The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Expect More, "Much More"

The Spirit has really been moving at Calvary Chapel of Hope. He’s blessed our ministry events and has been impacting hearts and lives at our services. Expect more. One of the greatest truths about God is that He does “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:19). God’s grace is always “much more.” His justification from sin is “much more” than we could ever have expected (Rom. 5:9). The salvation life we live is “much more” than we could have ever dreamed of (Rom. 5:10). God’s grace is always “much more” (Rom. 5:15); it just keeps coming. We reign in life by His grace “much more” than we could have ever hoped (Rom. 5:17). And where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds “much more” (Rom. 5:20). God’s grace is overwhelming. God’s grace comes like waves on a shore of the beach. Expect more, “much more.”

That’s the message D. Martyn Lloyd Jones conveyed in a teaching on Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in John 4. He says:

Possibly one of the most devastating things that can happen to us as Christians is that we cease to expect anything to happen. I am not sure but that this is not one of our greatest troubles today. We come to our services and they are orderly, they are nice--we come, we go--and sometimes they are timed almost to the minute, and there it is. But that is not Christianity, my friend. Where is the Lord of glory? Where is the one sitting by the well? Are we expecting him? Do we anticipate this? Are we open to it? Are we aware that we are ever facing this glorious possibility of having the greatest surprise of our life?

Or let me put it like this. You may feel and say--as many do--'I was converted and became a Christian. I've grown--yes, I've grown in knowledge, I've been reading books, I've been listening to sermons, but I've arrived now at a sort of peak and all I do is maintain that. For the rest of my life I will just go on like this.'

Now, my friend, you must get rid of that attitude; you must get rid of it once and for ever. That is 'religion', it is not Christianity. This is Christianity: the Lord appears! Suddenly, in the midst of the drudgery and the routine and the sameness and the dullness and the drabness, unexpectedly, surprisingly, he meets with you and he says something to you that changes the whole of your life and your outlook and lifts you to a level that you had never conceived could be possible for you. Oh, if we get nothing else from this story, I hope we will get this. Do not let the devil persuade you that you have got all you are going to get, still less that you received all you were ever going to receive when you were converted. That has been a popular teaching, even among evangelicals. You get everything at your conversion, it is said, including baptism with the Spirit, and nothing further, ever. Oh, do not believe it; it is not true. It is not true to the teaching of the Scriptures, it is not true in the experience of the saints running down the centuries. There is always this glorious possibility of meeting with him in a new and a dynamic way.

God has blessed, is blessing and will bless. Don’t let a mountaintop experience lead to a valley of drought. God’s work in and through us is ongoing and upward moving. Drink from the “river whose streams shall make glad the city of God” (Ps. 46:4). You are who you are by God’s grace. Press on in God’s grace (1 Cor. 15:10). Expect more, “much more.”

[1] Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Living Water: Studies in John 4

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