Tag Archives: faith

Miracles and Math

MIRACLES AND MATH

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

John 6:5-7 NKJV

In school, we learned facts before we were tested. Not so as Christians, who learn from our tests.

Are you in a difficult season? Perhaps, a health crisis, and the doctors say no other treatments are available. Despite your prayers that prodigal or lost loved one appears more distant from God than ever. Defeat overwhelms you. We have all faced times of financial crunches.

Let’s unpack John’s account about feeding the five thousand and gain some understanding about Christ. If the Apostle Phillip was alive today, he might be a Wall Street mogul. Judas was the treasurer for the group, but Phillip might have been the man in charge of operating expenses. He was a man of reason, studying the facts, and drawing conclusions solely based on his figures. Miracles don’t add up on a calculator.

“No, Jesus, I have run the numbers, and there is absolutely no way we can purchase food for this multitude.” Phillip reasoned.

He did not realize what Jesus could do. Phillip had witnessed miracles. He watched Jesus turn water into wine. Weak faith fails to put God into the accounting process.

Ready to blow a hole in Phillip’s logic, Jesus questioned him. Jesus had not revealed His plan. Jesus already knew what Phillip would say, but this pop quiz taught Phillip something. It teaches us too.

Andrew arrives announcing there is food on the premises, but it is only five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus takes the miniscule portions, blesses and breaks them. The disciples distributed food to everyone in attendance with twelve baskets of leftovers remaining.

Phillip’s faith grew. He discovered all his figures and results were meaningless with Jesus.

Our faith grows when we read about this miracle. Faith increases when Jesus shows up in our tests.

When the doctors are shocked. When the prodigal returns. When that lost loved one is saved after years of prayer.

When facts fail, factor in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, You are still saving, still healing, still providing and still doing the impossible. Forgive us when we listen to man. Help us remember all things are possible with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read John 6:5-14.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Believe and expect. Do you believe God can? If not, prayerfully consider what causes your doubts. Read Mark 11:24 and expect your miracle.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell

 

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Who is Your Example of Godliness

 

WHO IS YOUR EXAMPLE OF GODLINESS?

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now a certain woman named Lydia Heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

Acts 16:14 NKJV

Is there someone in your church, a mentor, a teacher, or the little Christian woman next door who You look toward as a godly example. If you lack that special person, may I suggest a woman from Scripture?

Lydia is a superb role model. She had a full plate, but she handled it. She was the best of Mary and Martha combined.

Lydia was a business woman, a sales rep for the purple dye used by royalty. God had blessed her because Her home was spacious enough to accommodate the Philippian church (Acts 16:40). Let’s unpack the qualities this busy woman possessed. Qualities we desire.

First, Lydia was a woman of fervent prayer. Paul and his companions found this group of women praying on the river bank. These Gentile women committed time to prayer, and they realized its importance. They had learned about the God of the Jews, and now, they communed with Him. Could it be as they prayed that day, they asked the Lord to increase their understanding? And then came Paul.

Lydia worshiped God with all the truth she knew at that point. She was teachable, and she desired to learn more. As Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, “the Lord opened her heart.” Lydia’s entire household was baptized also. God reveals Himself and the truth to those who seek Him.

Yearn to learn more about Jesus. Yearn to learn Jesus more. The difference is life-changing.

Next, Lydia was a woman of faith (Acts 16:15). She was faithful in prayer, worship, and service. She had put complete trust in Jesus Christ. Her faith increased as she drew closer to her heavenly Father.

Finally, Lydia was a woman of service. She opened her house to Paul and his friends. She fulfilled the commandment to love one another through her hospitality.

How much time did we spend in prayer today? In God’s Word? In worship? Worship is not reserved for Sunday only.

What about our faith in God? Does it grow? Can it move mountains? Are we faithful in all these areas? How do we serve God and His church?

Lydia was committed to prayer, worship, faith, and service. In addition, she managed her career. Today, how can we begin to live like this lovely seller of purple?

Lord, we ask You to examine us. Help us become mighty prayer warriors, faithful worshippers, and servants to You. Guard our time that we can live a life pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Acts 16:13-15.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Prayerfully consider the questions in the devotional. What areas can you spend more quality time on?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.