Unexpected Jesus #11 - Does God Still Give Signs?

Dr. Kurt Bjorklund, looks at the second part of John chapter 4 and unpacks what it means for us to see the signs in the world around us and put our faith in Christ.

Message Transcript

This is an auto-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.

Good morning. Welcome. It's great to be together. Just before we jump in to today's teaching, I want to just highlight a couple things, ask you to pray for a few things. This coming week is our holy week here at Orchard Hill and everywhere, not just here. And we will be having Good Friday both Thursday and Friday. And I could just tell you, I've seen a little bit of what's planned for that evening. You do not want to miss that. There will be some surprises, fun things, things that you may not expect, so it should be a great time.

And then Easter will be Saturday at 6:00, and then Sunday at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 and 1:00. At 7:00 and 1:00, there'll just be services in the chapel. Last year we had about 6,500 people come, which is a little more than twice what we get in a normal weekend. So we anticipate some extra crowds. The chapel would be open, all those services, but just be in prayer for God to work. And if you normally come at 9:30 especially, note that it's 9:00 or 11:00, not 9:30. That's just to spread out the traffic flow for coming in and out during that high traffic weekend.

And then secondly, our student ministry team is on a trip to Chicago right now with a host of our students. Group was scheduled to go to Haiti and work at the church there that we had helped to plant. Due to the travel advisory, they called an audible at the last moment and went to Chicago. But there'll be learning about issues of poverty and wealth, race, underprivileged people and kind of what it means to minister in different context, and so all of that will come together for them. We just want to pray for that encounter as well. Let's just take a moment and pray.

Father, we pray today that you would work in this next week drawing people to yourself through what happens here at Orchard Hill and churches throughout the region. Father, we pray that you would draw people here and that they would come to find and follow you through what they encounter. Father, we pray for the students that are traveling to Chicago. God, we pray that their eyes would be opened to all kinds of issues of our world and that they would see how they can fit into your work in this world in a different way.

And Lord, as we're gathered here today, I pray very simply that you would let your voice be heard. Father, if I've prepared things that don't reflect your word, I pray you'd keep me from saying them and if there are things that they would be beneficial as we're here, I pray you would prompt me and help me to say even things that I haven't prepared. And we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Today we conclude our series that we've called The Unexpected Jesus. And what we've done is we've looked at the first four chapters of John, and what we've seen is that Jesus is often different than we might expect him to be. And that's true whether you're in the church, outside the church, been around church a long time, not been around church. And what we'll do after Easter's we'll jump back into John, but it'll be a new series. We're going to call it The Controversial Jesus. And the reason is, is the first four chapters a lot of commentators would say, "Is Jesus revealing himself to humanity?"

And then in chapter five and following, we see Jesus being opposed by a bunch of different groups in different encounters. And what I think we'll see is that often what people opposed in Jesus' day, they're still opposing in our day and it sparks controversy. And so we'll be looking at that and continuing in John after Easter. But today we come to the end of John chapter four and this is a miraculous account of Jesus doing a healing. And John tells us that this is the second sign that he gives. Now, John uses the word sign instead of the word miracle. He doesn't say this is the second miracle that Jesus did. He says, "This is the second sign that Jesus did."

I don't think that that's a coincidence. I think that John chose his words very carefully, and I don't think it's because he's denying the miraculous or trying to trick anybody, but he's saying that the miraculous was done for a very specific reason. It wasn't just a naked display of power, but it was God's way of saying, "I want to show you who Jesus is. I want to confer on Jesus the status that he has as the son of God, and I want you to come to believe in God through all that he's done and have these signs point to Jesus."

Now, when it comes to talking about signs and miracles, there are a couple of different ways that we could talk about it. One is we could approach this very academically. And what I mean by that is we could look at miracles in their origin, in the Bible, how they worked in the Bible, talk about how they worked and how they will work and do work in and take all kinds of data to look at it. Or we could look at it more personally, and today we're going to look at it more personally. And the reason I say that is because this story points to something that's very pointed in your life and in my life, in all likelihood.

