October 17th  

Faith Works

“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”  John 5:20 NASB 

“And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” John 8:29 NASB 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”  John 14:12 NASB 

These verses illustrate the call that God has given each of us in Christ – to continue the works that Jesus did on earth.  We are ambassadors of Christ in this bizarre and hostile world, just as the 11 disciples were 2000 years ago.   

Having said that, why is it that many people have difficulty in figuring out the specifics about what God wants them to do?  Being “too busy” is perhaps a big culprit, because when we’re focused on the mundane things of life and not investing time with the Lord, we’re likely to miss the key moves of the Holy Spirit in the daily situations we’re in.  Another culprit is lack of faith.  Jesus specified belief as the condition for our doing the works that he did.  

What is the kind of belief that leads us to do the works that Jesus did?  I’ve found that an intellectual knowledge of the Gospel message does not constitute effective belief.  What’s needed is a “heart” belief that is manifested in how we prioritize our time and energy.  When we really believe that Jesus is Lord, that his kingdom is eternal and that he is returning, it affects every area of our lives.   

Recently I was pondering “church life” and the emptiness I felt even after being faithfully involved in a good church.  I thought about the exceptional worship times, the effective preaching of the word and the wonderful fellowship in our church. Even with that, I still felt like there was something missing in my life.  “What is missing, Lord,” I asked.  He responded with something like, “Church is not the goal, but the stepping off point. Now its time to start going into the world and doing my work.”  Immediately I felt hope and a sense of adventure kindled in me.  I knew it was from the Lord and I felt inspired for the work ahead that would follow.  

I encourage you to seek the Lord for the faith (if you’re lacking) to do his works and the guidance about what works you are to do (if you don’t know yet).  If you’re in a fog about either, God can clear it up for you and set you on his path.  It starts with a willingness to surrender control to him and ask for help.  From there the faith and specifics will come each day, just as Manna arrived each morning for the Israelites in the desert.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, I praise you for purchasing my redemption through the blood of Jesus.  Thank you for giving me the right to live as a son of God and a co-heir with Jesus.  I embrace and receive everything that your will specifies for me as a son and heir of your kingdom.  I confess any lack of faith or other sins I may have harbored in my heart.  I receive your forgiveness and cleansing from my sin. Thank You!  I surrender my life to you anew today and invite you to fill me with the kind of faith that works as Jesus did.  Please guide me in your ways and show me what you want me to do from here.  I praise you now and forever.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”