And today I want to continue on the message that I delivered last week because there’s so much power in this message. And it’s not my message, its God’s message to you. Remembering the miracles. I’m on part two because last week I felt like I barely got a chance to just touch on some of the issues and today I want to go a little deeper with you.
First of all, you may remember I said last week we want to recognize the miracles. The first R: recognize the miracles. Miracles happen around us and we don’t even recognize them as a miracle. And so we pray and we say Lord, open my eyes. I want to see and recognize all the miracles that You are doing all around me. Recognize the miracles.
And the other one is remember the miracles. I have been taught to do this. Because it has been very, very difficult for me to continue to give leadership to this ministry when we have been hard pressed but not crushed. It’s been challenging.
And as we came upon our year where we had to, because it’s been a year since we declared chapter eleven, the courts have said you have to file a plan. So what did we file? This faith filled board said we’re going to file a Jeremiah 29:11 plan. A bible verse. We filed Jeremiah 29:11 in the courts as our plan. And it says this: “For I the Lord God, I know the plans I have for you and they are plans for good and not evil, so you will have a future and a hope. That was the plan we filed. And we’re counting, we’re counting, and we’re banking on a miracle.
But you know I have to confess there have been days when my faith was little rocky. It felt a little bit like Jell-o and it felt a little shaky. And so I’ve been taught by mentors of mine, Sheila, when your faith gets shaky, remember the miracles. Remember the miracles. Remember what God did yesterday. Remember what He did in the Old Testament. Remember what He did in the New Testament. Remember what He’s done in your life. As you remember those miracles, that will help you remember that God is the same today as He was back then, and He’s still in the miracle working business. And so that’s what I have been doing and that’s why I have to tell you how important this lesson has been to me. I do not want you to not get this lesson. It’s important for me as your teacher to teach this lesson to you. And so I’m repeating it again today. Remember those miracles! And so what do we do to remember those miracles? Well I have my little miracle journals that I keep. And I write down all the miracles that God does for me and I use them as well as remembering the miracles that are in the bible.
And as I preached on this last week, you may remember I talked about Joshua and how he had to lead the people across the Jordan River. And as they went through the Jordan River, the river parted and as they were going through, he heard God say to him, ‘Joshua, pick up twelve stones because I want you to build a miracle memorial so the children’s, children, and everybody will remember this miracle.’
So I shared this last week and lo and behold one of the young men that goes to this church almost every week, he came up to me and he said, ‘Sheila, I have to show you one of my stones. It’s a miracle stone.’ And it was a piece of paper. It was a napkin and somebody had written, this woman, he didn’t really even know her, had felt prompted by the Lord to give him some money that he needed. It was just the right amount. And she wrote that on a napkin. She said, ‘the Lord said you need this money. I want to give this to you.’ And she gave him the money, she gave him the napkin, and he came up to me and he held up the napkin and he said, ‘it’s a miracle memorial!’ It’s a stone; it’s a stone like the stones that the Israelites got out from the Jordan River.
So remember the miracles, recognize the miracles, recount the miracles. Tell them over and over. Tell them to people. God didn’t give you that miracle for you to just hide it in a closet. He gave you that miracle so can announce to the world that He is God and He is alive and He is powerful. So recount, recount, recount the miracles. And I was tickled when I heard that our Band of Brothers, which is our men’s ministry, I heard that that’s what they were doing on Monday night when they met. They were recounting the miracles that God had done in their life. That’s amazing. That’s exactly what God wants us to be doing.
And today I want to add a fourth R and that is rejoice. Rejoice in the miracles. You know when Moses led the Hebrew nation across the Red Sea, deliverance from Egypt, they crossed the Red Sea and they partied. They celebrated. They rejoiced in this miracle. They sang songs. In fact, God instructed them and He said, you know what, I think you should be celebrating this miracle every single year. We’ll call it Passover. But celebrate the miracle and celebrate it every single year. Don’t just party once, party every year. Celebration of My deliverance of you, My people. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in the miracle.
So when Joshua took his people across the Jordan River and he led them bravely into the Promised Land, they had to take and conquer Jericho, the city of Jericho. And it was surrounded by this big wall. Now that wall was not like the fence that’s in my backyard. That wall was like around a city. It was a huge, huge wall, many, many, many feet high, many, many feet thick. I’m sure many of you guys like to watch the war movies, the old battle movies. My sons and my husband do. They’re not my cup of tea but they like to watch these war movies. So I’ve seen a little bit of the fiery arrows that hit the gates and they set it on fire and then the troops go rushing through or the catapults, whatever. They had all those, right? That’s usually how they took a city that was protected by a big wall.
So Joshua and his people, they faced this wall of Jericho. Jim Penner preached on this not too long ago. Because when you think of that wall, I think of that wall, I think of that wall, you have walls in your life, you have boundaries in your life, you have Red Seas in your life, you have Jordan Rivers in your life, you have things that you do not see the way through. You do not see your way over it, you do not see your way under it. You feel stuck and you feel lost. You feel defeated by this wall in your life. This great big wall in your life. It might be health, it might be financial, it might be career, it might be family conflict, but you have a wall in your life. And we as a ministry, we have faced our wall, our financial wall, for the last year. And God tells us how to face those walls and this is the secret: you praise Him. Because God said to Joshua, He didn’t tell him to go get fiery arrows, He didn’t tell him to go get catapults, He said just take your people and walk around that wall seven days and praise Me. Sing praise songs to Me. And that’s what Joshua did. They went around the wall of Jericho one day, another day, another day, seven days praising God. And on the seventh day, they shouted out Praise God! And that wall just came a tumbling down.
