Your Bible and all nature tell of the many miracles of God. But one qualifies as His greatest. Could it involve you?
Is it possible to briefly reverse the earth’s natural rotation and then set it back in normal motion while keeping its surface intact? Today’s scientific community would not think this could have happened. Yet your Bible records that this amazing miracle did indeed occur!
King Hezekiah of Judah (ca. 715-686 B.C.) was dying, and he begged God to heal him. God heard his remorseful prayer and promised to heal him and extend his life by 15 years. The king asked for a confirming sign and, amazingly, God offered him two options: He could request the sundial’s shadow be advanced or reversed by 10 degrees.
The king was wise: “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees” (2 Kings 20:10). God then reversed the sundial’s shadow 10 degrees—an amazing miracle (2 Kings 20:8-11).
Is this one of God’s greatest miracles? Consider that the sun itself and its phenomenal relationship with the earth are quite miraculous.
The miraculous sun
The sun, a blazing star, is remarkably placed in regard to our planet, some 93 million miles away. Any closer and the earth would be too hot to support life. Any farther and it would be too cold. As it stands, the perfect placement of the sun provides the only known habitable environment in the universe.
The sun’s rays also provide food for every organism on earth. Plants produce food through the process of photosynthesis. Those plants are in turn eaten by animals, and those animals are then eaten by others, creating the wonderful miracle of the food chain, giving life to all of the earth’s organisms.
The precise placement of the sun, along with the precise motion of the earth around the sun and its rotation on its axis, also creates the change in seasons required to produce the variety of temperatures and weather patterns that make life possible. This truly is a wonderful miracle of God!
Nevertheless, the sun’s self-regulated, regenerative power isn’t God’s greatest miracle. Nor was the reversal of the earth’s rotation at the time of Hezekiah. So, then, what is?
God’s greatest miracle
Given the amazing life-giving qualities of the sun that find parallels with the work of God in our lives through Jesus Christ, it should be no surprise that Christ is depicted in Scripture as “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2) who shines on us and even out through His followers, bringing awesome change. This metaphor points toward God’s greatest miracle—His transformation of the human mind and heart to the mind of Jesus Christ with our voluntary, faithful commitment to God (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 2:20).
This greatest miracle is not measured by scientific means, as the sun is, but instead by faith demonstrated by works (James 2:17-18; (James 2:24). The Bible shows the phenomenal end-result of humankind’s transformation—becoming the glorified children of God (Hebrews 2:10-11; 2 Corinthians 6:18).
God clearly requires our wholehearted participation in His greatest miracle! Our redemption is not a one-way activity with Him. You and I have a direct hand in our miraculous transformation!
For this greatest miracle to come to fruition, human beings must come to think like God (John 17:21; Romans 12:2). The apostle Paul claimed that he and others had the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and we should realize that we can also have the same mind!
Your Bible is filled with examples of men and women who came to think as God did—Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Israel, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and God’s other prophets (see Hebrews 11). All were flesh and blood, like you and me. Each was transformed to follow God’s ways through faith (Hebrews 11:1-2). Each one had his or her heart changed into a receptive one (2 Corinthians 3:3). The changing of one’s mind from man’s to God’s embodies the greatest of all miracles!
How does this miracle take place?
How does this greatest miracle come to pass? God gives human beings the option to choose between good and evil. He urges us to choose the good (Deuteronomy 30:19). Yet humankind cannot naturally obey God’s laws that provide us true liberty (Romans 8:7) because of our self-seeking and self-serving human nature (Jeremiah 17:9).
So God helps His called disciples to choose His way of thinking (Proverbs 1:1-7) through the supernatural power of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14). Christ Jesus transforms us, through that Holy Spirit, to God’s way that leads to eternal life (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
Earlier, I mentioned that God requires our cooperation. Those who voluntarily cooperate with Him through prayer and humbly seeking His way will be able to help others who are enduring the same kind of difficulties they are. This is God’s plan for us. This is how He remakes us into His spiritual image.
