Big Promise, Bigger Result

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | April 17, 2023

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. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 14:12-17

Every time I plant something in my yard, I expect growth. Why? Because that’s how it’s supposed to work: big promise, bigger result. Flowers bloom, vegetables multiply, and trees add another set of rings when the right nutrients are in the soil. Water, sunlight, shade, and more work together to make it blossom.

Unfortunately, big promises and bigger results aren’t guaranteed when it comes to gardening or other aspects of life on Earth. Just look at our receipts for lawn seed and patching over the years, not to mention the stunted bush out front that was healthy when we bought it. Our yard looks pretty good, but you won’t find it showcased in Better Homes and Gardens.

“Big promise, bigger results” is a divine reality that I wish I experienced more often on Earth. We live in a broken world, and that often holds me back from believing what Jesus says is and will be true. In John 14, the Lord responds to Philip’s request to see God the Father with a bigger-than-life promise. He tells His followers that they will go further, do more, and even surpass Jesus’ works in His absence. Christ also says, “Go for it! Ask for anything that’s consistent with my character and purpose, and I’ll grant it” (paraphrased, of course). This was hard for Philip and the others to believe. It’s still a hurdle for us today.

Jesus goes on to amplify His promise (v. 16): the Holy Spirit will show up and be in and with every follower of Christ forever. He also clarifies that it’s normal to have a hard time accepting this unbelievable gift (v. 17). The good news is that we can depend on the Spirit of Truth always being present and empowering us if we trust and follow Jesus. 

Now back to my garden and yours, spiritually speaking. Don’t let the absence of obvious growth get you down. Not every tomato plant you plant in the ground will grow and flourish, but broken world realities never make biblical truths false. Trust Jesus at His word. If we nurture our relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the soil of our hearts, Christ’s big promise will yield a bigger result.

Next Steps 

  • Sit outside, focus on something that’s growing, and reflect on a divine promise from today’s passage. Call a friend to discuss why it’s hard or not hard for you to believe.
  • Have you experienced Rooted, the 10-week discipleship journey, yet? The next session kicks off soon, learn more about it and sign-up here