Saturday, May 18, 2013

We have a Better Hope!

"18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." (Hebrews 7:18, 19 NKJV)

People place their hope in others all the time, and often are disappointed. This is especially true with government. With every new leader elected - locally, statewide, nationally - we have hope that things will get better. It is natural to hope, and it almost seems just as natural to have our hope dashed. But it doesn't have to be that way, and here is why.

When we place our hope in men, we set ourselves up for failure for two reasons. First, all men are human and destined for failure. The Apostle Paul says, "They (boasters and those who commend themselves), measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Corinthians 10:12) Eventually, the greatest person with the most commendable record will fail because all men are fallen, since the fall of Adam. They may not mean to, but they will. Second, all men die; and when they do our hope for what they can do for us dies. And we are back to square one, looking for someone else to be our hope.

But Christians have a better hope! Why? Jesus came as a man, and was tempted; but, he did not fall to sin. And, though he did die, he rose again, and now lives forever in heaven. He sits next to God continually making intercession for us. Since he did not fail, and rose from the dead, when we place our hope in him, we have done a great thing. We have a better hope!

And the greatest of all hopes is that one day our Deliverer will come and rescue us from our present situation. He will take us to a better place! Everyone wants that, and all who place their hope in Jesus have it!

Have you placed your hope in Him! It only takes about 30 seconds to do so. Then just begin to walk with your head up, your eyes open, and a big smile on your face - because you have Hope!

Dear reader, if you have Jesus in your heart, then you have the Greater One in you; you can do greater works; you have a greater witness; you have better promises; and you have a better hope. So start living like it!

(Fifth in a 5-day, 5-part blog on Greater and Better Things.)

Friday, May 17, 2013

We have Better Promises!

"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6 NKJV)

There are lots of promises being made all around us every day. We often find ourselves thinking, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." And we have become very skeptical of what government, businesses and people promise us. But there is One Who has made great and precious promises to us, and they are just as good today as when he first made them. Time and wars and cultures and philosophies have not erased them, or made them ineffective. And they never will.

Jesus has given us a better contract (covenant) than anyone else ever could. And it has better promises. There are lots of religions floating around that make promises. But the covenant that Jesus made with you when you asked him into your life is so full of such great promises that it causes all other religious promises to fade - if you check out his promises. He said that he would die for us and rise again on the third day so that all the promises of heaven would become ours. And he did just that. History has tried with all their might to disprove his death, burial, and resurrection. But they have yet to do it. And since no one has - and can't - disprove him and his promises, it would be worthwhile to search out his promises and place our trust in them.

If we trusted him, and received his love and peace and strength, then we should also trust him for his promises. Why not give it a try today? Find his promises to you, and begin to trust him to bring them to pass. 

Here is one: "God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8) Just work on that one for awhile. Believe him and see what happens.

(Fourth in a 5-day, 5-part blog on Greater and Better Things.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Greater Witness in us!

"9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son."  (1 John 5:9, 10 NKJV)

There are many people in the world that would tell us there is no God, Jesus doesn't love us, Jesus can't help us, Jesus isn't the Son of God, etc. But God says, "I am living inside of you, and my witness of myself is greater than what men say to you." We have a Greater Witness inside of us. Or as someone said, "We have inside information."

Nowadays, people are saying that God is dead. They say that Christianity is old hat, the truth is we can do what we want to. They tell us we are foolish to trust in Someone Whom we have never seen. But if we have asked Jesus into our hearts (remember? the Greater One is in you?), then we have an inside witness. The noise of this world tries to drown it out, but if we will get quiet for a moment...There it is! That inside witness is telling us that God is real, and he lives inside us. 

Once again, it doesn't say that the witness is around us, or behind us, or in front of us. No! This verse says we have "the witness in us!" We just need to develop our inside ears! We need to practice hearing his voice in us. He knows, he understands, he guides. He won't force you to hear him, or make you acknowledge him inside. But if you will listen, he will guide you. 

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." He doesn't lie. So if he said we hear, then we can hear. So every once in a while, just get quiet. Shut out the world, and begin to hear that inside witness - I love you, I'm with you, I can do it through you.

(Third in a 5-day, 5-part blog on Greater and Better Things.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Greater Works are ours!

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."  (John 14:12 - NKJV)

Now here is something to think about: we will (and can) do greater works than Jesus did. Why is that so hard to believe? Jesus said it, and he doesn't lie. Some would argue that greater in this verse means more, not more dynamic. Even so, greater is still greater. There are Christians who have done virtually nothing all their lives, so to do one or two things would be a great thing for them.

But the word greater is a word with no limits. Suppose you could bless three people today with something? A good deed, a kind word, a prayer of help, an encouragement. And don't forget that the word (which is unlimited) would include a healing, a provision, etc. Just suppose...

This verse implies that Jesus has a part to fulfill and so do we. His part is to "go to My Father." He has done his part. Our part is to "believe in Him." Will you do your part?

The devil has done a good job lying to us, telling us that we are unimportant in the church, unimportant to God. We are small fries, not a very big catch. But Jesus just continues to whisper inside of us (remember? the Greater One is in us?) that we are important to him and he will help us do a greater thing(s).

Give it a try today! Push out! Reach out to bless someone! Let Jesus help you.

(Second of a 5-day, 5-part blog on Greater and Better Things.) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Greater One in You

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirit of Antichrist, the evil one), because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."  (1 John 4:4 NKJV)

What a wonderful thing to know - the Greater One lives in us! If we have asked Jesus into our heart, then the Greater One is in us. We are so sin-conscious, so aware of the troubles around us. We allow what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears and feel with our emotions to override the truth that God wants us to know above all truths. Jesus lives in us - the Greater One.

God promises us that we have already overcome our enemies through Jesus living in us. What if we believed that? I mean, what if we put legs to that truth and began to walk and talk and act as though it were true - because it is. What if we said, "This is not going to defeat me because Jesus already defeated it. And Jesus lives in me." That would give us a different perspective on our day and days.

Notice that this verse says he is in us - not around us, or before us, or after us - but in us! So no matter where we are, what we are doing, who is with us, the Greater One is in us. 

He did say to us, "If you love me, I will come in to you and live with you and you with me." And he is true to his word. 

So stand up a little straighter. Put a little bigger smile on your face. Whistle a little happier tune. Because Jesus, the Greater One, is in you and you are an Overcomer! (And if you haven't asked Him into your life, do so right now! Don't waste another minute!)

(First in a 5-part, 5-day blog on Greater and Better Things.)