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Why Don't We See More Miracles?

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued our sermon series for Lent:  "Jesus Answers Our Questions."  The question we looked at today was "Why don't we see more miracles?"

There are two possible conditions in our hearts when we ask this question:

1)  Our faith is being tested and we need God to move.  For this condition, we looked at Luke 7:18-23.

2)  Faith is absent.  We're being a critic.  For this condition, we looked at Luke 11:29-32.

First, we looked at three introductory observations about miracles:

1)  The miracles in the Bible are real.

The miracle stories are very different from other miracle stories coming out of that culture, and they were written in the lifetime of eyewitnesses.

2)  There are not as many miracles as we might imagine.

3)  Some of the miracles are authenticating Jesus and are uniquely associated with him as the Son of God.

Yet Jesus did promise that his followers would do greater things (John 14:12).  So why don't we see more miracles?

When we ask with skepticism and doubt, Jesus does not respond.  Essentially, he says, "You've seen all you're going to see."

The sign of Jonah:  Even the pagan Ninevites knew to listen to someone who'd been in the belly of a whale for three days.  So they should believe after Jesus would be in the grave for three days.

Christianity is not a code of conduct.  Christianity rises and falls based on a historical fact, and whether it happened or not.

To skeptics, Jesus gives the sign that he overcame the grave.

Jesus will answer those who truly seek, not those coming with mockery or derision (Psalm 1:1).

Seeker or skeptic?  It's a matter of the heart.

God has made us for Himself.  When we come to the point that we want God, sometimes we experience God's power and amazing things happen.  If we just want God's stuff, we don't get either one.

When we come to Jesus with faith, he reminds us that there are miracles happening all around us.

Ed reminded us that the building we were sitting in is one of God's miracles.  And then he told his own story of healing from high blood pressure, even with an extreme family history of heart disease.

John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Christ from prison.  The real question behind it was, "Why am I in prison?"  Jesus' answer was:  I will indeed bring the kingdom, but not yet.

It's also true that the kingdom of God is "already/not yet."

Miracles today are temporary.  Luke 17:20-21, Luke 19:11-12.

Even though Ed was healed from high blood pressure, it's temporary.  He's still going to die one day.

One day, all healing will be permanent.

Jesus' ministry is the presence of the future.

We finished with three answers to the question "Why don't we see more miracles?"

1)  We don't have enough faith.

2)  We don't ask enough (James 4:2).

3)  The kingdom of God is not yet fully here.

We get to see glimpses of it.  It's coming!

What's the Deal With Success?

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series for Lent, "Jesus Answers Our Questions," looking at Luke 12:22-34 and the question, "What's the deal with success?"

This is very much a question for our time and our place.  Even if we don't ask this question directly, it's underneath our other questions.

Before this passage, in verses 13-21, Jesus told the parable of the Rich Fool and used that story to contrast two competing visions for success, the Crowd's Vision vs. the Kingdom Vision.

Fuel:

The Crowd's Vision is fueled by covetousness, avarice, and greed (vs. 15).

The Kingdom Vision is fueled by discipleship, a commitment to Jesus.  (Jesus took his disciples aside after he told the parable.)

Emotional Atmosphere:

The Crowd's Vision has an emotional atmosphere of Anxiety.  Today our adolescents in particular are facing unprecedented levels of anxiety.

The Kingdom Vision has an emotional atmosphere of consideration.  Think about your life.  You are so valuable!

Looks like:

The Crowd's Vision looks like "I want what's mine!"  "I want more!"

The Kingdom Vision looks like trusting God (vs. 28), knowing God (vs. 29), seeking God (vs. 31).

Desired Outcomes:

The Crowd's Vision is striving for bigger storehouses, comfort, pleasure, security, and peace.  The Rich Fool wanted to collect and keep and store so he wouldn't have to worry.  It ends up increasing worry, and in his case, it was all for nothing.

The Kingdom Vision is seeking fearless living, real connection to God, and real security (vs. 32-34).

We're pursuing what doesn't grow old and can't be stolen.  This is true security.  We can live without fear.  We can rest secure and at peace.

It's not a software upgrade, but a whole new operating system.

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