It may not be the exact same scenario, but chances are you at some point or another, find yourself in a desperate situation. And here's what I mean. In this story, we have a dad whose son was close to death. In fact, we're told that he was a royal official and rarely when we get a little detail like this in the texts is that detail wasted or is it just a throwaway line? The point of saying this was a royal official was to say this man had connections. This man had resources, maybe more connections than most people, more resources than most. And yet his son was still at the point of death. In other words, he had probably exhausted everything in his power to change the situation. And now he finds himself at the end of himself and he says, "Jesus, would you do something? Come heal my son."

The reason I say that all of us will at some point find ourselves in a desperate situation is, is you may be here today and you may be saying, "You know what? I'm not in a desperate situation right now. Things are great in my life," but chances are if you aren't in one right now, there will come a day when you will find yourself in one. Certainly this situation dealt with health. Many of us know what it is to face a health challenge. Either personally or in the life of somebody we love where we find ourselves at the end of ourselves, all our resources exhausted saying, "God, would you do something here?"

Some of us may not be in a health situation, but maybe we find ourselves in a situation around a relationship, something with one of our children or a marriage or a dating relationship and we find ourselves feeling that same sense of desperation and coming and saying, "God, would you do something here?" Or maybe for some it's around a pregnancy that didn't happen or it's around a job opportunity that just doesn't seem to find its way to us. And we feel like it's elusive in our lives and we keep coming to God and saying, "God, would you do something here?" And so this ends up being intensely personal.

What I believe we see in this story is that we can bring our greatest desperation to Jesus. In fact, it's the best place to come with our greatest desperation is to Jesus. And what I think we'll see as we look at this story is that Jesus' response is actually somewhat unexpected once again. Because I would have thought when this man comes to Jesus and says, "Jesus, my son is sick," that Jesus would have done some like, "He's healed." Now, Jesus does heal the boy in this instance, but I would have expected something kinda cool and dramatic, or I would have expected maybe some empathy, like, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear your son's sick. How do you feel about that?"

But Jesus responds with some challenging words. But before we come to those words, let us just look at this passage and what I think we see is that we can come to Jesus with our greatest desperation by coming in two distinct ways. First, by imploring Jesus or God without reservation. And we see this in verse 47. Here's what it says. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went and begged him to come and heal his son who was close to death. Some translations simply say that he asked him, but I think the NIV here captures well what this word is about, because it says, he begged him, he implored him. He basically came and said, "Jesus, I have nowhere else to turn. I've exhausted my contacts. I've exhausted my resources. Would you do something?"

And one of the things that happen sometimes in church, especially around Christian people that aren't necessarily charismatic, maybe people that are kind of reformed, which would both fit the description of Orchard Hill Church, is we get to a point where we don't always want to ask God for things. And what I mean is this. Is we say, "I don't want to be the person who does name it and claim it and comes to Jesus and says, 'Jesus, I command you. I demand you to do something.'" Or we say, "God's already decided what God's going to do because he is sovereign. He's in control, so it doesn't really matter if I ask," and we hit a point where we just stop asking, but I think that some of the most haunting words in the New Testament are the words that we find in James Chapter four verse two.

Where it says, you do not have because you do not ask. I wonder how many things that we're desperate about if we would go and ask God, beg God, implore God, he might work in our lives in a way that would amaze us. And yet a lot of times what happens is we're shy about coming and asking without reservation, begging, imploring without reservation. I mean, maybe it happens like this. I understand that where the email filter came from ... You know how you have an email filter that keeps away the emails you don't want to get, the spam emails? Was that when Microsoft was first getting started, the Internet was kind of first getting started, that Bill Gates got his email publicized somehow and he started getting about 4 or 5,000 emails a day and this was before like constant contact and email spam and he had to set up a filter to get rid of all of the extraneous requests and just have the ones that he needed.

I wonder how many of us feel like when we come to God, he has an email filter on saying, "Your request isn't one that I'm going to hear or take seriously." You see what we need to see first and foremost in this passage is that God is happy to receive our request and that if we will implore God without reservation, that that is the best posture that we can come to God with. But often what happens is people of faith, not people of faith, is you say, "Well, I tried it once. I've prayed before God didn't work, and since God didn't do something before, I'm not going to keep asking," but it's good to say, "I'm going to come and ask God to work in what feels desperate to me."

There's a second thing now that's here, and this is where we find the unexpected comment of Jesus, and I'm going to simply say, and that is if we're going to bring our most desperate situation to Jesus, we need to do it by believing, without demanding. So we bring our desperation to Jesus by asking or begging without reservation, but also by believing, without demanding. And here's where we see. This verse 48 it says this. It says: "Unless you people see signs and wonders," Jesus told them, "You will never believe." Now, the NIV here says "You people," and it's a good translation because what it's doing is it's saying in essence, "You people," "You plural."

