Greater Things

I woke up this morning with “God of this City” running through my head again.  The part that I was focused on was the phrase “Greater things are yet to come, greater things are yet to be done.” 

Christ said that, John 14:12 “ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

I don’t know about you, but that leaves me wondering why this isn’t actually happening.  What are we missing.  I know for myself I’m not even doing the things Christ had been doing, the miracles he had been performing.  In response to the question John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask as to whether or not Jesus was the one that he was proclaiming, Christ answered, “Go back and report to John what you have sen and heard:  The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Luke 7:22)

In His final words to the disciples in Mark 16:15-18 he said “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  AND THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: in my mane they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (emphasis mine)

I’m not seeing that happen for those around me.   What am I missing?  Why am I not walking in the full power and authority of Christ?    I don’t have an answer yet, I hope you weren’t expecting one.  What I do know is that the answer lies in the words of Christ.  That key is found in John 15 and 16.  Verse 5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.” verse 7 & 8 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, SHOWING YOURSELVES TO BE MY DISCIPLES.” (emphasis mine)

There’s something we are missing here.  Is God no longer interested in showing His Glory, or is he anxiously awaiting us truly grafting into the vine.  How do we remain in Christ?  The obvious answer and the one that I grew up hearing is in a simple little kids song,

Read your Bible and
Pray everyday
Pray everyday
Pray everyday

Read your Bible and
Pray everyday
and you’ll grow, grow, grow.

However, I know there are many a Bible scholar who deny the deity of Christ.  They have all the head knowledge of the Bible, studied the history and cultural references, poured their life out in study yet do not know Christ as Savior. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 speaks to this,  I’m not going to copy the whole but a few sum it up.  After listing the traits of people in the last days Paul says of them,”lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” and a little later, “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

I love to learn.  I really enjoy searching out and researching a topic.  Am I always learning but never acknowledging the truth?  I pray that’s not so, but I fear up until now that has been the case.  I fear that I have been gaining knowledge for knowledge sake and denying its power. 

About a month ago, I prayed that God would increase, let’s be real, I prayed that God would GIVE me a hunger for His Word.  I did Bible studies, I LOVED Bible studies.  The more intense the study the more I enjoyed it.  However, to sit down and read His word without nodding off was a challenge.  I couldn’t understand it.  I could sit down and read a nice fiction book for hours on end.  I’ve been known to stay up to all hours of the night, just to finish a good book!  Yet, every time I sat down to read the Bible it was all I could do to concentrate for 10 minutes.  WHY!?!?!?  I just didn’t understand, I still don’t really.  But, desiring a closer relationship with Christ, I asked for a God-given hunger for His Word.

I do not say this to boast in any way, But, I have been devouring the word!  I find I would rather read the Word than just about anything else. My house right now is a testament to that fact, I’m really only doing the bare minimum to keep my house in order.  Every chance I get I’m in “My Bible study Chair” with my Bible open.  I have read through the New Testament twice and all the minor prophets.  I’m currently working on Isaiah and after this little study here, I think I will also be focusing on the red words (words of Christ in a red lettered bible) in the Gospels.

What has stood out to me is Christ’s words in John 15:7, “…and my words remain in you….” Oh that His words would remain in me……

It’s not so much that I’m seeking “these signs” but the absence of them has me concerned.  Matthew 7:21, “ Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will fo my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?  Then I will tell them plainly, “I NEVER KNEW YOU.  Away from me, you evildoers!”
No it’s not the signs but the relationship that is important….

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