Summary: God is great and greater things are yet to come! Oh how I want to be a part of something so great that the only explanation for it is God?
Greater Things – The Great Surrender
Bumper – Debbie Roof
God is great and greater things are yet to come! Oh how I want to be a part of something so great that the only explanation for it is God?
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, b/c I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:12-13
A few of weeks ago we started a series – Greater Things. The intent of these lessons is to invite us to see God move in and thru us in such a way that the only explanation is God.
I believe for this to occur, it’ll require that we apprehend the (4) most vital teaching of Christ regarding the ideas of knowing God, loving God, following God, and serving God.
In week 1 we discussed God’s equation for knowing Him. In Matthew 12, said, “Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me – for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In this exchange, Jesus explains a simple spiritual equation for grace/salvation – COME + TAKE + LEARN = REST. Come to Christ alone; take up His yoke of grace by faith; and follow His leading and you’ll discover His salvation.
But life w/ God doesn’t end w/ salvation – it begins. So beyond knowing God, we discover in Mark 12 that Jesus invites us to love Him w/ all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Jesus taught us that loving God involves – acknowledging God for who He is, accepting Him for what He did, aligning your life w/ His life, and then acting out His life to others by loving them to His truth.
One of the key nuggets from last week is the understanding that Jesus doesn’t accept us for who we are – as if to say that He is okay w/ our sin. What Jesus does is meets us where we are to draw us to His grace – He accepts us based solely on His death, burial, and resurrection.
Talk about a loaded statement. Let me begin w/ a vital truth that must be grasped if we’re going to have any hope of following Jesus: Every heart has a throne and every throne has a god – the question is who (or what) is sitting on the throne of your life?
Whether you’re 6 mo., 6 yrs., or 66 yrs., you have a throne inside of you that demands that someone or something sits in the seat of authority. And make no mistake – whoever or whatever sits on the throne – calls the shots in your life!
God has designed each of us w/ an internal throne where He wants to sit. In the 1st Commandment, He calls us to keep this throne clear for Him alone, “You shall have no other gods before me.” And God will not share this throne w/ anyone or anything. He wants to be your only God. And until we settle the issue of who’s on the throne, we’ll struggle w/ the idea of following.
This means that Christianity isn’t just a cultural phenomenon or set of rules to engage, but a relationship w/ a loving God who desires for us to know and serve Him. It’s not about what we can do through our abilities, but what God can do in and through us when we follow Him.
But the idea of following isn’t as easy as it looks. Have you tried following anyone in Atlanta traffic?
How about on snow skis? Several years ago I was in Austria skiing and we decided to play follow the leader. The leader took off down a mogul run and popped a jump. Being 2nd, I popped the jump too. The next thing I remember was some German man standing over of me saying, “Kumpel die verletzt hatte.” Translated means – “Dude, that had to hurt?”
No, following isn’t always such an easy task. Nonetheless, in reviewing the words of Jesus – we discover a simple, yet challenging spiritual teaching about fellowship – Jesus said, ABANDON + ACCEPT + ADHERE = DISCIPLE
Let me set the stage of this marvelous exchange. Jesus is conversing w/ His disciples after a busy day of ministry. Keenly aware of their day and of what was about to take place, he asked them a (2) poignant questions – who do the crowds say that I am? And who do you say that I am?