In the original language in Greek, you can see plural and singular very easily because there's a different ending to each of the use. In English, when you get you, it is hard to tell is this singular or plural? So when we read this, if we simply read, "You are somebody who needs to see signs and wonders," we may think Jesus is just responding to this man, but it's plural. So here's what Jesus does. The man comes and says, "My son's about to die." And it's like Jesus decides to rise up and say, "You people all need signs and wonders or you'll never believe." This is why I say this is unexpected. And here's why.

What Jesus appears to be doing in this moment is saying, "You look for signs and wonders to validate your faith rather than simply believing in me." And I wonder if what this is pointing to, at least in part, is that sometimes what people will do is they will say, "I believe and then because I believe I want God to work," but if God isn't saying here, "It's because of your unbelief that I give signs and wonders, not because of your belief." See if that's true. If what Jesus is doing here is he's saying, "It's because of unbelief that I give signs and wonders rather than because of your belief," then this turns things upside down because I have heard, I have seen people for years say, "If you just believe enough, if you claim enough, if you demand enough from God, then God will do something."

But maybe what's happening here is that God is saying in essence through Jesus' comment that, "I will do signs and wonders, but it's often because of unbelief, not because of belief." See, this would turn things around for us. If we understand this, and I'm not suggesting for a moment that God doesn't do the miraculous. In fact, I believe that God still does the miraculous. In fact, I even think it's in the grammar of this text. In chapter 4 verse 54 it says this was the second sign Jesus performed after coming to Judea. In chapter 2 verse 11 where we see the first sign, the language could be translated as some scholarships suggest as this is the beginning of the signs, and here this the second of the beginning of the signs, and if that's accurate, what that's pointing to, it's not just a small point. It's saying that Jesus did many signs, not just what's recorded here, not just these seven.

In fact, the end of John Validates that because the end of John says that there were many other signs that Jesus did, but I don't think it's just in that day, I think it's still in our day. That God is a God that will do the miraculous, but I don't think God does it on demand and I think that sometimes it's better to understand that he does it not in response to faith, but in response to doubt. Let me give you an example. Have you ever done the whole, "God, I just need to see that you're real. I need to understand that you're real." And then you ask him to do something kind of miraculous small just to give you a little sign? Any of you?

No. None of you. Okay. If you've ever done this and you've like stood on a starry night and say, "God, I just need to know you're real. Send me some kind of sign," and all of a sudden you see a shooting star and you're like, "God's real, this is awesome." And then what happens is about two weeks later, you're like, "God, I need to see it again. I'm just not sure I believed it. Could you do it again? God would you show me?" And you stand in the starry sky and nothing happens. Now, why is that? Well, sometimes what God does is he may miraculously choose to do something in response to your weakness of faith, your doubt. But as he gives more, it becomes a demand. And maybe what God starts to do is say, "I'm not going to work in this."

One of the things that I like to do sometimes just to help me think about these theological concepts is I like to look for examples in music or different places because music in a sense are the poets of our day. So there's a song that John Mellencamp recorded in, I think it was 2012. John Mellencamp, for those of you who are younger, was a big rock star in the 80s, 90s. I grew up kind of listening to John Mellencamp and his music when I was younger was very nonspiritual, let's put it that way. As he's aged, he has gotten more reflective about some spiritual things and things that have deeper significance.

And he recorded a song in 2012 called, "Sometimes There's God," and in the song, his refrain is "Sometimes there's God, sometimes there's God," and he says it over and over. And he has these situations where you see God and then he says, "And sometimes there's not." And he talks about the reality of not seeing God. In a theological sense that's inaccurate. God always is, but I don't think John Mellencamp is saying that sometimes there's really God and sometimes there isn't. What he's talking about is the human experience. He's talking about the experience that you and I have of going through life and saying, "I got to see the star and then I don't get to see the star."

