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Greater Things than These

Greater Things than These
Words of Faith 1-27-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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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. [13] And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. [14] You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The farewell of Jesus to His disciples was more than just an emotional departure. Jesus was also looking to the future. In some sense it was time to “pass the torch” as they say. Very soon Jesus would no longer be on earth as a physical presence. But how would His ministry continue? It would continue in and through those who believe in Jesus.
You see “believing in Jesus” is not just a quick fix for personal sin and brokenness. Believing in Jesus connects a person to the ongoing ministry of God in Christ. “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” As followers of Jesus we continue the earthly ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. We are the Body of Christ.
But then Jesus made a stunning statement. He said that the believer “will do even greater things than these.” Wait a minute. Did we hear that right? Greater things than Jesus? You mean greater than walking on water? Feeding 5000? Water into wine? Healing thousands? Yes, much greater than even these.
It is hard to fathom, especially if we define and measure “greatness” in terms of things large and spectacular. We tend to think of the huge spectacle act as the greatest. What was the greatest thing that Jesus ever did? From God’s perspective it probably was not walking on water. That was just a way to get somewhere. Or feeding five thousand. That was just simple multiplication. The greatest act of Jesus was probably not any of the flashy miracles, as great as those were.
If you think about it, the greatest thing Jesus ever did on earth was to die. Not very flashy. Rather common. Everybody does it at one time or another. And part of that was that Jesus prayed for His persecutors and forgave those who killed Him. These are the things that changed the world, not water into wine or a healing.
In fact, in this “upside-down Kingdom of God” way of looking at things, the greatest acts of Jesus may have been the moments when He simply cared for people that the world had thrown away. People like the woman at the well, the ten lepers, a tax collector, a prostitute, a blind beggar. In our Christian walk we call that “dying to self”, setting aside our life and agenda for someone else. It is quite possible that many of the greatest things Jesus did may not even be recorded in the Gospels.
Now, do you see that the believer actually can do things “greater than these”?
Where will we find power to do such acts? Jesus offers that connection as well. Jesus will continue to provide the power for ministry through the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we “die to self” and surrender to Jesus, we are empowered to do whatever we ask “in His name” so that “the Son may bring glory to the Father”.
“In His name” means “in the spirit and teaching of Jesus”. This is not a blank check for our self-indulgence. Clearly Jesus will empower only those things that glorify the Father in the name of the Son. We sometimes get off track on both accounts.
Clearly we are not “authorized” to go about commanding every whim “in the name of Jesus”. To do so would be to use the name of the Lord in vain. The Bible says something about that somewhere (Ex. 20:7). The truth is that the Lord only empowers those actions that are the will of God, keep the character of Jesus and are to the glory of the Father.
So. Are you ready to take the torch? This is the real deal. This is where we continue the journey as disciples of Jesus. It means keeping our eyes open today that we may see a “great” thing that the Lord wants done. It may not be flashy. It may be quite humble. It may even involve someone that the world has thrown away. It will require dying to self. As you obey, it will be glorious and empowered in the name of Jesus. And, oh by the way, no one may notice… except God.

Lord, I am ready. I am connected. I surrender to Your leading for this day. Show me the greater things You have for me, in Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.