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Are you Filtering God Out? (Hearing God’s Voice 2)

May 15, 2020

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Bible Gemz 1535 - Being Witnesses - Acknowledging the Fingerprints of God in Your Life (Acts 1:8, 9:32-43)

February 12, 2019

Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 

There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 

Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!" And he was healed instantly. 

Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord. 

There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 

About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 

But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, "Please come as soon as possible!" 

So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 

But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, "Get up, Tabitha." And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 

He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive. 

The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 

And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides. (Acts 9:32-43)

 

 

Do you realise what has been happening during the Gemz lately and always? Luke is making it clear to us what being a witness is all about. It is about learning to recognise the fingerprints of God or the footprints of God in everything we experience in life. This is the way Luke is writing his account of his witness to the works of God after Jesus’ resurrection. As we are coming up to the time when we will celebrate His Resurrection I thought I will spell it out and make it clear to you. Luke records for us Jesus' statement to His disciples after the resurrection “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He then gathers for us the stories of the God encounters the early Church experienced. 

 

Do you understand that is what it is all about. Being His witnesses, witnessing to those moments that God has stepped into your life and left His handprint, His fingerprint, His footprint or His Spiritprint. Some people go through life never seeing a miracle or God in anything. Other people go through life seeing God in everything. It is all a matter of perspective. Luke is telling us the story of how the Gospel (the Good News about Jesus) spread through all the world until it touched you. That is what your Christian life is all about or at least it ought to be. It is simple really. Learning to recognise The Divine in your life. Once you have seen Him, tell others about Him. Look there He is. Look here He is. My life in essence has been all about that. As an atheist I saw God in nothing. When I became a Christian it is like someone pulled back the curtain and I came to recognise I had been travelling through life "that close” to God but just didn't recognise Him. After I invited Christ into my life by the power of His Holy Spirit I began to see His fingerprints everywhere.   

 

When I became a Christian and later on starting work with Wycliffe Bible Translators I began to understand that being a witness is what life is all about. We took seriously the Biblical injunction in Deut 6:6-9 to teach our children to recognise the footprints of God and help them to see God moving in our lives. As our testimony has developed throughout our lives, we taught our children to see God’s hand in our lives when we walked in the way, when we were on the road,  we sat down at home, when we were going to bed, when we were getting up. Reminding ourselves and them of our glimpses of God. Do you realise every time you tell a portion of your testimony to God’s hand in your life you encourage another to see God in life and you encourage yourself by reminding yourself of what God has done? The more you do it the more you are built up and the more you build others. I have found it easy to pick up hitch hikers and introduce them to God. Travel with seat companions on a plane journey flying around the world and share God moments with them. Oh not all responded favourably but I spread the good news anyway. Some wanted out of the car – like the two I picked up to take to Auckland city and when the guy in the front saw my sticker (Warning: you ride in this car at your own risk, the driver could vanish at any instant). He asked to be let out on the next corner after I had only just picked them up. Or the woman who travelled beside me on a plane from Auckland to LA and if she could she would have wanted to get off right then. She kept her back to me all through the journey. But for every negative moment there have been hundreds of positive ones when God came into human lives and changed them. Much like He has changed me. Simply tell others of your encounters with God. But before you can do that you have to learn to recognise that you have moments when God steps into your life. The more you see them the more tuned to seeing them you become. 

 

Since working with Wycliffe I have seen more and more clearly how Amazing our Creator is and how Amazing too His Book is.  I developed God’s Awesome Book to help people to see just seven different aspects of the Bible which set it apart from any other book on the planet. While Steven Curtis Chapman wrote his song about seeing God’s fingerprints on his children, I used Steven Curtis Chapman’s song  to remind people that the Bible has God’s fingerprints all over it. So too does your life. You have the fingerprints of God all over you. He steps into your life daily I am sure but unfortunately many of us relegate His appearing to coincidence or hard to explain connections. When all the time it is God tapping you on the shoulder and reminding you of His Presence in your life.  They are seen in those serendipitous moments when the Divine comes to you. God peals back the thin veil of separation for a moment and allows you to catch a glimpse of Him. Don’t let those moments pass you by. Learn to hang on to God and learn His ways. 