And the reason I believe this is if you follow the song to the end is he says, "That we all need forgiveness," and then his final refrain, he just says, "Sometimes there's God, sometimes there's God, sometimes there's God," and he doesn't cycle back to the, "Sometimes there's not." And what he's doing is he's actually capturing in a song a very human experience, which is the experience of saying, "I got to see God. I got to see God do the miraculous. And then I had a moment where I didn't see it." But you see, what happens when we demand is we come to God and we say, "God, I am claiming by faith that you will do this," or "Because of my goodness, my righteousness, I'm demanding that you do this," and then if God doesn't choose to do it, what happens is that we either end up mad at God because God didn't come through or we look at ourselves and say, "I didn't have enough faith. I didn't believe enough. I wasn't holy enough, righteous enough," whatever word we want to use to endear God to do something on my behalf.

And here's why this matters. When you look at the places in the Bible where you see signs or miracles, what I think you see is that God is not a god who simply responds to every human request. Here are just a couple examples. In second Samuel Chapter 12, there's an account of David. David had gotten Bathsheba pregnant. He sent her husband out to be killed in the front of the battle, and when he came back ... He didn't come back, he stayed there. Whatever happened there, he took Bathsheba to be his wife and then she had a baby and the baby was about to die and David is pleading with God, desperate prayer. "God, would you do something?" Publicly, he confesses his sin and the baby dies.

Then in Matthew nine we see a woman who followed Jesus through a crowd and touched the hem of his garment because she had been sick. And so she approaches him privately and Jesus allows her to be healed in an instant. Now, why do I point out two different things? I think I could probably point out dozens more that are similar throughout the pages of the Bible, it's because of this and that is there is no formula and there is no guarantee to how God decides to work. There's no formula and there's no guarantee. That doesn't mean that God doesn't work, but it means that believing means that we come to him not looking for a sign, not saying, "Would you do something?" But instead we come to him saying, "God, would you do something? But I'm going to believe in you either way."

Here in John four where we see a little bit of this. It says, the royal officials said, this is after Jesus says, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe," the royal officials said, "Sir, come down and see before my child dies." Jesus response, "Go. Your son will live," and then it says this. The man took Jesus at his word and departed, and so what happens is Jesus says, "I will heal," and then the man takes Jesus at his word. Now, to be fair there are times in the Bible where you will see people who will say, "I believed" and then God seems to respond, but in this instance, what you see is you see God heal and then the man believe. Why? Because there is no formula. There is no guarantee. God is God and God chooses to work in ways that we don't always understand.

Now, what's significant as we look at this passage is that this belief that this man comes to have, I believe ultimately is not in the sign, but it's in Jesus himself. Toward the end in verse 53 it says, then the father realized that this was the exact time at what Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live," and it says so, he and his whole household believed. What I believe is happening here is not just, "Oh, we believe that he can do miracles," but they believed in Jesus beyond the miraculous. They had a commitment to Christ that was bigger than the sign, and it was a kind of faith that wasn't based on a one time occurrence, but had become a life altering encounter.

Now, I know as I talk about this here, there's some of you are saying, "Okay, but I'm in a desperate situation," or "I have been in a desperate situation and it feels like when I've prayed and asked God, God didn't work, so what do I do with that?" And what some of us we'll do with that is we'll say, "I can't trust God, therefore I don't come and ask boldly without reservation." Some of us will turn it on ourselves and say, "If I had believed more, if I had been more of something then God would have worked differently," but what I want to encourage you with here today is that genuine bringing your desperation to Jesus has both, it has a sense of saying, "I'm going to ask and I'm going to believe without demanding."

So let me give you just a couple examples. If you've been around Orchard Hill for more than 10 years, you may have heard me share this story, but I think it's been about 12 years, so it's fair game for me to share a story a second time in 12 years. When my son, Ben. was two going on three, it was just short of his third birthday. My son, Ben, ended up having a near drowning incident. What had happened was some friends of ours whose kids had outgrown a pool gave us an above ground pool. And so I put the above ground pool in our backyard, filled it with water and was building a deck to go around the pool so that we would have access to the pool.

I had the decking built, but I hadn't gotten the rail done by this time, and I thought the deck was high enough that no two or three year old could climb up on this deck by any means. And so I thought it was secure, and my wife and I were both at church. One evening, my mother-in-law was watching our kids. I was at a board meeting I believe, and my wife was at worship practice and while my mother-in-law was there, she had the four boys to watch. A newborn, she had Ben, who was this almost three year old. And then two older boys and Ben had gone out in the front yard to play a little bit, which was common in pretty safe right there.

