Saturday, May 14, 2011

Greater Things

Today I've been meditating on the promises of Jesus to the believer. To you and to me. Last week I mentioned that He promised in John 14:12 that those who believe in Him will do even greater things than He did. Do you believe that?

Take a minute and really think about it. Do you believe that you will do all the things Jesus did and even greater things?

Did Jesus exaggerate? Was it a wrong translation? Or could it be possible that we aren't believing the way He meant when He made the promise?

Well, I KNOW Jesus didn't exaggerate. He IS Truth.

Wrong translation? One of the Bible de-powering things I was taught was that even if scripture was originally what God said, the translators messed it up and so you couldn't believe it the way it came to us. I bought that - sort of. But I just couldn't believe that the God of all Creation would allow Jesus' words to be mistranslated. So I believed the Words in Red!!!

Those two questions out of the way, that leaves us as the reason we aren't doing the things Jesus did and greater.

"But I have faith!" "I believe." Do we?

The definition of faith is "trust in God's Word and reliance on His Nature." To truly believe in Jesus means to trust that His Word is true and to rely on His goodness. When I was a child I was taught that the Bible is full of stories that contain wisdom but that you can't believe it literally. I'll never forget when God sent someone who taught me that the Bible contains the Living Word of the Living God and that, yes, I can believe and take it literally - even the words not in red. "Joy unspeakable and full of glory"!!! I Peter 1:8

His Word is forever settled in heaven. But He needs us to believe and receive it on earth. That's why He told us to pray "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10.

Shortly after Jesus said the believer would do greater things than He did, He said, "He that has my commandments and keeps them, that is who loves me, and he that loves me shall be loved by my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21.

Aha! To trust in and rely on Him means that we believe Him and keep His commandments. And what are His commandments? The apostle John says that we have anything we ask of God if we keep His commandments which are: believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ (Okay, got that!) and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (Uh-Oh!) I John 3:22,23

Jesus taught in Mark 11: 24-26 that whatever we pray, believe we receive and we will have them and then He says "And when you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anybody."Hmm. Could it be that we are not seeing ourselves do the things Jesus did, much less the greater things, because we are not walking in love, not forgiving those who wrong us?

He said when we keep His commandments, He will manifest Himself to us. That means He will show Himself to us, His love and power will pour through us. But that can't happen if we are clogged up with resentments, irritations, and unforgiveness.

I hope you and I both (and the rest who read this) will be quick to forgive, quick to be merciful, quick to obey His voice to let Him pour out His blessings to others through us.

And as we do, I believe we are going to begin to see those greater things happen all around us.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Understanding Science

I just returned from several days in my favorite place - Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center. I used to go every other month but had not been since last October. When I walked in "my" cottage Monday afternoon, I burst into tears and realized that I had been homesick and didn't even know it.

There is always a sheet of paper lying on the table that says "Welcome home, Amy Barkman." And I always feel like I've come home. Why? The people I love, my husband, my children, my best friends don't live there. Why would that be home to me? Because there I spend days alone with the Lord. No sounds or distractions of any kind draw my attention from Him. Peace, perfect peace with my Creator, Redeemer, Counselor and Teacher.
This time, besides reading my Bible and praying and relaxing, I studied.
I watched some dvd's with Christian speakers who have studied Quantum Physics. Yes!!!
Wierd? Yes!!! Just like me.

I realized about twenty years ago that I was not normal. I had a passion to study science - which was NOT my best subject back in school. But I began to see that the more I understood science, the more effective my prayers were. It was only about 15 years ago that I started on Quantum Physics. I was/am driven to discover how the universe works.

My desire to understand began as a seed planted in August of 1980 when I was floating on a raft on the Green River in Kentucky. I heard, not an audible voice, but an inner voice that I recognized as God's. He said, "When you understand how the place I live in works and how the place you live in works, and how you and I can both be in both places at the same time, you will start to see miracles happen and they won't seem like miracles at all.

The first thing I realized was that Ephesians teaches that we are seated "together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." That puts me in the place where He is. And "Christ in me, the hope of Glory" puts Him in the place where I am. That is a wonderful thing to know but it didn't cause me to see miracles happen.

Then one day about ten years later I felt the Lord leading me to buy a fourth grade science book at a yard sale for twenty five cents. I discovered that every drop of water that was here in the earth at creation is still here. It just recycles itself. The water we used to brush our teeth could be the very molecules that Jesus walked on! Knowing that the water is all here and doesn't go away helped me pray for it to come and pour down on the land in my area during droughts. I saw results and I developed a desire to understand more science.

I found a scriptural basis for my desire in Daniel 1:4. It was during the time that the Jews were taken into captivity in Babylon. The King told his servant to choose some of the children of Israel to bring to the Palace so they might be taught the language and learning of the Chaldeans.
The description was that the children would be those "in whom there was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in all knowledge, and understanding science..." Among these chosen ones were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo.

Did you catch the implication there? These four men worshipped the God of Israel and "understood science." Daniel was thrown into a den of lions and was not harmed. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo were bound and thrown into a furnace of fire that was heated seven times stronger than usual. And they came out unharmed "not a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them". There were other people who worshipped the one true God, but were killed for their faith. I believe that "understanding science" was what helped these servants of God overcome the plots to destroy them. They knew that the elements and all the physical universe were created by God, and that they who were created in His image had authority over the elements and all creation.

Jesus walked on water, changed water into wine, walked through angry crowds unseen, restored withered arms, drove away leprosy and other diseases. He understood His authority over the physical realm. He understood science. And He said that Believers would do the things He did AND GREATER THINGS.

People have thought for years that science and scripture disagree but I don't believe that. Science often explains to me what the Bible means when it describes certain things. I believe that God wants us to understand science so we, the Church, will begin to walk in our calling to demonstrate His love and power in the world around us and advance His Kingdom.

I hope you will join me in being abnormal. Ask the Lord to help us - all of us in His Body in the earth - learn how things work so He can use us to get miracles to people and do greater works than He did when He walked in Galilee. I know this much - the way the heavenly realm works and the way this world works are by Words. I'm still learning and looking forward to the time I see miracles as the norm. Aren't you?

Daniel 1:4; 3:14 - 27;6:16-23 John 14:12 Ephesians 1:17 - 2:7 Colossians 1:27 John 1:1-3
Hebrews 1:1-3