Miracles, Part of the Journey, Not the End: June 3, Devotional Readings

This post and the previous two are an experiment to make the blog more relevant and useful to readers. Starting with tomorrow’s post, I will narrow the discussion to one chapter from the New Testament.

The purpose of miracles was always to attract people to Jesus and to announce his divinity. Miracles were never intended as an end in themselves. They were a stepping stone to relationship with God. The apostles and those that they passed the gifts of miracles onto could heal, but in general this ‘miracle working’ ended with those who had received that gift from the apostles. Miracles continued from time to time as the result of faithful prayer, but some of the greatest miracles are so common that they are not recognized as miracles. We should never expect a miracle if we want to follow anything or anyone other than the Lord because miracles came about, not so we can go on with our lives as before, but so that we would turn to Jesus and seek relationship with him and have eternal life. Eternal life is the miracle available to everyone, a free gift for the asking. We exist in this life for a very short time only so that we can choose to be with him in eternal relationship.

Isaiah 42

  1. Who is referenced early in the chapter?
  2. How will he bring justice to the earth?
  3. Why do we need God to guide us along unfamiliar paths?
  4. How are familiar idols poor guides?
  5. How can we expect that following an idol will lead to the best outcome?
  6. How is how I spend my time, what I think and worry about, what makes me angry and frustrated a clue to what idols I like to follow?
  7. How can I exchange my idols for a true guide?

Luke 7

  1. If I were the Centurion, how would I have behaved and thought in this situation?
  2. How can I change my prayer and devotional life so that I can become more like the Centurion in my faith?
  3. What was special about Jesus raising the widow’s son?
  4. When our situation seems completely hopeless, and we are without any other direction; why are we more likely to turn to God?
  5. Why does it take completely desperate circumstances to cause us to seek out Jesus sometimes?
  6. If he comes to our aid, and we go back to life as before, what does this say about us seeking a permanent relationship with him?
  7. What does verse 23 mean to you?
  8. If I believe I have been forgiven little or have only been a little bad, what is likely to be in control of my life?
  9. What little was done which caused the fall of man?
  10. How has my disobedience, rebellion, and pride been less than that?
  11. How have I behaved and thought like the Pharisees?
  12. How are forgiveness and gratitude the greatest of miracles?

Psalm 32

  1. Why is confession essential to spiritual, mental, and physical health?
  2. What do I need to confess?

Proverbs 3

  1. Why is my own understanding unlikely to be enough for life?
  2. When straight ways are available for the asking, why do I persist in going my own way?
  3. How can I submit to him today?

Oswald Chambers, June 3

  1. How is God intimate with me?
  2. Am I continually asking God his will for tomorrow to procrastinate what I already understand he wants of me today?

Passages for meditation

Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me. Luke 7:23

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1

Prayer

Father, thank you for your miracles that you have blessed me with: health, peace, prayer, forgiveness, and the hope of eternal life. Thank you that because of you, love and justice are possible. Help me to see the idols in my life; to confess them, repent, and remove them from your place. Help me to spend time with you daily to prevent them from retaking control of my life. Help me to see where pride is blocking our relationship, and help me to understand my true condition and how much I need you; that I need you daily more than I need air, food, or water. You are my true sustenance. The one in which I live and move and have my being. Help me to see the lessons of my circumstance and use it so that we can be in closer relationship.

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