Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church; Message: Romans 15:30-32; Date: 30 June 2013

For more sermons and other writings check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org

 

 

Therefore Pray

 

Reinhard Bonnke: Living a Life of Fire. An Autobiography, Orlando: E-R Productions 2009, p317-319: As this story begins, the big tent campaigns were in full swing. Crowds grew in every location. 10,000 pressed in under the canvas, and many thousands more crowded around the outside to hear the gospel. Already, I had met with a Christian engineer and designer named J.J. Swanepoel, to design the largest tent ever  built. It would replace the one we now used. It was a structure that would seat 34,000. But a restless feeling was nagging on the inside of me. What could it mean?

One night I went to sleep and began to dream. In this dream I wore a sea captain’s uniform. I stood on the bridge of a great ship. I gripped the helm. I could feel the powerful engine room vibrations through the wheel in my hands. The deck moved beneath my feet as tons of water was displaced by this moving giant. The ship was a floating city. It seemed as large as the infamous German Bismarck battleship of World War II.

I noticed, however, that the ship was not on the open seas where I would expect it to be. In my dream, I was guiding the ship upstream along the twisting course of an African river in the night. Peering ahead in the gloom I could see a bend. Looking on each side, I saw that the banks were growing narrower as I passed upstream. I slowly realized that my great ship was doomed. It would never make it around that bend. We were in dangerous waters.

I looked to see if I could turn around to avoid disaster, but the channel had no room. There was no going back. The hair rose on the back of my neck as I realized that there was no going forward, either. Such a dilemma!

In my dream, I broke into a terrible sweat. Everything was at stake, and all so suddenly. My hands trembled on the wheel as I watched the huge ship move closer and closer to unavoidable disaster. In desperation, I cut the power to the engines. They fell silent, but I had acted too late. Our massive momentum carried us forward.

Suddenly, I heard the horrible sound of steel groaning and screeching against the rocks. Gaping holes were torn in the hull. The huge Bismarck-sized battleship lurched to a stop as the narrow banks caught and held it fast in the African night. I stood riveted to the spot, swallowed up by the sound of the rippling current and the chatter of bush insects in the darkness.

I awoke to find my bed sheets soaked with sweat. No one had to tell me that I had just had a dream from God. But what did it mean?

“Lord,” I cried, “what is it?” The ship, the Lord said, is a picture of your organization, Christ for all Nations. “Lord, will we get stuck?” I asked. No

I felt great relief to hear this. Still, I knew we were in dangerous waters. I must carefully listen to what the Lord would say about how to avoid shipwreck.

A great battleship needs more than firepower, I heard him say in my spirit. It needs maneuverability.

“Yes, yes,” I agreed. I could still recall the terrible moment when I realized that I could not turn the ship around to avoid getting stuck. The entire ship, with all of its marvellous firepower, had become locked in an immovable position by two ordinary riverbanks.

Your foundation is too narrow and too small, the Lord said to me. The battleship is fine, but I will widen the river for you so you can pass. I will add prayer partners to Christ for all Nations. Every prayer partner will widen the river by one inch.

Now I understood the restless feeling in my spirit. God had been warning me of trouble that I didn’t know was there. In his great love and wisdom, he had given me his plan for avoiding disaster. All of my energies became focused now. In obedience, I would find ways to gather new prayer partners to widen the river.

 

How big is ourship”? We are not a big church – even though we are quite big compared to the average size congregation in Australia which numbers between 60-70 people (National Church Life Survey 2001). We may not be big but I think that we are being positioned for something bigger – growing influence.

This past week, I have brainstormed some of our core values as a church community. Right now, I will not give you a complete list because we would need to do this work together but I give you some values which have emerged strongly over the years:

 

·         Christian Unity: God makes people one with the other Christians in their congregations and city.

·         The Word and the Spirit: God has called us to minister in the power of the Word and the Spirit.

Ø  The Word has no power without the Spirit.[1]

Ø  The Spirit does nothing without the Word.[2]

Ø  The Spirit confirms the Word with power.[3]

·         Signs, Wonders and Miracles: God calls us to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified with demonstrations of the Spirit’s power – not with wise and persuasive words.

·         Healing: God wants us to preach the kingdom of heaven and heal the sick.

·         Accessibility: God offends human pride but you do not have to be “weird” to be spiritual.

·         Prayer: God invites us to work with him through prayer.

·         Worship: God “inhabits” the praises of his people and intensifies his presence in worship.

·         Culture of Honour: God bestows honour on all members of the church family. He makes us cherish one another on account of our identity, gifting and calling.

·         Acceptance: Everyone is welcome.

