It is hard to imagine doing greater things than Jesus.I don’t know of a greater miracle than raising someone from the dead, so Jesus must have been talking about “greater” in quantity, not “greater” in quality. He could only be in one place physically while He was here on earth, now that the Holy Spirit abides in each of us, He can be all over the world at the same time. We now have access to the same power that Jesus had. If we ask for and believe that we receive it, we can actually have it. I once asked a Pastor since this is true, why do we not see more miracles today? He answered that it was because we don’t love like Jesus loved. While that is true, I think it is because we don’t believe like Jesus believed. If we truly believed that we had access to the same power that Jesus had when He was here and has now in heaven, we would ask for and receive it.
6 The Lord said, “If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it would obey you.–Luke 17:6 (NCV)
We, like the Israelites in the desert, have limited what God can do for us and through us.
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,And grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power:—Psalm 78:40-42a (NKJV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymoua
Can you imagine the thoughts that must have gone through Abraham’s mind when God told Him to sacrifice his only son? Surely he wondered how God was going to fulfill His promise to make him a father of many nations, if he killed his son. But this matter was already settled in the mind of Abraham. This was the statement Abraham made in Genesis 22:5
”Then Abraham said to his servants, “You stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there. We’ll worship. After that we’ll come back” (GW) (emphasis mine)
At that moment, Abraham didn’t know how God would do it, but he trusted God to provide and take care of both he and his son, Isaac. Isaac trusted God to carry out His promise through his sons, so he blessed both of them. Jacob believed the promise and blessed his 12 sons. Those 12 sons would become the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph believed that God would rescue his people, so he made them promise that when God led them out of Egypt that they would carry his bones back to the Promised Land and bury them there. All these promises were fulfilled and written down for us so that we might be believers as well. God is faithful!!
It is impossible for humans to know all of God’s thoughts and plans. Just as He created the whole universe by His spoken Word, He holds it all together by the power of His Word. How could our finite, human minds even begin to understand the intricate details of how nature works? Our scientists fit a little piece here and a little piece there, but they can’t put it all together. Just as the people of Babel thought they would build a tower to the heavens, we may think that we can figure it all out. But just as God confused their language and made it impossible for them to work together, He will confound our human plans. The wisdom of humans is foolishness when compared to the wisdom of God. As Job could not answer God about the intricacies of nature, neither can we answer Him. We, as Job did, can come to only one conclusion and that is this: “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. Job 19:25 (NLT) Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The question is not “Will I do this?” The question is “When will I do this?” Accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord today and enjoy spending an eternity with Him. He is the One who made it all possible by dying on a cross for our sins.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” – Luke 1:34 NLT Luke 1:30-34 NLT
Can you imagine the thoughts that must have gone through Mary’s mind at this announcement? The thoughts of the shame of being unmarried and pregnant? She would be ridiculed and possibly put away by Joseph, her betrothed. What faith it took for Mary to say, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me”. And, then, Joseph, how could he accept this? Surely, Mary had been unfaithful and gotten herself in this condition. But God! But God had a plan and a purpose. Can we even imagine what God could do through us, if we had even a hint of the faith that Mary and Joseph displayed in carrying out God’s marvelous plan. How many times has God spoken to us and we have responded with “How can this be?” Will we say okay to God,even when it doesn’t make sense to us? Do we believe or do we just mouth the words? But God!!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Can you imagine the power that was manifested when Jesus was resurrected from the grave? There must have been tremendous spiritual warfare occurring around that location and that time in history. We have that same power available to us to use for God’s glory today. Our mortal bodies are rotting away, but our Spirits should be getting stronger each day as we allow God to renew them. Paul says the problems we have today are trivial and temporary compared to the glory they will produce. When we endure small problems here, they produce a greater glory that will last an eternity. So, each day we should be focusing on Jesus and looking forward to the things that we cannot see now, but God says when they are manifested in the future, they will last forever. So, when troubles seem many and satan is trying to defeat you at every turn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” We need to learn to walk in that glory and grace and experience that power.
