2015-06-07
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
James 4:17 NKJV
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Last week, we began a series entitled “Greater Things.” This series is based out of John 14:12 where it says:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” (NKJV)

In the sermon last week, we talked about three things to understand what Jesus was saying. Greater Things always come from God’s Authority, God’s Provision and God’s Plan.

I want to take a moment to review the last point from last week.

God’s Plan – Prayer!

vs. 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

It’s interesting that immediately after Jesus said we would be able to do “Greater Works” in verse 12, He points us right back to prayer.

What can be surmised from this fact? Prayer is the key!

“Whenever there is little praying in the pulpit or in the pew, spiritual bankruptcy is imminent & inevitable.” – E.M. Bounds1

James 5:16 NKJV

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

Today, I want to draw from the last point to ensure that we are all aware that the Greater Things that Jesus talked about are impossible unless we prepare our hearts and lives for their occurrence.

James 4:8 NKJV

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? 13 Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

1. A double-minded heart will never see greater works

vs 8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”

  1. Sin will always keep you from the Greater Things that God has in store for you to do.
  2. As a result, sin in the life of the believer will keep churches from the Greater Things that God has in store for them to do.

2. A proud heart will never see greater works

vs 10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

  1. Pride is the declaration that I can do this on my own, that I’m better than I really am.
  2. Pride will always result in being humbled, it is far better to humble ourselves than for it to happen another way.

vs 16 “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

3. A judging heart will never see greater works

vs 11 “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”

  1. This is one of the great evils in the church today.
  2. When you put others down, even when they’ve made bad choices, you are setting yourself up for failure and ridicule. Your sin, and that is what judging others is called by God, will keep you from being a great leader of impact in the Kingdom of God.

vs 17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

“God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. ”
― E.M. Bounds2

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Footnotes:
(1) – E.M Bounds on Prayer, page 212, Hendricksen Publishers, published in 2006.
(2) – Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds, Start Publishing, 2012.

 

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