Monday, August 15, 2011

The Greater Works of God

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Excerpt from “The Ripple Effect” – 2011-08-14
As you read the account Jesus’ ministry, you will notice that vast crowds followed him when did miracles, and entire cities would turn out to hear him speak - yet when he came to the end of his life, when Jesus faced the cross, the crowds were all gone. Only a handful stood at the foot of the cross. By every human reckoning the physical life and ministry of Jesus was a total failure. His physical miracles did not change people’s hearts; they merely touched the surface of their lives. In John 15:16 Jesus said to his disciples: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide (remain), so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” It is significant that the ones whom Jesus touched, healed and taught would not stand with him at the test of the cross - but the ones who Jesus chose to walk with him during his life on earth ultimately went out and touched and healed and taught with the power of God - and thousands came to faith in Christ all across the length and breadth and width of the Roman Empire.

And when the time of testing came for the men, women, and children who had been touched, healed and taught by the disciples – they were willing to face lions, endure torture, put on the rack, bound up in bags and thrown into the sea, burned as living torches, mangled and mashed and twisted and torn apart, rather than to deny Jesus. “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide (remain).” Is this not “the greater work” of God? Anything that is done to our flesh is merely temporary,, but that which is done to our hearts is eternal. All those whom Jesus healed or raised from the dead died again. There is no record of it, but Lazarus must have died again, even though Jesus raised him from the dead. We will all physically die and so, what is done to the heart and soul is a “greater work.” The power of God through the risen Christ alive and at work in our hearts and souls - above and beyond the circumstances of this life - are the greater works of God!