Those of us who love and have chosen to follow Jesus are called to continue the ministry that Jesus began when he was on the earth. The only way it is possible for fallible humans to do so is by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit working through us. Our steps need to be in cadence with His to see His Kingdom come, and to see Heaven invade Earth. Our heart needs to be full of His love. When we experience His love and reach out to serve others in that same power, we can continue the work that He began—and that so many believers have moved forward in centuries past.
Our belief is critical, as is following after him. We can’t do so perfectly; neither could the disciples. When the disciples who literally followed Him every day for three years did not fully understand His mission and ministry, this is how He responded:
John 14:11-12 (NIV) “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
“Works” in the Greek language means business, and “greater” means increase. God wants to have you be about His business and bring increase through your obedience.
Jesus then goes on to say that when He leaves, He will send the Holy Spirit to be within and upon us, never to leave, so that we can continue His ministry.
So what does it mean to continue the work that Jesus did among us? Jesus changed lives. He brought the good news of the gospel and the kingdom of God to all who would listen. He comforted the broken-hearted. He proclaimed freedom and liberty to spiritual prisoners. He brought restoration and increase to those who had been wronged and robbed, especially by the enemy. He brought joy for those who were mourning. He brought strength to the weak. He brought sight to the blind. He brought health to the sick. He brought the dead back to life. He crushed death, disease, and all the works of the devil under His heel.
The most amazing thing about this is that He has called you to do these works, and even greater works!
Jesus’ love for those around him was motivated by the love of the Father. Everything He did and said was saturated and soaked with God’s love.
John 3:16-17 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
These verses are the beginning and the end of the gospel message, but they also point to one very important reminder: We work from God’s love, not for God’s love. We cannot add or subtract from His love, because his love for us has already been made perfect in the death and resurrection of his beloved Son.
John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Understand that when we move forward in love in the service of God’s Kingdom, the love of God within us destroys the works of the devil—both within our hearts and within the world around us. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to see what biblical love looks like.
So how do we continue this work? How do we move forward in love? First, we need to receive His love. (We can’t give what we don’t have.)
God has an upgrade for us today so that we can be a better receiver for His love. This upgrade not only allows us to see the never-ending heights, widths, lengths, and depths of His love (Ephesians 3:18); but it also allows us to let that love flow through us toward others.
Pray that God will allow you to be a conduit for his love. Pray that the overflow of that love will move you to the point where there’s too much for you to contain – it will need to be released! Finally, pray for the eyes to see the opportunities for service that God is sending your way.
May you be blessed as you bless others through the work you do as you continue the work that Jesus began.
By Chase McCartney, Social Media Marketing Coordinator for Biblica.
Biblica is a global Bible ministry inspired by radical generosity. For more than 200 years, Biblica has helped people beyond the reach of God’s Word discover the love of Jesus Christ. Through relevant and reliable Scripture translations and resources, Biblica serves people on the margins of the Gospel – the unreached, unengaged, unseen, and unwanted. For more information please visit our website at Biblica.com