I’ve been building a new wood shed to keep my firewood dry. Anyone who lives or has visited Hibbing, Minnesota, in the dead of winter would agree that there is no heat like wood heat radiating from a cast-iron stove. By the way, this was one of the prerequisites my wife had if I was ever to move her to “the frozen tundra,” which has occurred on two occasions in our twenty-nine years of marriage. So, you may be asking, what does this have to do with the power to multiply?
The wood shed I mentioned happens to sit among a stand of beautiful Norway pine, of which there are hundreds on our forty acres. As I began the building process, I noticed the dozens of pine cones which had opened in the summer heat and fell to spread their seeds. As I picked up a cone, I thought about how many times I saw a pine cone as just a part of the tree that gets dropped annually and annoys me when they get shot out of my lawn mower. I’ve seen them used to make Christmas wreaths and in other kinds of crafts, but this day I saw a forest! That one pine cone could reproduce through the years and create a forest. It’s in the DNA of the tree. I’m thankful for this because this reproduction of trees allows me to continue to cut wood to keep warm on those bone chilling, below zero evenings.
The same could be said of an apple. I just ate several delicious, crisp, mouthwatering Honey Crisp apples, but the apple isn’t just for my enjoyment and nourishment; just one apple could potentially create an orchard. It’s in the DNA.
This reproducing power is also seen in the human race. Fourteen years ago Stefanie became pregnant. The morning of the first ultrasound, I was out feeding the horses and talking to God at the same time. When I prayed about the morning’s ultrasound appointment, I prayed the Lord would protect “them,” not the “baby” but the “babies”. I told Stef about it on the way to the clinic. When the nurse performed the procedure, sure enough, we heard two heart beats. On the screen was baby A and baby B. Wow, we just looked at each other with such joy and amazement. Twins, Timothy John Jr and Isabel Grace. The power to multiply.
The point is this: every living organism which God has created has been given the power to multiply. It is a part of its DNA. If it doesn’t reproduce, it dies out. This principle is often lost when it comes to our lives as Christ followers and within His body, the church. Why is this? After all, we have a living faith, a living Word, a living God who has placed His seed in us. Peter said it this way, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23 NIV). John said, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God” (1 John 3:9 NIV). And Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV). The seed in us is God the Holy Spirit, and He longs for believers to multiply themselves by making more disciples. We have His DNA in us! In the Strong’s Concordance “much” in the Greek is polýs – many (high in number), multitudinous, plenteous, much, great in amount (extent). Sounds like multiplication to me.
At Actx Network it is our call, passion, and vision to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches, and we desire to do this locally, nationally, and globally for the glory of God. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).
Multiply your life in others who still don’t know Jesus. Multiply your faith in new followers to help them grow and learn to also reproduce. If you’re a leader, identify the next generation of leaders in your network and begin teaching them to lead. If you’re a pastor, begin praying about your church planting another church.
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