God, Miracles and … by Chance? Extraordinary Miracles

wait, back up …extraordinary miracles? Aren’t all miracles extraordinary?

Setting the Scene

It was the early years of the church. Jesus’ followers were passionately spreading the news of salvation through Jesus. Paul, a recent convert to belief in Jesus Christ, was among these and as passionate as they came. Before Paul’s conversion to Christianity, he had been fervently persecuting Jesus’ followers. But now these followers of Jesus included Paul himself. As Paul turned his signature passion toward spreading the Gospel he now knew, without a doubt, to be true…God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul Acts 19:11 .

God

GOD was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul ... The One and Only True God was using Paul’s hands to perform miracles. God was clearly the power behind the miracles.

Miracles

God was performing extraordinary MIRACLES by the hands of Paul ... The Greek word dynamis, translated here as miracles, speaks of strength, power and ability (Strong’s G1411). God created Paul’s great passion, and was now giving Paul the ability to do strong and powerful things.

Extraordinary

God was performing EXTRAORDINARY miracles by the hands of Paul …
When I first saw the two Greek words, ou meaning no, and tygchano meaning to chance be, combined to make the idea translated as extraordinary, I was a bit confused. I’m certainly not a Greek scholar, so …huh?

With my mind set on extraordinary, I carelessly ignored the negating ou, and focused on the definitions for tygchano of: hit the mark, reach, attain, obtain, get, become master of. Exactly, I thought, that is what I would expect of something extraordinary: to reach, to attain to something. But the next definitions threw me a bit… to happen, chance, to chance be … did not fit my preconceived idea of extraordinary.

At This Point…

…..I stopped and asked God for understanding. Yes I really do that, and yes it matters. True wisdom and understanding are only obtained by God’s Holy Spirit revealing it in a person’s mind and heart.
So after chatting with my Father, I jumped back in – this time inviting along the oh-so-small-but-oh-so-important ou. Since I am a visual learner I grabbed my notebook and wrote them out side-by-side (it’s not pretty, but it works):

Do You See It?

Ordinary is…
…becoming a master of
…hitting the mark
…expected

EXTRAordinary is…
…above the expected
…intentional
NOT by chance

God was

performing miracles

not by chance.

Your Turn

It was not by chance that Paul was doing great miracles. It is not by chance that you and I will do great things from God’s perspective. If you are God’s child, if you’ve chosen to follow Jesus as your Savior, then you already are extraordinary, and have God’s power to do extraordinary things. Choose today to live extraordinary – it is not by chance!

Until next week,

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