When we go before the Lord to pray, do we jump right into our lists of things that we “need” and/or want or do we first acknowledge who God is? Do we allow Him to influence our prayers in any way? Do we truly pray that His will be done in our lives or are we more concerned that God should answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered and when we want them to be answered? Do we ever consider what God might want us to ask Him to give us? Do we often pray prayers that actually grieve the Holy Spirit because we don’t allow Him to help us pray? It might be helpful right after we have prayed to think back through what we have just asked God to do for us. Do we pray prayers that have eternal consequences for all of God’s Kingdom or are our prayers just about us and our present situation? We should bring our specific requests before God at all times, but our prayers should not always be limited to “we four and no more”. God says no to our requests when we “ask amiss”. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer times, we can be sure that God will be pleased with our prayers as well. When He is pleased with our requests, He answers “Yes” to those requests and adds bonuses that we did not even consider or imagine. When we pray, our focus needs to be upward and outward as well as inward.
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety. How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us? Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray? At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what you created us to be. We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”? Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us. You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine. With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you. Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us. Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain”. Amen.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. — Romans 1:21 NLT
The Bible tells us in several places that only a fool says there is no God. If a person truly believes there is no God, then his mind will naturally be filled with all kinds of foolish arguments against the existence of God. Even the demons believe and know that God exists (James 2:19 NLT). They are not deceived about His existence, but it is their job to deceive others and they do that job well. We, as humans, cannot imagine the totality of what the Triune God is like. satan doesn’t have to imagine, he has been in heaven and in the presence of God. He is the father of lies and liars and as such, he has no qualms about deceiving people. He tells us little lies and half-truths about God and if we choose to believe those little lies, he has a foot in the door to lead us into total deception and darkness. His game is half-truths and compromise. Once he has gotten us to compromise our beliefs, he uses that guilt to take us farther and farther into his world of darkness. If we continue on the path with him, we will get to the point that we no longer acknowledge that Light exists and our minds will be forever darkened and confused. The truth never changes but our perception of truth can change. The truth is very simple. The Triune God was, He is and He always will be I AM. God is love and He sent His Son into the world to redeem the fallen world because He is love. The “why did He choose to do it that way?” part is not so simple.
18 Do not fool yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become truly wise, 19 because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written in the Scriptures, “He catches those who are wise in their own clever traps.” 20 It is also written in the Scriptures, “The Lord knows what wise people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”–1 Cor. 3:18-20 NCV
Compared to the wisdom of God, anything that we call wisdom here on earth is nothing but foolishness. Divine wisdom far exceeds anything we can think or imagine, not only in quality, but also in quantity. Men who think themselves wise and try to deceive others will be dealt with by God.
12 He ruins the plans of those who trick others so they have no success. 13 He catches the wise in their own clever traps and sweeps away the plans of those who try to trick others.—Job 5:12 NCV
Admitting that our wisdom is useless for getting into heaven is part of the humbling process. It is also one of the objections that worldly wise people have to becoming a Christian. That is why so many of us do not accept Jesus until He has allowed us to get to the end of our resources, then we will turn to Him. We can see Job as an example of this. He lost everything here on earth and was advised by His wife to curse God and die, Job refused and his “wise” friends tried to counsel him. but it took a confrontation with God himself for Job to humble himself and be redeemed. 25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 NASB
9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.–1 Cor. 2:9-11 NIV
God has prepared a place for us that no human can conceive or even imagine. He has revealed a part of that to us through His word, Our God is very organized, he has a plan and a time for everything in the plan to happen. God’s Holy Spirit is indwelling each of us. He (Holy Spirit) has the ability to search and know God’s thoughts. That is why we must always involve the Holy Spirit in our prayer life. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.—Romans 8:26-27 NIV
No matter how we may stumble and stutter through our prayers, the Holy Spirit cleans them up and presents them to God. Even better, while all this is going on, Jesus is standing at the right hand of God interceding for us. With the whole Trinity involved, how could our prayers not be answered? A great prayer is the one Peter prayed while he was walking on the water. “Save me”. You don’t need great words or lots of words to pray, you just need to be humble and sincere.
We are all quite familiar with Romans 8:28 which says: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We tend to focus on the first part of the verse, but the important part is the last four words of the verse; according to his purpose.
Our prayers do not change God’s plan for us, they are designed to get us in line with His plan.