I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.
Thoughts for Today:A few days ago, my daughter Amanda and I were talking about some of our favorite miracles from the Old Testament. We talked about the parting of the Red Sea, the wall of Jericho, and Gideon's fleece. Our conversation then progressed to how unfaithful the Israelites were regardless of all the amazing demonstrations of power by the Lord. Amanda said, "I would really like to see a miracle like they did. Don't you think it would increase your faith?" I answered, "It would be fun to see, but I don't think miracles increase faith." "Oh come on Dad, you have to admit it would help people to believe in God." I said, "It might for a while, but I know the way people are. After a couple of days, weeks or years they would forget. They would go back to doing things their old way -- just like the Israelites. Besides, there are still all sorts of miracles happening every day -- all around us. We just need to open our eyes and ears to watch and listen for God at work!"
In the same way that Jesus was approved of God by signs, wonders and miracles, He also made it evident to the congregation at Corinth that Paul was His chosen messenger through supernatural confirmation. (Hebrews 2:3-4: "How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.") Although supernatural power did flow through Paul he did not boast, nor place a great deal of emphasis upon it. Why? Because he knew that miracles alone do not produce faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17: "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.")
Questions to Ponder:Look around -- what miracles do you see? Have you been keeping a journal of your answered prayers? How good is your memory? Every once in a while I will open my record of the miracles God has been performing in my life. I know that remembering builds faith and confidence -- it's one of the reasons God gave us the historical account of Scripture (Old and New Testaments). If you aren't already, will you begin today to keep track of what God is doing in your life?