Miracles played a role in the life and ministry of Christ. And miracles played a role in the life and ministry of the first century Christians. As they gave their lives in service to spreading the gospel, the miraculous marked their lives. We who live today should expect nothing less. While there are many things we can learn about miracles from the book of Acts, we’ll focus this week on two things we can do to set in motion the miraculous work of God in our lives. In this post we’ll focus on the second of the two (to read the first click here).
2. Put Yourself in the Right Context
If one of your life goals is to catch a baseball at a Red Sox game, it would probably help to actually attend a game, right? In the same way, if you want to experience the miraculous activity of God in your life, it will help to put yourself in the context in which miracles take place.
Jesus gives us that context in Mark 16:15-18 where he said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation…And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Jesus teaches here that the miraculous happens in the context of using our lives to spread the gospel. As the Christians in the book of Acts used their lives to preach the good news to all creation, the miraculous marked their lives. Just as Jesus predicted…
- They cast out demons. Acts 8:6-7 says “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many…”
- They spoke in new tongues (languages). When the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost we read in Acts 2:4 that, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (cf Acts 10 & 19)
- They weren’t harmed by poisonous snakes. In Acts 28 Paul was on his way to preach the gospel in Rome and while on the way he was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. While gathering fire wood a viper bit his hand. Even though vipers are one of the deadliest snakes in the world, Paul suffered no ill effect.
- They healed the sick. While on Malta in Acts 28 Paul learned that the chief official’s father had fever and dysentary. Paul prayed for him and he was healed.
Jesus told his disciples that if they put themselves in the context of spreading the gospel, the miraculous would mark their lives and that’s exactly what happens in Acts. And if we want to see the things they saw, then we need to do the things they did.
We need to put ourselves in the right context, not just physically, but mentally too.
- Don’t think of yourself as a nurse that’s a Christian. Think of yourself as a missionary to the hospital at which you work.
- Don’t think of yourself as a stay at home mom that’s a Christian. Think of yourself as a missionary to your kids and neighbors.
- Don’t think of yourself as a teacher that’s a Christian. Think of yourself as a missionary to the school at which you work.
When we place ourselves in the right context physically (by using our lives to preach Jesus) and mentally (by thinking of ourselves as missionaries) we will set in motion the miraculous activity of God in our lives.