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Dr. Ray Pritchard Christian Blog and Commentary

Dr. Ray Pritchard

Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons - Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law- Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren - Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.

Anatomy of a Miracle

“Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16)

She had been deformed for eighteen years.
That’s a long time to suffer.

What can we learn from her story?

 First, she was in bondage. For eighteen years she suffered from a severe curvature of the spine. She was “bowed down” and completely deformed because of Satan’s power.

 Second, she was helpless. Luke 13:11 says she could not straighten up. She could not help herself, and there was no medical cure for her condition.

 Third, she responded to the invitation of Jesus. Though suffering greatly, she came to the synagogue to hear the Word of God taught. Luke 13:12 says that Jesus called him to her. This happened publicly, which might have made her hesitate. What if it were just a cruel trick? What if people laughed at her? What if they winced when they saw her try to move? None of those things mattered. When Jesus called her, she came forward.

 Fourth, she heard the words of deliverance. “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (v. 13). I am sure she could hardly believe it. For eighteen long years, she had been in the grip of Satanic affliction. Now the Son of God with a word has set her free.

 Fifth, she was touched by Jesus. “He laid his hands on her” (v. 13). Our Lord comes into personal contact with every soul he saves. He does not delegate his power to anyone. It is not the pastor who saves, or the priest who saves, or the church that saves. Salvation comes from a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

 Sixth, she was instantly delivered. Finally, she can stand up straight. The pain is gone because the power of Satan has been decisively broken. What was crooked has been made straight. She received full deliverance from the Lord.

 Seventh, she immediately glorified God. She did what anyone would do. She responded by giving praise to God for the mighty miracle she received. Acts 10:38 says that Jesus came to deliver those trapped by the devil. No wonder she sang.

 Her story is really our story if we know Jesus. When we were hopelessly lost and unable to save ourselves, Jesus came for us. He called us. He spoke the gospel to us. He touched us. He delivered us from the guilt of our sin. He set us free from Satan’s power.

Her miracle is really our miracle if we know Jesus. She glorified God for what the Lord had done for her. Will you not do the same today?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the miracle of salvation. May I never make light of what you purchased at such great cost. Tune my heart to sing your praise all day long. Amen.

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Here's the video devotional for "Playing for the Same Team." Lord, deliver us from a spirit of competition. #MiracleRoad

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“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:38-40).

How do we know who is really on Team Jesus?

The question is not as simple as it may seem. We know that in the last day, many people will cry out, “Lord, Lord!” who did not truly know the Lord. There will even be some people who drove out demons and worked miracles in the name of Christ who did not know the Lord (see Matthew 7:21-23).

Perhaps the better way to say it is that the Lord did not know them. Some people who say they know the Lord aren’t known by him at all. In the last day, some people will be exposed as frauds who apparently worked miracles and somehow cast out demons.

Although they thought they knew the Lord, he did not know them.

In this passage, we have the other side of the question. What about people who are born again but are not in our group? They may have different views on the end times or on baptism or on church government. How should we view them? Should we try to stop them from serving the Lord?

The answer is no. In this case, they are casting out demons by the power of Christ. They aren’t fakes or frauds, and they aren’t wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are brothers and sisters who serve in a different part of the Lord’s vineyard.

Jesus said we should leave them alone and not try to stop them.

They will answer to the Lord someday, just like we will. They won’t answer for us, and we won’t answer for them. The Lord who loves us also loves them. He can take care of them today and tomorrow.

To bring these two truths together requires wisdom and discernment. There are false teachers out there who must be exposed, but not everyone who differs from us is a false teacher.

I have learned that God has a big family—bigger than I once imagined. The Lord knows his own, and he takes care of his own.

I don’t need to spend my life correcting everyone around me. I have enough trouble with the man in the mirror.

Let’s keep our eyes focused on the task before us, and let’s leave the final judging to Jesus.

Lord Jesus, set us free from the spirit of competition. Give us grace to accept those who, though different from us, are truly your servants. Amen.

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