Grace for Your Day April 25

It is very common today to hear stories of people experiencing God in unusual ways. Several books are currently available that describe someone’s trip to Heaven or Hell. Depending on where you look at the local Christian Bookstore, you can also find accounts of how an author met Jesus and spoke with Him face-to-face. One of them was written by a man named Roberts Liardon and is entitled I Saw Heaven. Here is what the author says:

Many people have asked me what Jesus looks like. He’s 5 feet 11 to 6 feet tall, and He’s got sandy brown hair. It’s not too long and it’s not too short. He is a perfect man. Whatever you picture as a perfect man, that’s what Jesus is. He’s perfect in everything – the way He looks, talks – everything. That’s the way I remember Him . . . 

The third time I saw Jesus was when I was about 11 years old. Jesus walked in through the front door of my home while I was watching “Laverne & Shirley” on television. He came over and sat down beside me on the couch, kind of glanced at the TV, and everything in this natural world clicked off. I couldn’t hear the telephone or television set – all I heard was Jesus and all I saw was His glory.
 
He looked at me and said, “Roberts, I want you to study the lives of my generals in my great army throughout time. Know them like the back of your hand. Know why they were a success.  Know why they failed.  And you’ll want nothing in that area.” He got up, walked back out through the door, the TV clicked back on, and I resumed watching “Laverne & Shirley.” 

As bizarre as that sounds, it has become pretty common today to hear people talk like this and it is not hard to see why. The Bible itself says that God is a God of miracles and He moves in mysterious ways. It openly declares that nothing is impossible with Him for no one can hold back His hand and say to Him, “What have you done?” This is something that the Book of Hebrews tells us as well in the opening pages. Hebrews 2:3-4 states that:
How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

The Author of Hebrews speaks of signs and wonders to show us how God gave the message of salvation to us. He did it through the use of miracles. He gave us the Gospel by allowing the Apostles to speak in tongues and prophecies. This was all done in order to authenticate the message and show the people that what they said was true. However, it raises the question: Are those gifts still in use today? Do people still perform miracles like this in the 21st Century?

I do not have to tell you that there is a lot of abuse in this area today as many churches have chosen to distort the gifts. They misuse them by performing false works of healing in order to charge a lot of money at their crusades. They also try to deceive people by convincing them that they are speaking in tongues and prophesying when they are not so we need to study this subject in order to know what to think about it. We should do a thorough investigation into the use of the charismatic gifts today which is what we are going to do this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Chilliwack.

This week, the sermon will be entitled “Are Signs, Wonders, & Miracles Still for Today?” The reason we are going to talk about this is because the Holy Spirit is still giving people gifts today and we do not want to miss out on that. He is still doing miracles among us by enabling people to preach, teach, serve, help, and encourage one another so we do not want to discount any of those things simply because some people are falsely claiming that He is doing more. We want to take full advantage of the ministry He has bestowed upon us.

We also want to do this because the Spirit has chosen to put other gifts on hold during this age. He has made a decision to cease the work of signs, wonders, and miracles that Hebrews 2 speaks of and we need to understand what that means for us today. We should not accept every claim that these particular gifts are still being practiced but, instead, we want to be like the noble Bereans “who examined the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Please join us as we do that this weekend. Our service will begin at 9:30 and it will be livestreamed and made available on our You Tube Channel for any who cannot attend in person. I pray that the Lord will use it to give us a greater understanding of His Word and how it applies to our lives today. – Jeremy Cagle

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