When God said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26), did He mean His anatomical image alone, or does this include His spiritual image? Since flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50), that leaves us with God’s spiritual image: “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (verse 49).
God through Christ Jesus remakes us into His spiritual image through these steps: We are called by God, chosen by God, and finally we are helped to remain faithful to God.
Called of God
Jesus clearly identified His future resurrected saints—His true followers from this age—through three transformational steps: “Those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14, emphasis added throughout).
First God calls or draws us. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44, see also John 6:65).
God called Moses through the miracle of a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-10). The apostles were called through the teachings and example of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:1-3).
God’s calling is holy and unique (2 Timothy 1:9). We cannot, on our own, come to know God (Matthew 13:11). We can know God as He calls us to understand His truth that frees us from this world’s ways (John 8:32).
Let’s see how this works by using God’s Sabbath command as an example. The Bible is clear about God’s divinely instituted Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). What’s not always clear is what the Sabbath means to Christians and what we should do about it. Jesus Himself observed the Sabbath day and even called Himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). The apostles recognized that they should follow His example, so the early Church continued to observe the Sabbath day in accordance with Scripture (Exodus 20:8-11; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:42; Acts 13:44).
No wonder God commanded mankind to observe the Sabbath when we recognize it as a wonderful opportunity to connect with God and His Word, just as the early Church practiced. In a way the Sabbath is a weekly “calling,” where God’s people are called away from daily work and distractions to focus together on Him and His plan for them.
When God calls you and you commit to turning your life over to Him, you have the opportunity to be chosen by Him as you remain committed to faithfully obeying His laws.
Chosen by God
Those who respond to God’s calling begin to repent from breaking God’s laws (1 John 3:4). Simultaneously they exercise faith toward God by obeying His command to be baptized and have hands laid on them by one of God’s ministers.
When people repent, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and resolve to obey Him, God responds by giving them the gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Acts 19:5-6). This is when God’s called become God’s chosen: “For many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16). God’s saints are sealed with His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Let’s see how Christ’s chosen are identified. As people are being called, they begin to learn more about God, His plan for them, and what He expects of them. If he or she begins to keep God’s commandments—to do His will—like the Sabbath command we discussed earlier, that person will be led to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). The disciple of Christ then becomes His friend, chosen to represent Him on this earth, “For all things that I [Jesus] heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Finally, the chosen saint must faithfully endure to the end.
Faithful to God
God expects His saints to remain faithful to the end of their lives: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13; see also Matthew 10:22).
God’s faithful people experience daily trials. We can grow weary continuing in God’s ways while living in a perverse and dangerous society (2 Timothy 3:1-7). If we’re not careful and vigilant, we can fall away from God (1 Corinthians 10:12). We must also avoid pride and cultivate godly humility, overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Jesus offers this question to the faithful: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Some won’t be faithful (Matthew 24:10). Others will (Revelation 3:10).
The resurrected saints who follow the descending Christ to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:3-4) are those who were in this life called, then chosen, and remained faithful to Him (Revelation 17:14).
Are you God’s greatest miracle?
God’s amazing plan is to remake human beings into His spiritual image (1 John 3:1-3), to become His very children (Hebrews 2:10)! Then we can serve billions more human beings in Christ’s coming Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:2).
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void [empty], but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). God will save all who are willing to fully surrender their lives to Him to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
Will you answer God’s call today? If you will, you can become “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9; New International Version).
God’s glorious light is Christ Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12; John 9:5) and the Sun of Righteousness to shine on us and bring needed change. He helps change the human mind to be like His mind (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)—so that you may be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
You are now called to help others become a part of God’s greatest miracle of transforming human minds and hearts to become like His. Ultimately, “those who are wise [teachers] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars [like the sun!] for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3, New International Version).
May you become one of God’s greatest miracles, beginning today!