Greater Works

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12

By the time I got situated with the twins on my lap in a congregation that was standing room only, I heard the ending of the church administrator’s address: “…and remember, Jesus didn’t need Twitter or Facebook to spread the gospel…” O_O

WHAT was this man talking about, and why? Apparently, I’d missed his directives to turn our cell phones off out of reverence. I proceeded to tweet updates to both Twitter and Facebook, sharing the word as impressed. At the end of the service, his snippet made more sense as he instructed the congregants to turn their cell phones back on.

“Ohhh,” I exclaimed, “that’s what he was talking about when I first sat down.” I shook my head, and shook my head, and shook my head some more. Yeah, Jesus didn’t have a Twitter or Facebook account, but aren’t we supposed to be doing GREATER WORKS? Why are we comparing ourselves to the technological limitations of old, when we have more opportunities, and thus, should be doing MORE?  My mind definitely simplified his theory. After all, if Jesus didn’t have the internet, we shouldn’t be streaming sermons live, either, right? O_O

All jokes aside, I just think it’s supremely important for us to keep in mind how it’s possible for us to do greater works and the reason we’re to do so in the first place. I really can’t imagine doing things more powerful than Christ did when He walked the earth, but I know there’s more time, more people, more suffering; thus, we have greater opportunities. The reason we can do these greater works is the same reason Christ did, they weren’t His Works, they were the Father’s works. The purpose was for the Father’s glory and that others would believe, as Jesus said in John 14:10 & 11, “…the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” He proceeds to say in the following verses (12 & 13), “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. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

The same sentiment is recorded in John 5:20, “For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel.” The Father loves us; He loves you. What’s best for you is that God be glorified, so out of His love for you, He will empower you to do greater works so that He can be glorified and others will believe. In verse 36, Jesus continues to remind us, “But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

The reasons and methods are clear. We will do greater works for His glory and our good, and we will be able to do them because they are not our works to do, but the works of our Father who loves us.

Greater Works

Broken for His Purpose

I was in a chat app with a few brilliant, beautiful souls with whom I shared what God has again been reminding me of lately: It probably seemed like forever between the time Joseph proclaimed the truths of his dream and when it finally came to pass. He found himself in a pit, was sold into slavery, and no doubt praised God for his time in Potiphar’s house. Maybe he even thought he was on the heels of realizing that dream, but then found himself wrongfully accused and imprisoned. He even had to watch as others were freed before him. But ultimately, God’s vision is for HIS appointed time, and if GOD says it, it WILL come to pass (Habakkuk 2:3)!

One awesome chat member questioned how we “Josephs” of today can avoid such perilous lessons and why God can’t just trust us without such hefty trials. My response was this: I don’t believe there’s ONE human being so trustworthy. God’s Word warns us that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)? To address our heart condition, the Word declares that silver is refined in the fire, but God uses the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10). However, assuming some of us are so upright that we would remain chaste without chastening, have we considered that our trials may be solely for the purpose of meeting someone else in the depth of their pain, used solely for the purpose of bringing someone else to Christ, solely for the purpose of bringing HIM glory? Maybe some things we go through JUST so that we can comfort others with the same comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4). As Pastor Burden recently illuminated for me, God cares more about His eternal purposes than your immediate deliverance. Sometimes what you’re going through is because God is looking for an occasion with someone (as He was with the Philistines through Samson; Judges 14:1-4).

Later I received a Words with Friends game board from a wonderful lady who thought I was someone who helped her after a life-changing car accident 7 years ago. The accident left her with numerous broken bones, bionic prostheses, and enduring pain from traumatic nerve damage. At the end of the day, her testimony is that she’s had an opportunity to be a witness of God’s sustaining power in places she’d have never been if God didn’t see fit to break her for His purpose. Her hospital roommate accepted Christ into her life before dying, and while she wishes she were still able to ski, but can’t because of the accident, she swims instead and has worshiped and prayed poolside with Christians, Jews, Muslims, you name it! How would they have known, if she had not been sent, if God had not seen fit to break her for His purposes (Romans 10:14)?

To sum things up, when you find yourself wondering, “Why me?” or “Why this?” Consider the beauty of being broken for His glory! I don’t know what my new friend’s body must be like, given the crushed bones and mangled nerves, but I do know others are grateful for her beautiful feet, which are precious because she’s carrying the gospel wherever she goes.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

~Romans 10:15

HIS purpose for your life may bring pain, but will remove stain.

HIS purpose for your life may bring pain, but will remove stain.