Some of the most powerful words in the Bible are the shortest words. Words like all, will, nothing, and everything. In the increasingly muddled, grey world that we live in today, where there is exception upon exception, and always a reason as to why ‘this doesn’t apply to me’ or ‘I’m different’ – the promises of the Bible stand resolute and firm.
I came across another pearler this morning in a book that I was reading… quoting from 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” – John 14:12 (Emphasis mine)
Anyone means… anyone. For me, this one verse alone puts the nail in the coffin of cessationist thinking, and it breaks forever the clergy/laity paradigm.
Biblically, the only qualification you need to walk in the same power that Jesus walked in – is faith. You don’t have to have a position, a title, a certificate, worldly influence, charisma, money or connections. You can be popular or an outcast. When Jesus says this power is open to anyone – He means it!
But not only does this verse hold for us great promise, it also holds us accountable. It means there’s also no good reason for me not to be doing what Jesus did. I can’t blame my history, my circumstances or my church leaders or oversight. If my life is not seeing the same fruit that Jesus did, then my faith in Him needs examination – because Jesus’ words and promise don’t allow me any other excuse.
Everyone wants to be a ‘someone’. But based on this… I’d rather be an ‘anyone’!
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it – 1 Corinthians 12:26
A few thoughts on weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Joshua 5:2 (NIV)
2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, "Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again."
Right before the Israelites moved into their Promised Land, the Lord commanded the whole nation of them to be circumcised. This ‘cutting away’ of the flesh is symbolic for us of embracing the cross, and dying to our agenda, and our way of doing things – to embrace His agenda, and His way.
The Israelites had already been circumcised before, but the entire generation that had been circumcised had died in the desert. This was a new day, and a new generation. But they couldn’t rest on what the previous generation had done – they had to go through the same process themselves.
In our day, God is raising up a new generation that will advance the Kingdom of God far beyond what previous generations have done. To a large extent, we get to ‘stand on the shoulders’ of battles won by the previous generation. But this generation must come to the cross themselves, and embrace the death that leads to life. Only then will we be prepared and ready to enter into the fullness of what God has for us!
2 Samuel 9:1 – David said, Is there yet any who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
The household of Saul deserves nothing but death from David, who had been badly mistreated by him. Yet because of David’s love for Jonathan, kindness is being extended to this wicked household.
In the same way, the human race deserves nothing but judgement from God for our wickedness and the way we’ve turned against Him. Yet because of His love for His human Son, God wishes to extend kindness to the human race and has mercy upon us.
The household of Saul experienced mercy from David the King, because of Jonathan. In the same way the household of Adam experiences mercy from God, because of Christ. We receive the kindness of God, not because of our own deserving, but for the sake of Christ, whom God loves.
2 Chronicles 14:6 – He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest.
King Asa came into a season where there was rest in the land – because the Lord had given him rest and peace on all sides. In this season, he was able to build up fortified cities and invest into the land.
When we’re not fighting battles and we enter into a time of peace – it’s a huge opportunity for us to rebuild walls and invest into various things in our lives.
But here’s the key – the Lord had given him rest. We can be in the midst of huge struggles and storms of life – and yet still find ourselves in the REST of God.
We must labour to enter into His rest – because from that place all the real building begins!!