“I have read the entire Bible seven times”, he proudly stated.
“So, what have you learned?”, I asked.
“A lot”, he said.
“Like what?”, I asked.
He proceeded to tell me several things he learned about the Bible and ABOUT people in the Bible. He learned things ABOUT God, ABOUT salvation, ABOUT Jesus, ABOUT sin, ABOUT heaven, ABOUT hell, ABOUT the Old Testament feasts, ABOUT the tribulation, ABOUT the rapture ABOUT the synoptic Gospels, etc.”
“Sounds great!”, I said. “What are you doing with all you have learned ABOUT all these things?”, I pried.
He squinted his eyes and squeaked, “Huh?”
“Let me cut through all the theology and exegesis and history and socio-political-religious education and ask which “works” Jesus said we should be doing are you actually doing or have you already done?”
He sighed deeply and whispered, “What are you talking about? What are you driving at? You make no sense to me. Before I became a Christian, I sinned a lot. I was lost. I was very unhappy. I got saved, and now I am a Christian, I go to church, I teach Sunday school, I serve God in my own way, and I am going to heaven. My life is much better. I invite people to church and have even told someone about Jesus this year. Why are you asking me these things and what are you looking for?”
(note to self: count the “I’s”, “My’s” and “Me’s” in his response.)
“Nothing really. I hear from you about you, but I am Just curious as to which of Jesus’ works you are doing? You see, Jesus said we were to GO and DO certain things. He said we would DO HIS WORKS and even greater works than those, because He was going to the Father. I think that all you have said is great, and those are great things. But, the bottom line, or at least I thought the bottom line, was following Jesus and doing what He has told us to do. That’s all.”
I could tell I had irritated my friend, and it seemed that he was slightly exasperated with me.
I think most of us, as professing Christians, do a lot of good things, and a lot of those good things are “I-centered”. We do things in order to ‘get His blessings’. We also do a lot of the things our church leaders or pastors tell us to do because we haven’t been doing, and apparently won’t do the things Jesus said we should do. We can make excuses for our lack of Works, and we make excuses because there are no good reasons.
Forgive me for saying so, but “our good works” are just not good enough. It is not about us. It is all about Jesus and what He has done (and continues to do). We are to be and do likewise.
There are a lot of discussions about these “Works”. Here are three very good resources, ranging the religious spectrum of thought. Any-and-all of them can be helpful. But the point is they all point to Jesus and His Works that we are to be found doing when He comes back to take us home.
World challenge.org – Doing the works of Jesus, David Wilkerson.
Desiring God.org – Doing the works of Jesus and greater works, John Piper.
Knowing-jesus.com – Christ’s Work
My favorite is found in John 6:29, “Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (You have to let this one sink in, deep.)
You see, it is Jesus Who does these works. Let me say it again: It is Jesus, alone, who does these greater works.
Jesus has ascended to the Father, and He does His works through His yielded and obedient servants: you and me. It is so, because He said so. It is by this that His Works are multiplied, enlarged and magnified, bringing Him glory. He alone is due all credit and all glory.
Please read Jesus’ Words on this matter in John chapter 6.
It’s all about Jesus. It is about having Jesus as the object of our faith, and if that faith is the size of a mustard seed…
Go and ‘do these greater works’ by yielding to Him as His servants, allowing Him to work these greater works through you – as He Wills and as He pleases.
(Nothing will ever be the same!)
Your Brother and Friend,