She looked at him, said he's okay. She went and did something. And when she came back and looked out the window, she didn't see him. And she just had one of those moments where she said, "I better go check the pool." She went to the pool and there was my son floating motionless in the pool. Now, by God's grace in some form, my mother-in-law had read an article not long before that about what to do if you find somebody who's been fixed with water. And so she pulled him out, called 911 and ministered what she had learned to do.

And as we reconstructed it, we realized that where he would have had to go in and where he was floating motionless, he would've had to have been in the water for minutes, several minutes. Like the kind of minutes that make you say, "He probably shouldn't live, he probably should have had brain damage. Something should have been wrong here." Well, this is long enough ago now. My son is 17 now and is with us and doing well. But this was before we'd carry cell phones everywhere. For some of you who are younger, there was such a time when you did not have a cell phone everywhere.

I still remember the police officer who was part of our church coming into the board meeting that I was sitting in and he said, "Kurt, can I just talk to you for a moment?" He had heard on the police scanner that 911 had been called from my home address and that my son had been found this way in the pool, and he's told me to go to the hospital. He said, "Your son's alive, it's going to be okay." Which I don't think he knew that he would be okay at that point, but he said, "He's alive." I got in my car and I drove to the hospital faster than I've probably ever driven anywhere. I got into the hospital and there's my son and my son was kind of apologetic like, "Sorry, sorry."

You realize that there had been a fuss, and they took an X-ray and his lungs were full of water. Now, lungs full of water is generally not a good thing because what it means is you'll probably at a minimum have pneumonia. You may have some other complications and the doctor said to us right on the spot, he said, "Obviously he's alive, but one of our great concerns is brain damage. We don't know exactly how long he was under, but it's likely that you will deal with some kind of brain damage." This little hospital in the little town we lived wasn't equipped to deal with this and so they put him in an ambulance. My wife rode in the ambulance and I followed behind in our car and I remember that the drive was about 45 minutes to the town with the bigger hospital.

I remember praying like I've never prayed. It was a prayer of a desperate dad saying, "God, would you do something here? Would you work?" We got to the hospital, the next day they took another X-ray of his lungs and his lungs miraculously didn't have any water in them. There's nowhere for the water to really go, and today my son, as I said, is 17, he's doing well. We say he doesn't have any brain damage. He likes to tell us that he does. Whenever something doesn't work out, he's like, "I had a near drowning and so you can't hold that against me," but here's what I know.

God didn't respond to my prayer because I was in any way more righteous or I prayed a better prayer than anybody else who's prayed in a desperate moment. See, I've lived enough with people over the years, either directly or second-hand where I know many people who have prayed and said, "God, would you do something?" And then it doesn't seem like God does. And I believe that as soon as we start to say, "Well, if I prayed right or if I did this right," what we're doing then is we're saying to anybody who doesn't get that, what we're saying is you either prayed wrong, you weren't living right enough, or somehow God let you down, all of which is incredibly painful on top of the pain of whatever you're living with.

I don't believe that it squares with what we find throughout the pages of the Bible, which is a God who does the miraculous, sometimes taking water from a lung, maybe saving a baby in a pool and sometimes letting that same baby die. I wish I understood it. I don't. When my son Nathan was born, who's the last of our four children, every month, about every 28 days, he would spike 105 degree fever. Now, we had three older boys at the time. We weren't living close to any family and so he would spike this fever and Faith would take him. We'd go to the doctor, go to the hospital, do all the stuff that we would do. We would pray and say, "God, would you take this away?" And for two years nothing seemed to change.

Then all of a sudden for a season it went away and then it came back with an apparent vengeance and for another two years he'd have these fevers that he would just spike. And then when you have multiple little kids and one of your kids is sick, it throws everything into a little bit of crisis and we would pray and it felt like God wouldn't do anything in the situation. And then my doctor friend of ours said, who we were talking to one day said that he had read an article about it and he was an EMT and he said, "Let me take out his tonsils and adenoids." He took them out and all of a sudden our son became fine.