 

The Fingerprints of God (Words and Music by Steven Curtis Chapman)

 

I can see tears filling your eyes

And I know where they're coming from

They're coming from a heart that's broken in two

By what you don't see

The person in the mirror

Doesn't look like the magazine

Oh, but when I look at you it's clear to me that...

 

I can see the fingerprints of God

When I look at you

I can see the fingerprints of God

And I know it's true

You're a masterpiece

That all creation quietly applauds

And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

 

Never has there been and never again

Will there be another you

Fashioned by God's hand

And perfectly planned

To be just who you are

And what He's been creating

Since the first beat of your heart

Is a living breathing priceless work of art...

 

I can see the fingerprints of God

When I look at you

I can see the fingerprints of God

And I know it's true

You're a masterpiece

That all creation quietly applauds

And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

 

Just look at you

You're a wonder in the making

Oh, and God's not through, no

In fact, He's just getting started...

 

I can see the fingerprints of God

When I look at you

I can see the fingerprints of God

And I know it's true

You're a masterpiece

That all creation quietly applauds

And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

 

I have moved on now to develop Deeper Bible and writing these Gemz and Nuggets. Learn to recognise the gemz – the sparking gemstones in God’s Word which ought to make us sit up and take notice. Bible Gemz were circulating around the world to well over 12,000 people, so many I can’t keep track of them, until MailChimp cut my list down to less than 100.. I hear Gemz are used in Bible Colleges, university campuses, study groups and many more situations around the world. What I find amazing about this is how easy it is. It is just a matter of gossiping the Gospel. Telling people of those God moments. Those moments when God has become so real, through increased understanding of His Book or moments in life which take our breath away. People react multiple times a day to Gemz I share, quotes I share or testimony I share. But whatever I do it is all touched by the same inspiration from God in my life moment by moment. I am simply learning more and more to bring The Divine into a very human world. The moments which most often capture people’s attention in the Bible Gemz or during teaching sessions around the world are when I share personal stories of God moments in my life. People write and tell me how much those stories touch them and help them to catch a glimpse of the fact that God is true to His Word. People tell me I should write a book. I am. It will be called Led All The Way – an account or my life filled with God moments. 

 

Do you realise that this is exactly what Luke is doing in the Book of Acts. His second book is filled with miracles performed in and through the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of His followers. Here is a list of the miracles found in the Book of Acts 

 

      

I.  INDIVIDUAL MIRACULOUS PHENOMENA

 

A. Resuscitations from the Dead

1. Peter raises the disciple Tabitha  9:36-42

2. Paul raises the young man Eutychus 20:9-12

 

B. Miraculous Cures and Exorcisms

1. Peter heals the lame man at the Temple gate 3: 1-16

2. Ananias cures Saul of his blindness 9:17-18

3. Peter heals the paralytic Aeneas 9:33-35

4. Paul cures the lame man of Lystra 14:7-9 

5. Paul stoned and miraculously healed at Lystra 14:19

6. Paul exorcises girl possessed of divining spirit 16:16-18

7. Paul heals Publius’ father of dysentery 28:7-8

 

C. Miraculous Penalties or Afflictions

1. Ananias and Saphira struck dead at Peter’s feet 5:5-11

2. Saul struck blind on the road to Damascus 9:8-9

3. Herod suddenly slain by an angel 12: 23

4. Paul temporarily blinds the sorcerer Elymas 13:9-12

 

D. Nature or Cosmic Miracles

1. Violent wind in the house in Jerusalem 2:2-6

2. Shaking of the assembly building in Jerusalem 4:31

3. Prison doors open for the Apostles 5:17-25

4. Philip snatched by the Spirit of the Lord 8:39

5. Peter liberated from prison by an angel 12:5-11

6. Chains fall from Paul and Silas 16:25-30

7. Paul shakes off viper from his arm 28:3-6

 

 

