Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Greater Works Than These

Imported from our Harvest Church Blogs
Original Blog Date: 04-04-2005

Something I've been thinking about lately is the phrase: "Greater works than these".
Jesus, speaking to his disciples said:
John 14:12-13: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Phillip had just asked Jesus to show them the Father. In Arkansas language Christ said "How long do I have to be with you before you folks realize you are looking at Father God? We are one and the same Phillip!". He then told him in John 14:11 - "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." If you can't believe what I'm telling you, then believe because of the works you see me doing. He had earlier told them in John 6:38 that "For I came from Heaven not to do my will, but the will of the Father". Jesus' whole life was about doing what the Father showed him to do, yet even the disciples were having a hard time seeing that.
At many times in Jesus' ministry, he stirred up a hornets' nest. He had just told the Jews in John 10 verse 30 that "I and the Father are one". They were all picking up stones to kill him when he spoke again. He said "Many good works have I shown you. For which do you now stone me?". He then later said in John 10:37-38:
"If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him."

Christ is saying again, if you can't believe what I'm telling you, you should believe for the very works you see me doing.
But that was Jesus. Surely he didn't mean that we as disciples of God would be doing the same works he was doing. Well, actually, yes He did. Paul (Saul) was one of the worst sinners ever. He was a MURDERER. He killed Christians and thought he was doing the work of God. After his conversion, he did many great works through the power of Jesus Christ and in His name. To the church at Corinth he wrote:
1 Cor 2:1-5 "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."

Paul basically said that the proof is in the pudding. I didn't come to you in man's wisdom, or with some great eloquent speech or brilliant sermon. He said he came with the DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit of God's POWER, so that our faith wouldn't become reliant on a man or in man's wisdom, but our faith would be in God and his power.
"Greater works than these" paul was doing because Christ had went back, and sent down the power of the Holy Spirit, and because Paul was allowing Christ to work in Him. Paul was sold out to God, not just partially, but in whole. He had to be. Listen to the words of someone sold out to God:
Philipians 3:8-10 "What is more, I consider everything (everything this world offers) as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of KNOWING Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, THAT I MAY GAIN CHRIST and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION and the FELLOWSHIP OF SHARING IN HIS SUFFERINGS, becoming like him in his death"

"Greater works than these". How is it that we can do the exact same works that Christ did? Do we see these same works being done every day in our lives the way that they were being done in His life? "Because I go to My Father". He went to the Father, and sent back the power of the Holy Spirit to be used in our lives, to reach this world for Him. Now, I don't know about you, but I usually read this and wonder "Why don't we see or do the things that Christ did?". The miracles, the healings (physically and emotionally), reaching thousands for Him. Is that really what Christ expects from us?
Are we saved by these works? Of course not. I'm not on a "works" trip. On the flip side, we should be allowing God to take control of our lives and be built up in Faith so that His work will go forth. At one point Christ said "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". Maybe that's a lot of it. Maybe we aren't committed enough to be in continual prayer and to fast for the right reasons. I was thinking after the Terri Schiavo fiasco, that she went 13 days before she died. Now I realize she was in bad shape to begin with. But Jesus went 40 days. My goodness. I can't imagine that, can you? That's commitment. He did this at the beginning of his ministry. No wonder Satan picked that point in his life to throw temptation at him. He was at his weakest physically, but what Satan probably didn't realize was that he was at his strongest spiritually. No wonder Christ was able to do all that his Father was showing him to do. If you can deny food for that long and pray for that long, you are SOLD OUT to God. Jesus didn't do that to prove a point or to show off, He did it because he saw it was necessary to prepare him for what would come.
I guess most of us have been content with just having enough of God to get by. I know that's how I've lived most of my life. I don't think we've allowed Christ to use us to the extent of what He wants to. I believe in God's word. I don't try to explain it away, and I don't try to make excuses. "Greater works than these". You know what that really is telling me. Christ WANTS us, to do what HE did. He's not trying to keep all the power for himself, or to give us something to say "yippee, look at me, I'm so spiritual", but to get things done. Christ wasn't saying that the only reason he did the works was so they would believe, but it was PROOF of what he was saying was true. This world needs the DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit like never before. Everywhere I look I see death, misery, lost folks, hopelessness, guilt, shame, depression, pain, and the list goes on. People don't want to go to a dead church or see people talk the talk. They are tired of Hypocrisy. They see the church saying be Holy and then they hear of Alter boys being victimized by priests. They see TV preachers in scandal. They want to see someone WALKING THE WALK, and what Paul and the early disciples had - PROOF of what they are saying is true.
Greater works than these we will do. Will WE?

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