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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

My Father Is Greater Than All (John 10:29)
Date Posted: September 25, 2020

As a young man I remember hearing a brash, up-and-coming boxer recite a poem which contained the line, “I am the greatest.” This same fighter had several nicknames, one of them being The Louisville Lip. There is no doubt that he was a great fighter even as his record and championship belts bear witness. Was he the greatest? That’s an argument that may never be settled.

The word greatest is a word which involves comparing one thing with others things. The word greater involves comparing one thing with one other thing. Like similar words in the English language these are adjectives used in what we call the superlative and comparative forms. When Cassius Clay (now known by his Muslim name, Mohammed Ali) said he was the greatest, he wasn’t claiming to be the greatest everything; he was claiming to be the greatest boxer. Such expressions usually have a context which limits or qualifies the area of excellence that is being claimed. Today’s devotional message will look at this phrase as it applies to God the Father.

We quote Jesus: “My Father, who has given them [the Good Shepherd’s sheep) to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” (John 10.29-30). Unlike Clay’s statements in the early 1960’s, Jesus statement about His Father did not have a significantly limiting context. Clay probably meant that he was the greatest boxer, limiting the scope of his greatness to the boxing ring. On the other hand, the Father of Jesus was greater than all, period! His greatness demands that His power be superior to all power. In fact every whit of the power which we observe in the universe about us derives ultimately from this Creative Source. God was before all things and created all things; His power is greater than the cumulative power that exists within the entirety of the universe. Truly, He is greater than all – all the cumulative power in the universe!

Read now some biblical excerpts about God and things concerning which, He is greater. Jethro, Moses’ father in law stated, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the [pagan] gods… ” (Exodus 18.11). In a similar vein, Solomon said, “And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.” (2 Chronicles 2.5). John wrote, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (1 John 3.20-21). Quoting from John’s pen again, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He [God] who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4.4).

The relevance of God’s greatness is obvious in the context of today’s verse (John 10.29). The power of God, if it were less than the power of someone or something, would provide me little comfort when it came to protecting His own. In fact, if the cumulative power of all peoples and things in the universe were greater than God’s power, the result would be the same – as a believer, I would have no assurance that His kingdom could withstand the onslaughts to which it may be subjected. However, if indeed the power of God is greater than all the cumulative power in the universe, I can be assured that He is able to protect His own from the forces of evil that might come against Him (and us). That is precisely the point Jesus made in today’s focus verse.

How great is our God? Is He truly the greatest? Herein is a mind-bending concept. There is simply no one and no thing in His class! He is the greatest in all categories that are consistent with His character! My Father is greater than all!

Questions:

1. Who was Jethro? What caused him to reach the conclusion that he did about God’s greatness?

2. What impact did God’s greatness have on the building of Solomon’s temple?

3. What comfort should we receive from this fact - He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world?

4. Because God is greater than all, what can God do (see Ephesians 3.20)?

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Biography Information:
Jim Bullington - A Christian writer whose insight into the scriptures is reflected in practical application lessons in every article. The reader will find that the Bible speaks directly to him/her through these articles. God is always exalted and His word is treated with the utmost respect in this column.
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