Day 16. (via @markbatterson)
You will see even greater things than these.
Billy Graham once leveled an indictment against the church in America. He said, “95% of today’s church activities would continue if the Holy Spirit were removed from us. In the early Church, 95% of all her activities would have stopped if the Holy Spirit were removed.”
Are we in the 5% or the 95%?
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we read the Bible and actually believed it. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we read the bible and actually obeyed it. Here’s my conviction: if we did what they did in the Bible, we’d experience what they experienced. Why? Because God is still seated on His throne! But here is the choice we face: either our experience will conform to Scripture or we’re tempted to make Scripture conform to our experience.
Thomas Jefferson loved the teachings of Jesus. In fact, he said they were “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.” But Thomas Jefferson was a child of the Enlightenment. He didn’t have a cognitive category for miracles so he literally took a pair of scissors and cut them out of his King James Bible. It took him two or three nights. And by the time he was done he cut out the virgin birth, cut out the angels, cut out the resurrection. Jefferson extracted every miracle and the end result was a book titled the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth or what is commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible.
Here’s the deal. You can’t pick-and-choose. You can’t cut-and-paste. And while most of us would never take a pair of scissors and physically cut verses out of our Bibles, we do what Jefferson did. We ignore certain verses. We avoid certain verses. And we may not cut them out with scissors, but our god gets smaller and smaller and smaller. We practice cut-and-paste Christianity. We only believe what we can comprehend with our cerebral cortex and we only embrace what we can control.
Aren’t you hungry for more? More grace? More power? More miracles?
I wonder if our faith is so subnormal that the normal of the Bible seems abnormal. We need a new normal. Prayer meetings should be normal. Miracles that are the byproduct of prayer should be normal. Radical conversions should be the normal. But there is a price to be paid. The price is prayer.
Are you willing to pray the price?