Tag Archives: theology

What’s Holding You Back?

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

Really, Jesus?  Greater works than you?  I know Jesus says a lot of shocking and alarming things in his ministry, but this may be the most shocking.  Jesus tells his disciples (those who choose to follow him) that they will do even greater things than he did.  Can you believe that?  Maybe the question should be, DO you believe that?

We hold Jesus in the highest regard.  He is the revelation of God with us, for us.  He shows us what it is to be truly human and he exemplifies God’s love for us in his life, death, and resurrection.  Jesus’ teachings form our moral understandings as well as our ethical understandings of not just caring for the poor and the outcast but forming relationships with them.  We claim to have faith in what Jesus said and did, but how many of us believe that we can not only do the work that Jesus did, but maybe even do greater?  That seems sacrilegious.

We are taught from an early age that we should have faith in Jesus – that’s true and that’s good.  What I find most compelling is the amount of faith that Jesus has in us.  Jesus calls us to be his physical presence in the world.  That’s a big responsibility and a huge show of faith on his part.  I mean, he spent time with his disciples.  They weren’t exactly ‘A’ students, yet these are the ones he is talking to.  I can imagine after seeing Jesus walk on water and feed huge crowds with nothing more than a happy meal that they too would doubt their abilities to do “even greater things.”  

I doubt my own abilities: my ability to be compassionate enough, my ability to discern God’s work, my ability to involve other people in God’s work, and my ability to maintain focus and drive.  Deep down I have a fear that who I am and what I have to offer isn’t good enough.  I don’t have enough faith.   So, naturally I have a hard time believing this scripture.

What would it take to be formed into a type of person that believes 1) God is at work in the world; 2) God sends God’s people to be involved in that work; and 3) I am one of those people.  What would need to change that would serve as the catalyst for action?

Seeing others live with this kind of faith inspires me. It is in friends reaching out to their physical neighbors in times of sorrow and crisis, people empowering communities and economies to provide clean drinking water in Haiti, and a man forming a most unlikely friendship and exemplifying the presence of grace of God.  These are the places where I find strength for the journey.  In the people who embody the compassionate love of Christ and believe that they have been sent into this world with purpose and presence.

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

So, what is it that’s holding you back?

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Don’t just proclaim the gospel, demonstrate it.

“I give you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.  This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:34-35)

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Crack House Church

Peter Rollins always provides a thought-provoking as well as a culturally provokative word that we need to hear.  How do you approach the church?  For whom does the church exist?  What does it mean to be a part of a church?

Crack House Church

[sorry I could not get the video to embed properly. Following the link will take you to the video]

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A Challenge Ahead

I’m starting a Sunday School series with the Juniors and Seniors at Arborlawn that looks at the book of Revelation.  I feel like this is a topic that many people tend to avoid because we’re not sure what angle to take.  I’m in that camp.  I have found a great book that makes the book a lot more approachable (it also happens to be written by one of my seminary professors) and that I will be using to frame the lessons.  I know the study will be tricky, but I also know that it will be worth it to have the students thinking about what we typically hear something is “about” and being able to shed conventional thinking and open their minds to something different.


Are there topics that you generally avoid teaching?  What are they?  What’s holding you back?

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