January 28, 2019

More Than We Can Imagine

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Do you ever ponder what God has made you to be, or might be making you to become?

I know in my heart, as certain as I know anything in this life, that God made each of you reading this post for something wonderful and incredible.

Ephesians 3:20 says God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

What an awesome verse of Scripture! And what is true for us as individual believers is exponentially true for the congregations we serve.

As a Transition Minister in the Regional Synod of the Great Lakes, I’m certain God made the churches I am invited to serve, and yours as well, for something more wonderful and incredible than any of us can imagine.

In my work with transitioning and struggling churches, I must believe (and be a catalyst for others to believe) that the years ahead of us are a season in which God is going to release great blessings and growth upon the church. Why should or would we believe any differently?

I recently read I Peter 2:9, that declares we are “a royal priesthood”. As I was thinking about the fact that we are royalty in God’s eyes, I started thinking about some other realities God declares about us in His Word:

  • We are Christ’s BROTHERS (and SISTERS)Matthew 12:49: “Pointing to His disciples He said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” (c.f. Heb. 2:11-12)
  • We are Christ’s BRANCHESJohn 15:5: “I am the Vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
  • We are Christ’s BODY – I Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.” (c.f. Eph. 5:30)
  • We are Christ’s BRIDE – Revelation 19:7: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.”  (c.f. Rev. 21:2,9)
  • We are Christ’s BLESSING – John 7:38: “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (c.f. John 4:10-14)
  • We are Christ’s BINDING POWER – Matthew 18:18: “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Do any of us fully comprehend what God has declared in these verses about us?

And I do mean US, as all the references I mentioned above are spoken of in the plural, not the singular. God is speaking about His Church – yours, mine, and all others that are part of it.

We are God’s brothers and sisters, His branches, His body, His bride, His blessing, His binding power on the earth! If we truly understand what God has declared as fact, should we not live with greater faith, greater power, and greater courage than others? Why shouldn’t we launch out in dynamic, risk-taking faith that is not governed or limited by human sight or human reasoning? Why shouldn’t we be like Peter, who stepped out of the boat and start walking on the water?

It’s only with an understanding of who we are in Christ that we can believe and claim such verses as these:

  • Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it.”
  • “Nothing is impossible to him who believes.”
  • “Greater works than these shall you do!” (see Jn. 14:12-14).

The million-dollar question in all of this is the same question Jesus asked the Pharisees in John 9:35:

Do you believe in the Son of Man?

So much in the Christian life and ministry hinges on us just believing!

Would it be going too far to say that if we do not fully believe what Jesus has said about us, and all the promises God has made to us, then we are not ready to lead His Church where God wants to take it?

As God’s appointed leaders, you and I are responsible for leading the believers under our care into God’s ordained future.

What happens in 2019 and beyond is certainly up to God, but it’s also up to us.

If we are to be all that God says we are, and become all that He says we should become, we must BELIEVE God and His Word with every ounce of our strength, every fiber of our being, every strand of our will, and every cell of our brains.

This is our divine calling… and also our spiritual privilege.

We all know that we can’t do it without God’s help, so let us pray daily for that help, and always say, “To HIM be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen!”

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