands who put your vision into action. And you who are the brains behind it all, you can’t say you don’t need feet. You’d go nowhere! The fact is that the parts of the body that we don’t often acknowledge are indispensable. If we think a part of the body is ordinary, we ought to treat it as extraordinary. And if there are parts of the body that we’re embarrassed to show just anyone, we need to give those particularly special care, while those we are generally comfortable showing to the outside world—they really don’t need any special treatment. And keep in mind that if a body part needs special treatment, that’s exactly how God designed it—so that the parts that we tend to neglect are assured their significance—so that all of the parts of this body will be concerned for each other. We will all suffer when the pinky gets a paper cut, and when we get an awesome hair cut, the whole body feels good about it.

Now we’re not talking about a human body, so this is where the analogy ends. Rather, each of us is a part of Christ’s body. And Christ himself orders some parts to communicate with other parts, and some parts to communicate with the outside world. Some he has given the assignment to care for the body, and some he assigns to train the body, to get it ready to act effectively, so that the body can grow stronger and mature in our knowledge of the Son of God until we reach the point where we work harmoniously and believe harmoniously and become exactly what we are meant to be as the body of Christ.

YOU are the body of Christ, and EACH ONE OF YOU is a part of it.

I had the privilege of delivering this message to First Church of God in Port Arthur, Texas, last Sunday.

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The Trick is to Believe without Seeing: John 20:24-31 (how I would say it)

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One of the 12 main followers, a man named Thomas, a.k.a. the Twin, wasn’t with us when Jesus came that first time. The other followers told him, “Our boss was here!”

But he replied, “Unless I see and touch the nail marks in his hands and his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his followers were all together again in one place, and this time Thomas was with us. The doors were locked, but again somehow Jesus was all of a sudden standing there with us.

He said, “How’s it going?” Then to Thomas: “Ok, Thomas, here’s the proof you need. See and feel the nail prints in my hands and my side. You need to stop doubting and start believing.”

Thomas replied, “Boss! Rather, God!”

 Jesus said, “Oh, so now that you’ve seen me you believe? Well, amazing things await for people who can believe sight unseen.”

There’s so much more to this story—so many more things Jesus did, supernatural things, right before our eyes. I couldn’t possibly put them all in one book, but I went to the effort of writing this much down so that you, the reader, might be one of those who believes in Jesus as the representative and Son of God—sight unseen—and that the belief might cause you to live the way He instructed us.


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Blowing More than Hot Air: John 20:19-23 (how I would say it)

That very night Jesus’ followers were gathered behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. Somehow Jesus was all of a sudden there, just hanging out with them. He said, “Hey, how’s it going?” Then he showed them the wounds on his hands and his side. Jesus’ followers were beside themselves when they saw Jesus. He asked them again, “So, what’s up, how’ve you been?” Then he said, “Just like I came as a representative, I’m going to send you out as my representatives.” He then blew breath on us all and said, “Here’s the Holy Spirit for you. Now, if you pardon anyone of his ugly humanity, he will be covered. If you determine he shouldn’t be pardoned, then he won’t be.”


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What’s the Matter, Miss? John 20:1-18 (how I would say it)

dawn lo

We ’bout to have a dawn like we ain’t never seen the likes of!

Before the sun came up on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she ran to find Simon Peter and me, and reported, “Jesus is gone! Someone took him and now we have no idea where he is!”

So Peter and I took off running for the tomb, but I outran Peter and got there first. I bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but I didn’t go into the tomb. Peter ran up behind me and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen too, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. I finally went inside too and saw that the body was gone. We knew now that Mary was telling the truth, but we still didn’t understand what the ancient texts had instructed: that Jesus had to come back from the dead.

We went back to our lodging. But Mary stayed at the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent over and peered into the tomb and saw two angels dressed in white, sitting where Jesus’ body had been, one where the feet had been, one where the head had been.

They asked her, “What’s the matter, Miss?”

“Someone took our leader and now we have no idea where he is.” Then she turned and saw someone standing near her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him at first.

He asked her, “What’s the matter, Miss? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you took him somewhere, please tell me where, so I can go get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned to look right at him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Wait, Mary, you can’t touch me, I haven’t gone up to the Father yet. Why don’t you go tell my brothers I said, ‘I’m going to see my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

Mary hurried off to find the other followers and tell them the news: “I saw Jesus!” And she told them everything he said.


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Laid to Rest: John 19:38-42 (how I would say it)

Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate after Jesus died and asked to take charge of Jesus’ body. (Joseph had been a follower of Jesus, but he kept it on the down-low because he feared the Jewish leaders.) Pilate granted his request and Joseph took the body away. Nicodemus, the man who had sought out Jesus at night, was with Joseph. Nicodemus brought about 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes mixed together. They took Jesus’ body, wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was the customary way Jews prepared a body for burial. There was a burial garden near Golgotha that had a new, unused tomb. They were in a hurry because of the special Sabbath, so they laid Jesus in that nearby tomb.


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Jesus’s Last Words: John 19:25-37 (how I would say it)

Jesus’s mother, aunt, Clopas’s wife Mary and Mary Magdalene all stood near the cross where Jesus was hanging. Jesus looked down at his mother and then over to me, and said, “Mother, John is your son now.” Then he looked at me and said, “And now she is your mother.” (From that day forward, Mary lived in my home.)

Some time passed and then Jesus said, “I’m thirsty.” This was the last thing he needed to do to fulfill the ancient texts. The soldiers had a jar of wine turned to vinegar, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on hyssop stick, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth. He took a sip and then said, “It’s over.” With that, he lowered his head and surrendered his spirit.

All this took place on the day of Preparation, the day before a special Sabbath. The Jewish authorities didn’t want bodies hanging on crosses during the special Sabbath, so they asked Pilate to speed the executions along by breaking the legs of the men on the cross, so they could be removed before the Sabbath. Some soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then they broke the other man’s legs. But when they approached Jesus, they saw he was dead already, so they didn’t break his legs. However, they did stab him in the side. Blood and water gushed out. All of this happened to fulfill the ancient prophecies that said: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”and “They’ll gawk at him after stabbing him.”

I saw all of this and I’m telling the truth about it. This is exactly what I saw and I’m sharing this with you so you will also believe.


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King of the Jews: John 19: 16b-24 (how I would say it)

The soldiers took charge of Jesus. They made him carry his own cross out to the place of the Skull (Golgotha in Aramaic), where they nailed him to the cross and hung him there until he was dead. He was in the middle of two other men also being crucified.

Pilate had made a sign to be fastened to Jesus’ cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Golgotha was near the city so a lot of people came by and saw the message, which Pilate had translated into Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The top Jewish priests complained to Pilate, saying, “You should write that he claimed to be the king of the Jews, not that he is the King of the Jews.”

Pilate replied, “What I wrote stands.”

The soldiers who placed Jesus on the cross took his clothes and divided them four ways, one piece for each of them. One seamless, woven undergarment was left.

“We shouldn’t tear it,” they agreed. “Let’s draw straws to see who gets it.”

So they did, and in doing so fulfilled the ancient prophecy that said, “They divided my clothes among them and then drew straws for my underwear.”