·         Inheritance: God grants us the joy of passing on spiritual breakthroughs as an inheritance to the next generation(s).

 

This list features a range of values but there is an emphasis on experiencing and encountering God through the Word that is preached in the power of the Spirit; signs, wonders and miracles; healings; worship and prayer. As Australia becomes increasingly a post-Christian nation, we need more than words – we need power – to gain a hearing from our neighbours especially when they are shaped by the world-views of rationalism, secularism, materialism and consumerism which all deny God. It needs a supernatural experience to confront these mindsets that do not reckon with any god and how wonderful to have this occur in the form of a healing which is the ultimate expression of a loving God that cares.

So far, the strong presence of God in our midst (the miracle of gold dust in every meeting, infillings with the Holy Spirit and healings) has put us on the fringe of the wider church (the Lutheran denomination, the citywide church). [Yet, we believe that we are in the orthodox centre according to the Bible.] We are respected – (we have a positive public profile) – but not fully embraced in our emphasis on experiencing God [by which we do not mean a continuous mountain top experience which leaves no room for the cross and dark nights of the soul but hearing from him and living “by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16)]. In the church, the Holy Spirit and what he does (e.g.: healings, demonstrations of power, manifestations) have always managed tostir the pot” – it’s always been controversial – (at least in the beginning of any new movement) – but the world has paid attention to the power of God (e.g.: Oral Roberts, the healing evangelist, who pioneered having his worship services shown on prime time television [1954]).

This year, something has shifted among us that makes us poised to become a biggership” – to gain more influence on account of what God has placed among us. No one is going to listen to me or anyone else from this congregation when we are presiding over a declining community. Since 2009, the testimonies among us have consistently been great – stunning even – but – over the last four years – we have suffered the loss of 28% of our average worship attendance. (This is in addition of the loss in 2008 when one third of Living Grace broke away to form a separate congregation.) [Why? Reasons range from rejecting church discipline – lingering discomfort with the Holy Spirit – staffing more for mission than community building – to a more general lack of committing to one another.] Yet – over the last six months – there seems to be a turnaround.

All of a sudden, we have new small groups, a new worship band, a freezer ministry, a brand-new pastoral care team, church socials, Paul Kupke doing his mentored ministry here, Mandee Anderson graduating with a Bachelor in Theology, mature people (who know the Holy Spirit) joining us, new paint everywhere (literally), landscaping, stepping up in the management of the church rentals, building new kids’ ministry rooms and – in general – a wonderful buzz of people living their lives together. Last but not least, our worship attendances are showing a growth trend.

I don’t know exactly what happened but I love it. Our Sunday services are the highlight of the week for me. Let me spell out what I think is absolutely precious. God is present in power but he moves among us in an atmosphere of peace and joy – there is a certain lightness – not striving or hype or pursuing weirdness.

For instance, the worship bands are united in their hunger for more of God and, with them, we invest passion in our worship of God – we want to move from the “Outer Court” to the “Holy of Holies” – yet, our children are allowed to be children – worshipping one minute with childlike focus on God and, the next, they run along the platform or stop mum from playing her instrument. When I preach – no matter how serious the topic – we always seem to laugh a lot – even though my sermon transcripts include no jokes. Towards the end or after the worship service, we pray for people and – many a time – numerous people end up lying on the carpet (blocking the walkways), there may be tears or laughter, a demon may manifest, spiritual gifts get released, some people are checking their hands for gold dust but this is now normal and relaxed – even including children in the prayer ministry. The ministry team enjoys working with one another and all those that are not coming to the front for prayer are relaxed at morning tea or they are chatting in the pews – catching up with one another or organizing something or simply being there for one another – which I consider as essential as the prayer ministry up front.

Our shipis becoming bigger. Our values of moving in the power of the Spirit are finding healthy expressions in community life (peace, joy, love) which makes what God is doing among us attractive (even compelling) to others – the wider church and the general community. With Living Grace finding its feet, the Jesus Tent gains credibility and there are so many other encouraging signs: God is now bringing people to join the work. [Strangers turn up at the Prayer Watch to be filled with the Spirit. The book “Surprised by the Holy Spirit” makes people hungry and sets them up to be filled. One pastor read the book in one afternoon – the first book which he had read in years.]

When Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry grew bigger, God gave him a dream – (the dream which I mentioned in the beginning). What was the point of the dream? Theship” – the ministry – the work of our church – cannot proceed unless more people pray for the river banks to widen – (it widens one inch per person). Prayer – God through prayer – changes circumstances – gains favour – orchestrates opportunities.

