This past weekend I ran across a blog post on desiringgod.org announcing a design contest to design a poster that featured one of John Piper’s quotes.
It obviously caught my attention as I’ve been producing visual theology pieces for Tim Challies and few to highlight on this site. But unlike the other pieces I’ve done the subject matter of this poster really grabbed my attention. Act the Miracle.
At first I wasn’t quite sure what it meant but as I dug deeper and found the original post and sermon where John Piper explains what it meant to act the miracle, it really began to hit home for me.
Piper said this in his sermon:
Acting a miracle is different from working a miracle. If Jesus tells a paralyzed man to get up, and he gets up, Jesus works a miracle. But if I am the paralyzed man and Jesus tells me to get up, and I obey and get up, I act the miracle. If I am dead like Lazarus and Jesus commands me to get up, and I obey, Jesus works the miracle, I act the miracle.
There are all sorts of scriptures that teach this but I had never put it into this context before.
In Romans 8:13 Paul says, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:10 again Paul says, “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me”
And in Philippians 2:12-13 it says “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
So practically what does this look like?
One of the things I’m most on guard about is lust and pornography. Working on the internet, reading feeds and tweets, clicking on links involves a daily battle and one that I am prepared to fight. I run away from this stuff, I meditate on what is pure and holy, I think about what Jesus did for me on the cross and like the verses above I’m able to put to death the sin of lust.
But what if I applied this strategy to other areas of my life? What if when I get angry with my kids I would go into full on battle mode? What if when I get selfish with my wife I would wage war? What if I would act the miracle in more areas of my life?
Its my prayer that I will.
The art I created is below. Feel free to download and distribute but please don’t sell. If you feel so inclined you can also visit the Facebook pages where the contest is being held and like my art.