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Tag: new

Jesus is Better Than Anything

As we learn in the book of Hebrews, Jesus offers us better hope, better promises and more.

Written by GodLife on 20/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Jesus, Better, Hebrews
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

Hebrews 6:9
What was the point of Jesus coming to our sinful world? And how did He accomplish everything we needed in order to be reconciled to God?

We get answers to these questions in the book of Hebrews. And it starts in Hebrews 6:9 — “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.”

What are these better things, though?

Better hope — “For the law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
Jesus is first introduced as a better hope in Hebrews 7:19. He is compared to the law, which ‘made nothing perfect,’ but he, the better hope, is the way in which we can draw near to God. His priesthood, as opposed to the priests of the Old Testament, gives us the ability to be made perfect, through His death and resurrection (not by our own works).
Better covenant — “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:22)
The first covenant, which came with the law, could not be perfectly upheld, because the priests and followers were themselves not perfect. But Jesus can save the ‘uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:25) because of His perfection and sacrificial death and resurrection. The covenant that included the law was good but ultimately impossible to uphold, but the new covenant (1 Corinthians 11:25) is perfect because God Himself (Jesus) fulfills every requirement.
Better promises — “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”  (Hebrews 8:6)
We are also told in Hebrews that this new, better covenant was ‘enacted on better promises.’ What does this mean? Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 37:26-28 both show that within the Old Testament was the expectation of another covenant. This new covenant promised that He would “write his law on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33), all His people would know Him and He would no longer remember their sins against them (Jeremiah 31:34), it would be “everlasting” (Ezekiel 37:26), and He would live among His people (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Better sacrifice — “For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
Jesus died after living a perfect life, which allows His death to stand once and for all as a saving sacrifice. Before, in the old covenant, there was a requirement for spotless animals to be sacrificed over and over again, with no end in sight. But Jesus’ perfect sacrifice allows us to rest in His finished work.
Better possession — “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” (Hebrews 10:34)
Our possession — which is eternal life through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection — is infinitely more valuable than any possessions we could have on Earth. In this verse, the writer of Hebrews is saying that nothing in this world is worth giving up the possession we have of eternal life in Jesus. The writer calls it ‘lasting.’
Better country — "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16)
Does this mean that Jesus gives us a great country here on Earth? No! We receive a heavenly country in the future. Jesus offers us a perfect community — though the church is not perfect here on Earth — in heaven to look forward to.
Better resurrection — “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35)
This whole chapter is really God’s definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6). It reads like the evidence log of God’s courtroom, into which He has entered men and women who trusted Him enough to overcome the world by their faith (1 John 5:4). Several of them seemed to supernaturally know details that would only be revealed in the New Testament. In the case of the martyrs this chapter mentions, it seems God has revealed the message of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 to them: they looked forward to work that would survive the fire of testing.
Jesus is the ‘something better’ that we are all looking for. If you want to learn more about Jesus, including the miracles He performed, the prophecies He fulfilled and more, visit our sister site: somethingbetter.us.

Pray this week:
Lord, show me how to trust you to be the perfect sacrifice for me. Thank you so much that you have done what I could not — follow the law perfectly — and then be sentenced to death for my sins. I praise you for your resurrection, Jesus, and for how your work on the cross and in the grave has saved me from destruction. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do you act as if you can earn your salvation outside of the work Jesus did on your behalf? What does Hebrews tell you that goes against that thought?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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The Power of a Testimony

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria.

Written by Hope on 06/10/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: EvangelismFaithJesusTestimony


 

“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece — throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).

 

One Person's Story

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria. We are not told her name, and so she is known simply as "The Samaritan Woman" or "The Woman at the Well."

When Jesus asked her for a drink, she must have been shocked. It was highly improper for men and women to converse in public. Not only that, but all Samaritans were despised by the Jews for their idol-worshiping and mixed blood. Jesus reached across both those divides with His love.

Despite their vast differences, Jesus began to tell her about God's love and plans. He said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water" (John 4:10). He explained that "those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and revealed to her, "I Am the Messiah!" (John 4:26).

Repenting of Sin

Jesus then challenged the woman about her lifestyle, shameful even by Samaritan standards: "You don’t have a husband — for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you’re living with now." (John 4:17-18). No normal person could have known all this about her–she realized He was a prophet, and believed His teaching.

God's people had been instructed that sinners should "Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!" (Ezekiel 18:30). In Jesus' day, John the Baptist had been preaching for people to "repent of your sins and turn to God" (Matthew 3:2).

Many Believed

Jesus's words so excited the woman that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!'" (John 4:28-29). "Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because [of what] the woman had said" (John 4:39).

In a few minutes’ time, the Samaritan Woman had gone from being a great sinner, to being greatly forgiven. She believed in Jesus not just as a prophet, but as The Messiah, and was unashamed to tell everyone she could about Him. Her story — her testimony — inspired her fellow villagers to worship Him too.

What story helped you decide to accept God's Salvation through Jesus Christ? Has telling your own testimony ever brought someone to a point of decision?

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus

Using Your Testimony

Scripture: Thessalonians 1:7-9

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul points out how important the testimony and example of the Thessalonians were to other people. He also says that our example speaks more loudly than words. As a believer, your testimony is one of the strongest tools you have for telling others about Jesus.

People you’re sharing the gospel with may disagree with the message. But as the Samaritan Woman showed, a life radically transformed by God is compelling, and very hard to argue with.

Here are some suggestions for sharing your testimony:

  • Write it out.
  • Keep it short (3-5 minutes).
  • Practice with friends and family.
  • Divide it into sections:
    • Section 1 — How was your life before you met Christ?
    • Section 2 — How did you become a Christian? (you may summarize the gospel message here)
    • Section 3 — How has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Your story is unique and amazing. God will use your faith stories in powerful ways to change lives! Let the Holy Spirit work through you.

It might be difficult for you to answer Section 1 of sharing your testimony. Maybe you accepted Jesus at a very young age and have always been close to Him. You can share why you love and follow Jesus. You can also describe an experience where Jesus intervened in your life and use this point to then share the gospel.


Pray this week:

God will use testimonies of believers everywhere to help people know Jesus.


We all have a story of how we came to know Christ… could you share your story with someone who asked? Practice sharing your story by sharing it with us in a message. We would love to know your story!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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