Signs and Wonders
Sovereign God, I am thankful that, when all is said and done, You are the beginning and ending of all things.
Read Acts 5:12–16
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Our God is the God of miracles. How is this borne out in your own life? Do you long to see others experiencing his mighty works?
Signs and wonders were major factors in the story of the Exodus and in the lives of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. They were also significant in the ministry of our Lord and, as seen here, in the ministry of the apostles. Why then are they such a rarity in the church today?
First, as John Stott noted, “even in the biblical record they are only occasional,” clustering around epochs of revelation and redemption. Second, our passage today indicates that it was the apostles, not everybody else, who performed the miracles (12,13). Outside those mentioned above, only a handful of individuals performed miracles in the entire Bible. This is in line with Paul’s teaching that God gives different gifts to individuals for the benefit of all. Evidence of such gifts can be found in the church today, but perhaps the reason we do not see much more of it is to do with our failure of nerve in an altogether more skeptical age. After all, the Holy Spirit has not ceased to give to believers any of the gifts recorded in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10; and the promise of Jesus still stands that those who believe in him will do the works that he did and “even greater things than these” (John 14:12).
It is important also to remember that Jesus Christ warned against seeking after signs and wonders for the wrong reasons (Matt. 12:39). While miracles can affirm the Gospel and can lead to faith or help to enhance it, they can also bring out latent unbelief or ingratitude, as in Luke 13:10–17 and 17:11–19.
Reflect on answers to your own prayers and praise God for the miracles involved. God is able to do much, much more (Eph. 3:20).
Holy One, I pray that I will see more of Your mighty power at work in my life. I embrace the fullness of Your Spirit, praying that You will use me for Your glory, however You choose.