Greater by J.D. Greear
I am continuing to read Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear. He will be one of the speakers at Liberate 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed his message last year and look forward to what Holy Spirit puts on his heart this year. Here are some quotes on the topic of "greater" from Jesus Continued:
In other words, it's not that Jesus worked while he was here and now the church works in his absence. Jesus worked then through his incarnation, and he works now through his church.
But Luke writes it (Luke 5:17) in this way to show us that even Jesus' power to heal came from the Holy Spirit. Why make that distinction? If Jesus had healed exclusively out of his own power, then he'd have a significant advantage over his disciples. But if the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus, then the disciples could do what he did, continuing the ministry he started. Believers, who now possess that same Holy Spirit, have access to that same power.
Nothing in Acts nor in the rest of the New Testament gives us any reason to think that God has ceased working in spectacular, jaw-dropping ways.
But if Jesus' promises are true, why would we relegate God's greater works to a thing of the past? God's acts in the past should not only inform and inspire us, they should move us to seek more of his activity in the present. The Bible contains not only records of what God has done, but invitations for us to believe in what he will do.
He's (God) not short on money, talent, or time. He has never commanded us to go save the world for him; he has called us to follow him as he saves the world through us. God's call to radical generosity begins with the good news that he doesn't need us!
God doesn't call us from a place of need; we call to him. We get the grace; he gets the glory. And we never switch roles. If you do, you'll live a life of guilt-laden burnout instead of one of sustained, joy-filled, life-giving sacrifice.
The weight of responsibility for the mission does not rest on our shoulders, but on Jesus' shoulders. He leads; we follow. He commands; we obey. He supplies; we steward. He delivers; we worship.
God commissioned only one Messiah, and it's not us. He calls us to be servants, not fellow-saviors; stewards, not suppliers. He wants us not to be guilt-driven, but gift-driven; not only looking outward at the mission need, but inward at his empowering presence. The question is not just, "How much needs to be done?" but "What specifically has he empowered me to do?"
God expects no more of us than that we do what he has appointed us to do. He does the rest. And that enables us to rest. We obey his leadership, and then we sleep.
The burden of the whole mission belongs only to God; certain parts he assigns to each of us.
There's no reason to feel guilty over what you're not doing if you're doing what God has commanded you to do. We must faithfully steward what the Holy Spirit has put our names on. He's given us all an assignment in his kingdom, a way to share in the ministry of the cross.
Faithfulness, not degree of sacrifice, is our measure of success.
God is an infinite supply of provision.
And then we need to look inward to discover where and how the Spirit of God has called us specifically to help. Instead of being guilt-driven, we need to become grace-driven and gift-driven.