Monday, December 11, 2017

The Best Advertisement Ever

Advertisements are everywhere in our culture. Whether traveling on a highway, listening to radio, watching television, the internet, direct mail, or telephone we are exposed to advertisements.  An advertisement is defined as; "a notice or announcement calling to the attention of the public a product, service, or an event that is being promoted." According to researchers, the average person is exposed to, yes, 4000 to 5000 advertisements daily.  You may be thinking that these numbers are quite high, but look at it from this perspective. A study done in 2015 by researchers say that the sum of media asked for and delivered to consumers daily is about 6.9 gigabytes (6.9 billion) of information, or a daily consumption of nine DVDs worth of data per person per day. Researchers also say that the average brain receives approximately 34 gigabytes (34 billion) of information daily.

As far as the best advertisement ever, many would have different opinions as to which advertisement it may be, so I will use only one example to show this point, Super Bowl XLIX, (49). According to statistics the cost of advertising during Super Bowl 49, surpassed every previous Super Bowl. The base price of a thirty second advertisement was $4.5 million. Media executives projected that the cost of a 30-second commercial could exceed $5 million at Super Bowl 50. I use this example because Super Bowl 49 drew an average audience of 114.4 million viewers, which makes Super Bowl 49 the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history, plus many boast that these advertisements are the best.

Looking back at the definition of the word advertisement as, "a notice or announcement calling to the attention of the public a product, service, or an event that is being promoted" we will find that nothing in this world can compare to the absolute best advertisement ever. Interestingly enough, this advertisement has been repeated over and over from creation and though some may ignore it or chalk it up to phenomena, fantasy, or even non-existent, it will continue until the end of time. What is this advertisement? It is the power of God breaking into time and space, manifesting in the lives of man through miracles, signs and wonders. When I use the term "God advertising Himself" it simply means that He is revealing Himself. He is calling to the attention of the public, that is, man, His will, nature, character, purpose and plan. 

Looking in the Bible from cover to cover we see over and over Gods divine intervention, the release of His supernatural power, in the affairs of man bringing man to the knowledge of Who He is. We see this in the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt; the Red Sea Crossing; Israel's conquest of the Promised Land; throughout the Judges of Israel; the defeat of the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. We even see God advertise Himself before the heathen rulers of kingdoms who worshiped false gods. They too came to recognize the one and only true God when God advertised Himself by manifesting His power. (Daniel 2:46-47, 3:19-29, 6:16-28)

The Bible tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1, 14) "Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus...The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:30-31, 35)

As we look at the ministry of Jesus in the gospels, once again God advertises Himself through miracles, signs and wonders (Hebrews 2:4) causing people to be amazed and marvel. (Matthew 15:31; Mark 1:27, 6:2) The apostle John says, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25) Yet, God did not stop there. He continued to advertise Himself in the same manner in the early church. (Acts 3:12, 5:12-16, 6:8, 8:5-8, 9:32-43, 14:1-10, 15:12,19:11-12, 20:6-12, 28:8-9) Once again we see God advertising Himself, this time through the early church.

The Bible records, "For I am the Lord, I do not change." (Malachi 3:6) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) We see that in both Old and New Testament that God does not change. Although many have been told that God does not need to advertise Himself through miracles, signs and wonders, any longer, there is absolutely no evidence of this in the Bible. On the contrary, throughout the centuries of the church on earth, God has always advertised Himself to be the one and only true God by manifesting Himself through miracles, signs, and wonders.  We see this evidenced in the lives of many believers, especially in every awakening and revival. It is God manifesting His power in the affairs of man through the church that proves the resurrection and it also separates Christianity from every other religion on the planet. The church is the one and only vehicle that God works through on earth revealing Jesus Christ. 

This is how the gospel message is to be presented to the world. Jesus tells us, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18) Next, we find the reality of this in action, "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs." (Mark 16:19-20)  The church began with God advertising Himself with miracles and He will continue to do the same until Jesus returns.

The Apostle Paul also tells us how the gospel message is to be presented, "For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:18-19) Paul tells us that "the full gospel" is revealed "in word and deed." Beleivers are to preach Christ in word, and as Jesus said He would do when the gospel, God's Word was preached, He would confirm it with accompanying signs, which Paul also reveals to us in his preaching of Christ.

Every believer today must become miracle minded. This is not to say that we are to focus on miracles and not God, but that we must come to the place once again where we allow God, through faith, to advertise Himself, that is, call the attention of the public to Himself. Once a person or a people becomes miracle minded, we will see things happen that were common to the early church. This means the nearer we come to Him, the more clearly we see Him with the eyes of faith. It is the dogma and doctrines of men which have eroded faith and promoted fear, doubt and unbelief in the church that has caused many sectors of the church not to believe that the unchanging Lord God Almighty still reveals Himself through miracles, signs and wonders, to anyone who has faith in Christ and His Word. Jesus tells us, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23)

As the Lord makes us one with one another and with Himself, His strength, His life, His wisdom, His love, His power becomes ours. He becomes a part of everything we do, and our response becomes, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). He takes us out of the realm of weakness , fear, doubt, unbelief and inability, and moves us into the realm of His ability and strength. (Ephesians 3:20) We actually become supermen and superwomen fearlessly undertaking the impossible letting the best advertisement ever to manifest through us, that is, the power of Almighty God. So, if you struggle with and doubt the fact that God still advertises Himself through miracles, signs and wonders, then may I suggest, simply asking the Lord to help you to so live in the realm of the His Word, growing your faith in Him, that in turn, you may become miracle minded so God can advertise Himself to the public through you.  

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