Even before the dream – Reinhard Bonnke had a restless feeling. Something was wrong and God showed him what was wrong: there was not enough prayer. You get stuck – destroy the sheep – unless prayer partners get behind the work (such as the Jesus Tent, doing messages and conferences in other places).

Do we pray enough? Yes – prayer meetings are one of our core values. Small groups pray. There are private prayer meetings in people’s homes and – as a church – we pray together every Friday night (7-10pm) and every Sunday morning before the service (8-9am). I myself go to three more weekly prayer meetings: Eloum Tiya’s house (Tuesday – 5-6pm), Christian Leaders’ Network (Thursday – 8.30-9.30am) and praying for Oakey in Oakey (Wednesday – 5-6pm). Every now and then, we have special seasons of fasting and prayer. We already pray a lot but – maybe – as the “ship” grows bigger – we can do more.

Prayer is such a privilege. God cares about our prayer contributions – our expressions of desire and hunger for breakthrough – and he responds by answering what we put before him. You can be old – you can be frail – you can be awkward around people – you can be no good in front of a microphone – you can be miles away from the action – but your prayer moves God and your prayer widens theriver banksfor theshipof mission work to pass through any confinements and outside pressures. What a privilege and what precious use of your time!

In the Bible, the apostle Paul was also commandeering abig ship”. I read to you what he wrote to the Christians in Rome:

 

Romans 15:30-32: I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favourably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.

 

The apostle Paul urged his brothers and sisters – his fellow Christians – to join him in his international work by praying for him. The outcome of such prayer was safety from unbelievers – protection in persecution – and favour among fellow Christians – the gracious acceptance of money from Gentile Christians by Jewish Christians.

 

See also 2 Corinthians 1:8-11: We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

[Colossians 4:12: Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.]

 

Do you want us to operate a big shipand would you be willing to invest more prayer in keeping it afloat? The apostle Paul spelled out two sources of motivation for prayer: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, a) by our Lord Jesus Christ and b) by the love of the Spirit ...” / (Amplified Bible translation) “I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, a) for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and b) by the love [given by] the Spirit ...”

 

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible: For the Lord Jesus Christ’s sakeGreek, By or through διά (dia) our Lord Jesus Christ; It means probably out of love and regard to him; in order to promote his honour and glory, and to extend his kingdom among people. Paul desired to be delivered from the bands of the Jews, that he might promote the honor of Jesus Christ among the Gentiles.

And for the love of the Spirit διά dia. By the mutual love and sympathy which the Spirit of God produces in the minds of all who are the friends of God. I beseech you now to manifest that love by praying earnestly for me.

 

Do these motivations motivate you? You can saynobut this would mean that God needs to do some work in you – even this morning. Maybe all of us – we need to receive a greater touch from God to appreciate anew the sacrificing love of Jesus Christ who died for us – not only to forgive us but renew and change us – and appreciate anew that love is available – a heart of compassion given by God – through the Holy Spirit – Romans 5:5: “... God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Maybe this morning, it is your time to lie on the carpet for a while. Receive from God. Let him touch you with gratitude and compassion so that you are moved to prayer. As strange as it sounds, our mighty God desires theco-labouringof us little people.

 

Notice also that another motivation is the outcome of joy: “...so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.”

 

Reinhard Bonnke had another dream and experience which impressed on him again how precious salvation is and how much God cares about the lost – even those that have heard the good news of Jesus Christ many times before and still turned away from him.

 

Reinhard Bonnke: Living a Life of Fire. An Autobiography, Orlando: E-R Productions 2009, p382-395: The footbridge had not stabilizers, no supports to keep it from swaying. It stretched dangerously above a deep, rocky chasm. The walkway had been constructed of two cables with wooden slats strung between them, nothing more. There were not even handrails. To my way of thinking, this bridge was not a proper crossing. It was a death-trap. I would not think of stepping onto it.

It was then I noticed a foolish soul attempting to cross. Like a high-wire amateur, the man held out his arms for balance. He crept, inch by inch, toward the other side, staring down at his trembling legs and feet. The wooden walkway tipped and swayed beneath him.

I rushed to the edge of the cliff and looked over. The bottom of the gorge could not be seen below. It was covered in morning mist. The fog moved like a river through this great gash in the earth.

I looked back at the man. He had made surprising progress, bringing himself nearly halfway to the other side. In my heart I wished him well, but suddenly, the cloud of fog rose on an updraft from the canyon. It engulfed the walkway just in front of the man. He was unaware of it. His eyes were trained on his own feet, and I knew as surely as I breathed that if that man stepped into the fog he would lose his balance. He would plunge to his death.

I rushed to the base of the bridge to see if I could rescue him. Arriving there, I could see that if I placed one foot on that rickety walkway it would totally the man’s equilibrium. I could only warn him.