If you are facing a wall, if you need a miracle and sometimes those two go hand in hand, the secret is to praise God. I have seen miracle after miracle happen today to people and it’s been because they were praising God. Why do you think we spend time here on Sunday morning’s praising God? Because as we praise Him, we remember He’s a mighty, miracle working God. As we praise Him, we give Him the glory and He loves it. He loves to hear us praise Him. And He says wow look, look, look they believe in Me. I can’t let My children down. And God comes and delivers us. If you need a miracle, you praise God. I will tell you that I have been walking. I’ve been walking our campus. I’ve been walking it. I’ve been walking it on a regular basis and I’ve been praising God the whole time, praising God because He will give us a miracle, a true miracle. God does miracles yesterday, He does miracles today, and He will do miracles tomorrow and forever.
And I’ll never forget, it was about ten years ago, and a beautiful girl who worked in our youth department, her name is Gina Inhelder. And her mom, Miss Patty, is one of the pre-school teachers at our pre-school here. And all of a sudden, we got a call one morning that Gina had been in a car accident. And I really didn’t realize the magnitude of the accident until I heard later that it was a life threatening accident. And Gina was in the hospital and she wasn’t expected to live.
And I ran to the hospital and I prayed with Ken, and I prayed with Patty, and Heidi, her sister, and then I had a chance to go in and I prayed for Gina. The doctors had said there was no hope. Gina would not live. They said Gina would not live, but if she did, by some miracle, she would never walk again. She would be paralyzed. And I went in and when I prayed for Gina, I saw her. I saw her in the fetal position. I saw her hands all curled in. It looked and felt like her life spirit was gone. Her soul was gone. It just felt that way to me when I prayed over her.
And do you know that Jesus still raises girls from the dead because she rose from the dead, Gina did. She came out of that coma. And today, is alive and well, and has gone back to school and she is a miracle. Gina is a miracle. And the doctors can’t explain it. Even the doctors have said Gina is a miracle.
Gina was in a wheelchair. Gina was paralyzed. And I ask you today, well okay, you may say Sheila, was that a half miracle that God did? He gave Gina back her life but He didn’t give her back her legs. Was that a half miracle? Well Gina was always, always just thrilled to be alive. Her parents were thrilled that she was alive. She’s done so much with her life. And yet I was stunned the other day when I was checking my Facebook and up popped a picture of Gina. And I’d like for them to put this picture on the Jumbotron at this time. Can you see Gina? Do you see Gina? Do you see Gina? Gina recently got married and she walked down the aisle at her wedding.
Gina still has to be in a wheelchair for much of the time, but that doesn’t stop Gina. God gave her a miracle. She is alive. She is alive in Jesus Christ and she’s married a beautiful, beautiful bride, Gina. And she said, I need another miracle, so that’s why I’m going to read this to you today, because I just got this from her this morning. She gets pressure sores and then she had one two years ago. The day before her skin grafting surgery, I’m going to read this now, “On my third burn from a heating pad,” she was supposed to have surgery, “but the day before my skin grafting surgery, I went to the surgeons office for him to prepare me and to their disbelief, I was miraculously healed enough to have them cancel the surgery. They could not believe it. Oh what a day of rejoicing that was, especially for me, considering how painful I had heard that skin grafting was.” She is scheduled for another surgery again, now, for another pressure sore, and she said, “Please pray, I want another miracle.” Gina is a miracle. God doesn’t do half miracles. God only does full miracles. God only does full miracles. And if you need a miracle, God will give you the entire full miracle that you need.
I say this claim, I make this claim, I stake my life on this claim, because Jesus staked His life on this claim that He will do a miracle in your life. He is the grand miracle and every other miracle prepares us for the grand miracle. Every other miracle exhibits the grand miracle, which is Jesus. Every other miracle results from the grand miracle, which is Jesus, that became God. Jesus died, Jesus rose. I stake my life on this ministry, I stake my life on it because Jesus staked His life on it. Amen.
Okay, we’re going to practice praise. I want you just to stand with me as we close today. Because you told me you need a miracle. I saw those hands raised I need a miracle. This is how we’re going to get your miracle. We’re going to praise God. We’re going to praise God and that wall is going to come tumbling down. We’re going to praise God. We’re going to rejoice. We’re going to rejoice in the miracle even if you haven’t seen it yet, right? Even if you haven’t seen it, we’re going to praise, praise, praise God, so lift your hands out, look up to the heavens and I want to hear you say it with faith. Thank You, God! Let’s try that again. Thank You, God! For the miracles yesterday! Thank You, God! For the miracles today! Thank You, God! For the miracles tomorrow and forever, Amen