Miracles. That’s what we are looking at in today’s Devotion. A miracle is something that happens that defies all reasonable explanation, and often has no explanation to it. We have become a society where we have to explain everything in terms of logic and science. We need proof to understand why something happens. Well, the proof has always been there for us, and it has been chronicled in the Holy Bible. The proof of miracles is that the world was created and controlled by God and His hands are always in the unexplainable.
On Sunday, despite me beginning to feel that we are watching too much church on Sunday’s, if that is a thing, my family and I caught Passion City Church‘s sermon that featured Katherine and Jay Wolf. The Wolf’s have a powerful story, and they have released a new book documenting their suffering called “Suffer Strong.” Katherine is a medical miracle. She suffered a paralyzing stroke that the doctors, and science, said she would never be able to recover from, and while she does still have limitations, her faith has been strong throughout. And the Wolf’s welcome their suffering, because they realize that this is their purpose from God, to carry their story around the world. Incredible.
Today’s song-of-the-day is one of our favorite Matthew West songs from the brilliant album he released earlier this year. The official music video from “Walking Miracles” was released this week and today is the most fitting day to share with y’all. Just a word of warning, grab some tissues before you push play on this one.
36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of being baptized?”
37Phillip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8:36-40)
There are two reasons I decided to highlight this story of the Eunuch from Ethiopia who is converted to Christianity by Philip. If you are not familiar with Ethiopia’s rich history in both Jewish and Christain faith, you should do some reading. In fact, if you click here, you will find one good article about Ethiopia’s claim to have the Ark of the Covenant, kept safely in an unprotected church in Askum. I really enjoyed reading that piece from a reporter of the Smithsonian magazine. I had read in the past that the Ark was held in this church, and it certainly makes you wonder about the truth behind that claim. You would think that if it was the real Ark, Israel would be staking their ownership of it. And if it was the real Ark, it would be an article that the world would benefit to see, especially in this age of information sharing. But as you read the article, the Ethopian people firmly believe whatever is in the church is the Ark. As the article shows, only one Monk is allowed into the Holy of Holies, and once he becomes the “guardian” of the Ark, he lives in the inner chamber until he picks a successor and passes away. So only the line of Guardians are the only men who have ever entered the inner chamber and seen the truth. So either these men are all committed to protecting a lie, which seems highly unlikely, or the most important artifact of the Old Testament is there. In my lifetime, I will never know the truth, but I do believe the Ark is there.
The other part of this story that takes strong faith to believe is Philip just disappearing and then reappearing somewhere completely different, miles away from the Eunuch. Science fiction has called this “teleporting” over the years, but there is no science and no fiction behind this event. It’s another miracle in the book of Acts, but it’s one of the hardest miracles for me to believe in. I would question the accuracy of this story, but I know that Luke would not write something that he had not thoroughly researched, and did not thoroughly believe. So it is not for me to question, because once I do, once I start to doubt, my unbelief is displayed and the devil likes to take advantage of moments like this. But I will not give the devil an inch in my heart and soul. I will believe in what today’s science and technology might say is impossible. I will believe in things unseen without needing physical proof. I will believe because generation after generation has believed in these truths. Why do I think I should be the obnoxious generation to suddenly need absolute truth to believe? I will believe because I am trying to be more of a Peter and less of a Doubting Thomas. I will believe because that is what faith is, and my faith is unwavering, so, therefore, my belief will stand strong as well.
Maybe one day, the Ethiopians will allow some form of access to see what amazing artifact lay in their midst. Maybe one day we’ll see the miracle of people transporting over the world. But before those days ever come, we need the world to believe in the easier truth: that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. We need a worldwide wake-up call to those facts, a world calling out to the one true Messiah, a world falling on bended knee to praise the King above all kings. Once we get to that place, we will have access to all the truth in all the mysteries of the Bible. I want to be there. How about you? What are you going to do today to help get us there?
Reading plan: Acts 13
Deeper reading plan: Esther 1, 2
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much. Pray for all the businesses trying to recover and keep their associates able to provide for their families. Pray that the world can reopen without a surge of new COVID outbreaks. And pray that the world has undergone a lasting change and the flame of revival has been lit!
Fitness challenge: Calisthenics day. I really enjoyed this circuit, especially the Pistol Squats, so we’ll do this for one more week, this time getting a full three round work-out. So do 14 reps of each exercise, for three full rounds. Google the exercises to learn the proper procedure.
- Hand-release Push-up
- Jumping squats
- Diamond push-ups
- Supine Bicycle (4-count)
- Pistol squats (7 each leg)
- Burpees (as many as you can, but 14 is the goal)