Greater. There have been times throughout history when the world needed something—or someone—greater. Imperiled by a fascist Germany, for example, the world needed a dogged determination of Winston Churchill and, ultimately, America and the allied forces. Facing the spread of Soviet oppression, the world needed the triumvirate of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II and, ultimately, the protection of individual freedoms.

I don’t see the rise of global domination by a statist sovereign today, but I do sense our culture is clearly in need of something—or someone—greater. What is it that threatens us now? In just a few short decades, we have largely exchanged the liberating truth of God in favor of the coddling culture of relativism. We prefer to bend “whatever works for you” to our selfish liking, rather than to submit our selfish liking to the authority of Christ. What happens, then, when we trade solid truth for mere feeling? Whatever works for me clashes with whatever works for you, and there is no standard of right and wrong, no authority to which we turn together for guidance. Whoever screams the loudest rules. Rhetoric reigns, and chaos is king.

So who is this “someone” the world needs today? You. I really mean that. If Jesus Christ lives in you through faith, the world desperately needs you. Why? Because “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Wherever you are, He is; wherever you go, He goes; wherever you serve, He serves. And when you rise above the fray of the day and give yourself over to the rule of Christ in you, people see this One who is greater, and they have hope. Yes, the world needs you.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Lord Jesus, you truly are greater than the deceiver who is in the world. Shine through me in what I say and do, so others may know for themselves the hope and truth that are found only in you. Amen.

[Click here to read today’s Scripture in 1 John 4:1-4.]


The Greater Hunger

“I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32)

They were still there! Think about it— the crowd had been with Jesus for three days, eaten through their entire food supply, now edging toward collapse, and they were still there. What draw could possibly be so compelling? What craving of the spirit could outweigh any hunger of the stomach?

Physical hunger is a powerful force; we reach a point where we would do virtually anything to assuage it. Yet there abides in humankind another kind of need, a yearning of the soul that gnaws at us; life is empty until this need is fed, until this thirst is slaked.

compassionWhat was it about Jesus that satisfied the crowds? Of course, they feasted on His miracles, His display of compassion with power: the lame walked, the blind saw, and the mute spoke. Surely they tasted of His wisdom and truth, the “soul food” of their innermost longing. He was to them the savory blend of understanding, power and care, feeding the body, soul and spirit—the whole meal “bread of life” nourishing the entire person.

So He sends us likewise to serve people all around us every day. We stop neither at the stomach nor the soul, for God cares about every aspect of every person.

God, all around me are people who hunger, some in their stomachs, some in their souls. Open my eyes to see, and my heart to care. Open my hands to serve, and my mouth to speak. Today. Amen.

[Read today’s Scripture in Matthew 15:29-32.]