“Sir, stop!” I shouted. “You must stop! The fog is in front of you.”

The man turned and glanced back at me. In that moment, a shaft of pain stabbed through my soul. The man was my own brother, Juergen. Ignoring my warning, he turned quickly and disappeared into the fog.

Juergen! Juergen!” I cried. In a moment, I heard a cry and then a terrible scream. It faded and echoed below as he fell. Reinhaaaaard!”

I awoke. My sheets were drenched in sweat. My heart pounded in my chest. A thousand buried feelings rose up in my heart and washed over me. I wanted to weep aloud for Juergen. I knew that he had wandered far from Jesus.

Lord, what is this I have seen? The answer was clear and specific: Juergen is on the bridge to eternity. If you don’t warn the godless I will require his blood at your hand.

I objected. Lord, this makes no sense. I know Juergen is far from you, but how should I warn him when he knows the way of salvation as well as I do?

If you don’t warn the godless I will require his blood at your hand.

Why did I question God? I don’t know. Perhaps I reacted like the Virgin Mary when the angel Gabriel announced that she would have a baby. It made no sense to her natural mind. She said, Lord, how will this happen since I have never known a man? This is not a question of unbelief, but a question of how to obey.

Juergen and his twin, Peter, were close in years and experience to me. We remember many things alike. They were nearly six and I was five when we were forced to flee for our lives at the end of World War II. Mother had prayed and read her Bible every day for guidance and protection. We had survived internment camp together.

When released from military duty our father became a Pentecostal pastor and soon we were joined. However, as the years moved on, all of my older brothers – Martin, Gerhard, Peter and Juergen – began to question the family faith. Even the stories of deliverance in the fall of East Prussia came into question. They found other natural ways to explain our escape at war’s end. It was not the hand of God, they said, it was chance, luck, coincidence, fate – anything but God. Even our father’s healing from tuberculosis could be explained in terms of psychology and psychosomatic symptoms, they decided.

I know this is a familiar story. It happens in many families ... “Where was God?” my brothers asked. “Do we think the Bonnkes were his favourites? We were allowed to escape, while thousands of others died around us! What kind of God would do that?”

With questions like these, my brothers rejected faith and began to worship intellect and science...

In recent years while building CfaN, I had returned to Germany a number of times. My heart would hurt as I saw so many decisions for Christ around the world, yet my own brothers were still completely hardened to the gospel.

Juergen’s house was the place I least enjoyed to visit. He had married a woman who thought of herself as highly intelligent. To her way of thinking, Christian faith was superstition to be ridiculed and attacked ... She attacked me with so much vigour that Juergen was put to shame. I could tell that he loved me as a brother, even if he had chosen a different path ...

After waking up from my dream about Juergen, I presented my case to the Lord. Lord, see the progress we have made with sugar, not with sermons? Why do you now tell me, “If you don’t warn the godless I will require his blood at your hand?” What do you mean? Am I to preach him the sermon he has heard a thousand times? Will he learn anything new if I tell him again he is a sinner and bound for hell? He knows that you sent Jesus to die for his sins. I don’t understand.

The Lord whispered to my heart, Write him a letter and tell him what you have seen in this dream.

Yes! This sounded like God speaking to me. It was not an idea that would have occurred to my natural mind. I will do it, Lord, I said. I turned over and went back to sleep.

The next morning I woke up and started another day with the family. In all of the normal excitement of preparing to move to Germany, I forgot about my dream. Suddenly, in the middle of the day, I heard the Spirit speak clearly to me. You did not write the letter. I will require his blood at your hands.

I stopped everything. Excusing myself for a few minutes, I sat down and wrote that letter, telling Juergen what I had seen in the dream. Then I sent it via airmail.

In the weeks to come I did not hear a reply. I left it in God’s hands. I had obeyed. Now I went on with my life and eventually it left my mind ...

When Annie and I returned from Harare, waiting for us at home was a huge stack of mail ... “You had better read this one right away,” she said.

I took the envelope and examined the address. It was from Juergen Bonnke. Suddenly I remembered how I had written him from South Africa weeks ago. I had heard nothing back, and in all the excitement of the Harare Fire Conference I had forgotten about it completely. Now, here in Germany came this letter.

Anni and the children knew how important family communication was to me. They gathered around, eager to see what “Uncle Juergen” had to say.

I ripped open the envelope and unfolded the document inside.

Dear Reinhard, my wife has left me. My best friend recently died of cancer. I have been so frustrated I felt that life was no longer worth living. I wanted to kill myself. But in the night I had a dream. I was walking on a bridge. It was unstable and had no handrails and I slipped and screamed as I fell. I woke up, sweating with fear ...

