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Christ is Greater Than

The greater-than sign dates back to the 1560’s. This mathematical symbol denotes an inequality between two values. The widely adopted form of two equal-length strokes connecting in an acute angle at the right was first discovered in documents in the 16th century. Yet, there is a first century book that uses an analogy rather than the greater than symbol.

He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. 18 Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, 20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, Hebrews 10:17-20.

The author of Hebrews refers to Jesus as the Great High Priest. Using a reference from the Old Testament, Jesus is linked to the order of Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18-20. When you add these nicknames with someone who became a living sacrifice, 2 Corinthians 5:21, this is what makes Christ greater than any other god, rising from the dead.

And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. 23 So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. 24 And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Hebrews 10:21-24.

The passage above serves as a calling to respond to God’s gift, John 3:16-17. The thought of God’s demonstration through Christ should elicit and stimulate souls to act, Romans 5:8. If modern day Christians could simply love others as God has loved us, Matthew 7:12, a revival would begin. If it only takes a spark to get a fire going, Christ could become greater than ever if hearts illuminate love, grace and mercy.

by Jay Mankus

Fishing for Grace

Recent studies claim that there are currently about 38 million commercial fishermen worldwide.  Although these numbers have declined due to advances in technology and rising costs, this trade is essential for restaurants and small villages which rely on these people for food.  Since a third of his disciples were fishermen, Jesus weaved fishing themes into analogies, lessons and parables throughout his 3 year ministry on earth.  Perhaps, this combination suggests that desperate souls should start fishing for God’s grace.

Stone inscriptions dating back to 2000 B.C. suggest fishing rods have been in use for more than 4000 years.  According to biblical accounts in the New Testament, professional fishermen relied on nets to catch fish.  On one occasion, 153 large fish were pulled to shore with a net stretched out between 2 boats, John 21:7-11.  Caught up in the moment, Peter ran to shore, astonished by this miraculous moment.  When Peter reached the beach, a resurrected Jesus appeared, starting a fire for an early breakfast.  Once the catch was complete, it was time for Peter to go fishing for grace.

A week earlier, Peter had publicly denied being one of Jesus’ disciples.  During one of their last conversations, Jesus predicted Peter would disown Him.  Fervently refuting Jesus claim, Peter now stood face to face with the man he had betrayed.  This sets the scene for John 21:15-19.  Filled with guilt, remorse and shame, Peter casts a line out to Jesus, hoping for forgiveness.  Jesus’ choice of words is interesting, forcing Peter to fish for grace 3 times.  In the end, Peter is reinstated, experiencing the touch of a Savior’s love and mercy.  If you’re filled with regret, pick up a rod, cast out a prayer and never give up until you find grace.

by Jay Mankus

 

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