Check out part one of this series here.
Remember: The Church is Supposed to Expect Big Things from God…
The continued reality of our imperfections and their effects on the church doesn’t mean, however, that we should give up on the mission God has called us to.
If you call Jesus your Savior, that means somewhere along the way you had to accept the truth that “if you tarry ’til you’re better, you will never come at all.” But after we’re redeemed in Christ, the temptation to embrace a “clean up before you join up” mentality can actually become greater.
Paul recognized this tendency in the Galatian church: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2-3).
How can I join a small group if it means allowing others to connect with me in the midst of my messiness? How can I love and serve others when I can barely get my own life together? How can a sinner like me come to worship the Creator and King of the universe?
The answer to all these questions is the gospel!
When were still sinners, rebel enemies against God, he did everything necessary to bring us into his extravagant love. In the same way, while we still struggle with sin in this life, he empowers us by his Spirit to do great things for his kingdom and mission.
“Truly, truly, I say to you,” said Jesus, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12-13).
Jesus promises us that we will experience and accomplish greater things than even what he experienced and accomplished on earth. In fact, that is one of the main reasons he came to save us, that God would be glorified in the amazing things that Jesus does in and through his church.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24).
Jesus calls the community of his people to pray for, expect and work toward earthshaking accomplishments. Even in the midst of our messiness, we can trust that he will do great things in and through us.
Check back Tuesday for the third and final installment of this series...