At this point my voice began to get husky with emotion. Annie and the kids did not understand this. They did not know that Juergen was describing my dream. I had said nothing to them about it. I continued reading ...

I jumped out of bed and said, ‘Almighty God, you know that I don’t even believe in you, but I have a brother who serves you. If you have spoken to me through this dream, speak to me through Reinhard.’ Sometime later your letter came. Your dream was my dream. I have given my life to Jesus. He has forgiven me of my sins ...

At this point I was weeping and could not even talk ...

 

God cared for Juergen – Reinhard Bonnke’s brother. He prompted and prodded Reinhard – (gave him this dream and talked to him afterwards) – until he stepped up in declaring again to his brother that Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross – gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins – so that we could be forgiven if we only believed in him – trusted him with our lives and followed him. God cared and gave Juergen the same dream as Reinhard so that by this miracle (of two brothers having the same dream thousands of miles apart) conviction would grow and certainty that God indeed offered a him a new life – one where Juergen would cope with his divorce and loss of friends and not kill himself.

God cared and Reinhard could only weep over his goodness. He could not finish reading his brother’s letter aloud. God loves people and he loves you and he cares about your salvation. He will do anything to save you – and has done in Jesus.

The dream about his brother gave Reinhard a new urgency to see him saved. God confronted him with the truth that his brother was lost and in danger of being lost forever because he did not believe in Jesus. God impressed on Reinhard the urgency to communicate again the truth of salvation to him and this is the same urgency that the apostle Paul put before the people in Rome so that they would pray for him and, in this way, support the preaching of Jesus through him.

I say it again: this kind of urgency is not harsh – is not relentless pressure to perform religious duties – but is fuelled by the love of God. God took the lead by giving the brothers the same dream and God will take the lead with you – surprise you with his loving ways of setting up salvation (for your relatives, friends and neighbours). The love of God broke Reinhard down – made him a mess of tears – and he is doing the same with us. Just listen to the testimonies of people in our midst.

Therefore, “for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spiritcan we pray more? Unless we pray, ourshipwill not pass through theriver banks”.

In closing, I may add that Paul is clear about the intensity of our prayer times. He encouraged his brothers and sisters in Christ tounite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf” (Romans 15:30) which may sometimes look like Jesus’ own prayer time as he wrestled with his pressures of ministry in the Garden of Gethsemane:

 

Luke 22:41-46: He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

 

See also Ephesians 6:10-20: A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not wrestling against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

 

I will expand on this last point next time but I hope that no one is deterred. (Numerous intercessors such as Suzette Hattingh and also Bill Johnson inform us that more than 90% of their payer time is spent in praise and being refreshed by God and the wrestling part is the smaller part of their prayer life.) Prayer is an important work and a privilege. God is giving us ashipand we like it – (we like the look of our church: people on the floor by the power of God, children running around with gold sparkles on their hands, people chatting in an atmosphere of peace and joy, reaching out with the Jesus Tent and seeing people saved and healed) – and God wants theshipto stay afloat; therefore pray. Amen.

 



[1] Luke 24:45-49: “ … repentance and forgiveness will be preached in his name to all nations … but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” / Acts 1:4-8 / 2 Timothy 3:5 / Zechariah 4:4 / 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6: “ . our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction … you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

[2] Genesis 1:1-25 / 2 Peter 3:5 / Hebrews 1:3: “ … sustaining all things by his powerful word …” / John 6:63 / Ephesians 6:17: “ … the sword of the Spirit . is the word of God.” / Revelations 19:11-16 / Hebrews 4:12 / Acts 10:44: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” / Isaiah 55:10-11 / Matthew 16:19 / John 20:22-23 / 1 Peter 1:23-25 / James 1:18 / Luke 8:4-15 / Colossians 1:6 / Acts 6:7; 12:24; Acts 19:20 / Titus 1:3 / Philippians 2:15-16 / Ephesians 5:26 / 1 Timothy 4:5 / 1 Thessalonians 1:13 / 2 Timothy 4:1-2 / Matthew 8:8,16 / Mark 7:33-35 / Psalm 107:20.

[3] John 10:38 / John 14:11: “ … believe on the evidence of the miracles … ” / Acts 2:22: “ … listen to this: Jesus … was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” / John 14:12/ 1 Corinthians 4:20 / Mark 16:20 / Hebrews 2:3-4: “ … This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord … God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit … ” / Acts 4:29-30; 8:6; 14:3 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “ … My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” Romans 15:18-19: “ … what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit … I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” / Galatians 3:5.