II. COLLECTIVE MIRACULOUS PHENOMENA

 

1. Many signs and wonders done by the Apostles in Jerusalem  2:43

2. Apostles perform signs and wonders among the people 5:12

3. Peter’s shadow cures many in the streets 5:15

4. Multitudes from outside Jerusalem are healed 5:16

5. Stephen works great signs and wonders 6:8

6. Philip cures crippled and possessed in Samaria 8:6-8, 13

7. Miracles worked by Paul and Barnabas on mission journey 14:3

8. Great signs and wonders done among the Gentiles 15:12

9. Miracles worked through objects touched by Paul 19:11-12

10. Paul heals all the sick brought to him on Malta 28:9

   

 

Miracles in the Life of St. Peter

1. Many signs and wonders were done by the Apostles, with St. Peter, among the Jews in Jerusalem (2:43).

2. Peter, in the company of John at the temple gate, heals the man lame from his mother’s womb (3:1).

3. Peter rebukes Ananias and Sapphira, who are struck dead for tempting the Spirit of the Lord (5:1).

4. The building in Jerusalem is shaken, where Peter and the disciples were praying for strength from God (4:31).

5. Peter is so filled with the power of God that even his shadow is enough to heal the sick on whom it falls (5:15).

6. At Lydda, Peter suddenly heals the paralytic Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years (9:33).

7. At Joppa, Peter restores to life the woman Tabitha, who had been devoted to works of charity (9:36)

8. Peter’s chains are removed, and he is delivered from prison in Jerusalem by means of an angel (12:5).

 

Miracles in the Life of St. Paul

1. Many signs and wonders were done by Sts. Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles in Asia Minor (14,3).

2. Paul, in the company of Barnabas at Lystra, heals the man lame from his birth (14:7).

3. Paul rebukes the sorcerer Elymas, who is suddenly blinded for making crooked the straight ways of the Lord (13;8)

4. The prison building at Philippi is shaken, where Paul and Silas were praying and singing the praises of God (16:25).

5. Paul is so effective in working miracles that even handkerchiefs and aprons were carried from his body to the sick and the diseases left them (19:12).

6. On Malta, Paul suddenly cures the father of his host, Publius, of fever and dysentery (28:7).

7. At Troas, Paul restores to life the young man Eutychus, who fell down from the third story (20:9).

8. Paul’s chains are suddenly loosed in the prison at Philippi (16:25).

 

Luke’s Book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit is filled with the miraculous accounts of what happened when the Spirit of God moved in the lives of individuals and on groups of people and how their testimony resounded around the world. Your testimony can resound around the world too. Just simply learn to recognise His hand in your life and open your mouth to give glory to Him for what He has done.  No wonder the early church grew so strong so quickly. People witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit all around them and they open their mouths to tell the story. You contain the Spirit of God within you if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour. Go and take Him somewhere today and impact a life for eternity. 

 

 

Being a witness is a simple act of telling others of what God has done in your life. Go be a witness. Ian

 

Nothing is ordinary. Life is an endless series of little miracles. The difference between living and existing is noticing. Louie Giglio

 

If we would remember the miracles God has done in our past, we would not so easily worry and fear when we face new challenges. Joyce Meyer

 

Learn to spot or discern the miracles in the little things of life. Miracles are all around you, you just need the eyes to see them.  

 

There's one problem with the comfort zone. Miracles don't happen there! Rick Godwin

 

Don't tell me the SKY is the limit, when there are footprints on the MOON! (My Skype By Line) Ian

 

Don't tell me God does nothing in this world, when the hands that flung stars in space have nail prints. Ian

 

Learn to recognise the moments God steps into your life and leaves His Fingerprints, Footprints or Spiritprints. Ian

 

Life is measured not by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. 

 

 

You can find past Gemz at http://www.bereaninsights.org and from the website you can ask me  to receive the Gemz daily by email.

Or you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Vail or https://www.facebook.com/ian.vail1

 

Please pray: I have a meeting this Friday 15/2/2019  for possible funding to begin the new website and set up for Deeper Bible Online.

 

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