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Friday, September 08, 2017

No Magic! Grace Solutions From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


We’ve all seen a magic trick at some time in our life. A magician takes a coin in his hand, squeezes and blows on it, opens his hand and the coin is gone. He opens his other hand and there it is. That is called magic—the art of illusion. Nothing really happened but sleight of hand fooling the eyes.

God does not do magic. We don’t hand Him our problems where He takes them in His hand, squeezes and blows on them, so that they appear to be suddenly gone. That would be an illusion. God is about miracles and leading us to grace solutions.

You know what a miracle is. It's not the illusion of being fixed and made whole. It is the miracle of God's power supernaturally changing something and it being made whole, healed, and complete—nothing missing, nothing broken. 

By grace solutions, I mean that God, who is in you and with you, leads you by His Spirit, to think, say, and do thing right things that bring solution to the problems we cannot solve ourself.

The majority of problems we experienced, we’ve helped create. Marriage problems for example, don’t just happen. We say and do things God tells us we shouldn’t say and do and we don’t say and do things God tells us we should. By disobeying God we create problems.

When we get in our crisis times, we often pray out of desperation when what we are usually looking for is “the magician”—not God. We want God to wave His wand and make the problems go away. God is interested in transforming us. He is interested in transforming how we think, how we speak, and how we behave. He is interested in transforming our attitudes, motives, and purging selfishness–helping us to instead become selfless like Jesus.

Romans 12:2 NLT says, “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

This transformation will take time because you will have to make the personal decision to hear and obey God’s voice speaking to you through the scriptures. Even when you sense Him talking to you through His Word, you still have to make the decision to obey and make changes He leads you to make. He won’t make you, so if you like the misery you create, He'll let you continue in it. But, He wants His best for you, and you making the effort to follow His lead again and again is what will transform you. Nothing else will! So how fast you change depends on how much you want to listen and respond in obedience to the voice of God. There is seldom an instant fix. It will most often be a process. Jesus has already died and forgiven you if you've given your life to Him. But, you won't forgive yourself until you make the necessary changes. You'll bask in your own condemnation and resentment. Listening and obeying repeatedly over time is what will cause your character transformation and the Christ-like character that always leads to solutions and blessing!

Hardship and the desire to get out of our problems has a way of helping us remember what we don’t want to repeat again. If God just did the magic and took away the pain from the problems you created, you would not be transformed into Christ’s image and you’d repeat those stupid mistakes and sins over and over again. He is interested in your transformation. While this is happening He’ll always be by your side to speak to you and lead you, encourage you, and strengthen you if you will listen. He’ll listen to every prayer, and help you in every step. And as you change, His grace and supernatural help will help you work through your problems. And you will on occasion experience miracles that are His love and compassion bringing the immediate help you need.

Psalms 91:14-15 (NIV) "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."

If you are looking for magician, there are plenty around. There are also plenty of cheer-leading scam artists making God-like promises. But there is only one God and one Savior—Jesus Christ. He is your help. He has your solutions. And He brings both while transforming you into His image and teaching you to walk in His wisdom.

Psalms 120:1 (NLT) "I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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