Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
One of my favorite movies is Chariots of Fire. It tells the story of men competing in the 1924 Olympics. At one point in the movie the fiancee of Harold Abrahams, who would win the 100 meter race, asked why he was so possessed by his training. One of the other runners said, “Because he has the chance of being the fastest.” She counters, “But all of you are running in the Olympics.” He answers, he does not just have the chance of being a fastest man, but the fastest man who ever was.”
In Luke 7:28 Jesus spoke a much higher greatness. He said John the Baptist was the greatest man ever born.
“I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John.”
But that is only half the verse. Jesus goes on to say you will be greater than John.
“Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Now to be honest, that is hard to understand, much less to believe. I told someone last week that God's standards of greatness must certainly be different from ours. How could any one of us, in fact the least of us, be greater than the prophesied forerunner of the Son of God? I still believe that is the case. There is more to this than I can grasp. But I have been thinking and praying about it. And I think I see ways that by the grace of God we are actually greater than John.
A Higher Purpose
John was the forerunner who prepared the way for Jesus. But you and I have a higher calling than that. We are to tell people the good news of forgiveness and grace. We invite people into the embrace of our Lord. Paul said we reconcile people to God through Christ.
A Greater Message
John's message was for people to repent to prepare their hearts for the coming Messiah. It was in a sense, a mandate. He told people what they had to do. We bring people the good news of what only God could do for them in the gospel.
A Deeper Ministry
John told people to do what they could do to prepare for the Messiah. We lead people to receive Christ and be transformed by the power of God. In the transformation of the Holy Spirit we become more and more like Jesus until we are changed into His likeness, seeing Him face to face.
But make no mistake—none of this greatness can be accomplished by human effort. We are trusting God day by day for this grace in our lives. The Scripture says,
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
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