But after four years of praying and through not a miraculous means other than the miracle of modern medicine, but through a very simple procedure so to speak. Now again, why the difference? Were we less desperate, less righteous? Were we less something in our prayers there than with our son, Ben? See, there is no formula. There is no guarantee. And I can tell you that I've prayed for things personally. I've prayed for things for people and I've sat as it seems as if there wasn't God. Sometimes there's God's, sometimes it feels like there isn't. And my point isn't to say that there isn't God, but it's to say when we understand signs, what they do is they point to God, but the lack of signs, the lack of those things if we demand them reveals a deeper seated unbelief.

I heard somebody talk about this idea, I'm not a deer hunter, so I don't know, but they said if you shoot a deer, especially in bow season, a lot of times the deer won't be fatally shot on the spot and you have to track the deer for some distance to find and secure your deer, so he's not just running around wounded. And what you do evidently when you track a deer is you place markers where you are going so that when you get farther and farther into the woods, you're able to continue to track the deer and then find your way back.

As this person was talking about tracking a deer, he said often what happens is you come to a point and you're trying to follow this deer. And because the deer can run faster, you don't know exactly where it is. You're trying to follow it, but you'll stand and you'll look into a shrubbery of brush and say, "I have no idea which direction to go. How I got here." But then he said this, "But if you turn around, you can see the markers and the markers point the way forward because the deer usually goes in a straight line. So wherever they've been points the direction to where they're going. I heard that and I thought, "When you and I stand in a desperate situation, it feels like we're standing and looking into shrubbery and saying, 'I have no idea where to go.'"

But if we can turn around and see where God has worked in the past, signs, maybe personally, maybe in the Bible, maybe all the way back to Jesus and the cross, what we can do is we can say, "I can now take another step forward because even if I don't get it, even if I don't like it, even if I don't understand, this God is for me. This God is good. And so I can continue to take a little step and I can take another step." And sometimes what we have to do if we feel like we haven't been able to see God's goodness, is we have to then go all the way back and say his greatest goodness for us was expressed in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, when we were unable to pay our sin, Jesus paid it for us and in doing so, what he did is he demonstrated his great love for us.

And the other thing that it shows us is that in some ways when we come to God and we see that Jesus suffered, what we learn is that the reason we suffer can't be because we weren't righteous enough or we didn't ask God enough because Jesus suffered who is the ultimate in righteousness and was the ultimate in a relationship with the father. So if you ask me, "Why do we suffer?" My answer is, I don't totally know. But it isn't because somehow we've let God down or God isn't worthy. And we need to turn and look behind us to say, "I can now see the way forward and therefore I can come to God in a desperate situation."

You can come to God in a desperate situation and say, "God, will you work? Without reservation, but God, I'm going to believe in you. I'm going to believe in Jesus regardless of what happens because I'm not going to make a demand." Boldness and yet humility together to say, "God, this is what I'm doing with my desperate situation." Today is Palm Sunday and we didn't do a lot with that in the service, but as you understand the scriptures around Palm Sunday, what you know is that when Jesus came into Jerusalem that the crowds hailed him and we're like, "Yeah, you're our man. You're awesome."

They were throwing palms. Why did they do it? Because they believed that Jesus would ultimately deliver them from the Roman oppression that they were under. And when Jesus went to the cross and they realized that he wasn't going to deliver them from the Roman oppression in the way that they thought that he should, that he was doing something that was actually greater and better, but was doing something that they didn't get, they said, "I'm out. I don't want this, God. I want something else." That's what happened to most of the crowd.

And today, you and I have the same choice just around our desperate situation. Will I say, "God only if you do this for me, will I believe in you? Will I worship you? Will I serve you?" Then your faith is based on signs and miracles, but if you would say, "God, I'll worship you regardless. Yes, I'm asking you to work. God, I would long for you to do something." Then in the same moment, what you're doing is you're saying, "God, I believe and I trust." And that's genuine faith. You may be here today and you may be saying, "I've tried to trust God. I would love to trust God, but I've just had too many things, too many hard things in my life," which you ultimately need to do is stop looking at your own life and look at the life of Jesus and ask and answer the question of, is this God's answer to my human condition?

And then you'll be able to enter into this kind of a trust relationship that we're talking about here today. God's still does signs, but he doesn't do them on demand, and there's no formula, no guarantee for what or how he'll do, what he will do. But when you see 'em they can serve as markers for your future.

Father, we pray today very simply, that you would help each of us here to have a faith that is in you, not just in signs, that we would believe that signs are possible, but trust in Jesus. And we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.