Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit #1

It's been awhile since I wrote the intro to this format of my blog, so you may want to check out Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit before reading on.

It's J.P., with more "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit".

While working my way through the devotional, "My Meditations on Saint Paul" by Rev. James E. Sullivan, M.S. (Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 5300 Fort Hamilton Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11219) I found myself "talking" to the book - actually disagreeing with it. Let me set the stage:

This devotional is set up with a reference to a Bible passage, a paraphrased (in the author's own words) telling of that passage, the author's own reflections on the passage, and a prayer. It has been a real pleasure so far. I like the perspective of the author, and he makes me think. This particular devotion covered Acts 9:31-43, the telling of the miracle of Tabitha being raised from the dead. It talks about Peter's acting in response to Jesus' "sacred trust" to feed His sheep by teaching in various towns. In the city of Joppa some of the people come to him begging him to do what he can for a girl named Tabitha who had died. She was a seamstress who made tunics and cloaks, and greatly helped the poor. The passage tells of Peter's praying over her and her rising from the dead.

Here is where I'm stepping in. The author used phrases like, "Peter had just performed a tremendous miracle", "he actually brought a dead person back to life", "didn't notice Peter or his awesome power", "could never do what Peter did, could never cure a wound instantaneously or bring the dead back to life". We have to remember that Peter did not have the power to do ANY miracle. Nor does any minister today. Miracles are strictly of the realm of God only. God will work THROUGH individuals, but the source is strictly His. And with the source, all glory is His as well.

If we do not give the glory back to God for the work HE has done, we take the impact of the miracle away. Miracles have one major purpose: to point people to God. Sure, the immediate impact of the miracle upon a life is important, but without giving glory back to God you take it all for yourself.

I work as an executive assistant, and I believe my job is to do the things my boss shouldn't do, so that he can do what no one else can. Now, if he is doing something and asks me to assist him with it, it would be wrong of me to take the accolades for it when it is completed. They belong to my boss - I was working for him. Same with miracles, or any other "work" we do for the Lord.

Jesus gives us a great example when He heals the ten lepers, and then tells them to go show themselves to the priests (fulfilling the requirements in the Old Testament). Only one stops and comes back to Jesus and gives Him the praise He so rightly deserves (being God). Jesus even asks him, "Where are the other nine?"

If you are willing to be a "tool" in the hands of God, He will use you - in large and small ways. But ALWAYS give Him the glory. He deserves it.

© Emittravel 2012

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