The Theme for the 2017 New Year’s Conference is Greater. Here's a little insight behind the meaning of our theme:
Jesus is greater than anything else we would turn to for life, joy, healing, and satisfaction. In John 2, Jesus is at a wedding party that needs wine to save the reputation of the family throwing the party and to give the party new life. The twelve cisterns that are there can’t produce the needed wine. Jesus does. He produces the best wine of the party. In John 4, there is a woman searching for water that can quench her ‘thirst for more’ but the well can’t produce it. Jesus does. In John 5, there is a man who is sitting beside a pool hoping that it can heal his 38-year brokenness. The pool doesn’t heal his brokenness. Jesus does. The people in John 2-5 are not unique. Everyone is looking for life, to have their deepest longings satisfied, and have their brokenness healed and are inclined to turn to countless things, systems, activities, and people to get the job done. John’s point is that Jesus is greater than anything else we will go to. Jesus is the only one who can give us what we are after.
Jesus is greater than any idols. In Romans 1, Paul makes the argument that people are worshippers. The question is what’s the object of their worship - food, money, sex, sports, relationships, etc. Jesus is greater than all these idols. He is greater than these idols because:
His Power is greater - He made these other objects of worship.
His Sovereignty is greater - He rules over the world of these objects of worship.
His love is greater - None of these other things left heaven to come to earth and suffer and die for their enemies.
His mercy & grace are greater - God gave people money, sex, sports, nature, food as good gifts. People turned these gifts into objects of worship and thus they became enemies of God’s in the hearts of these people, rather than gifts that would cause these people to worship God even more. In a sense, these people are using His gifts against Him. In the midst of that, God extends mercy and grace to these people.
Future with Him is greater - none of the other objects of our worship will take us to heaven to experience an eternity of joy and bliss with them.
His Purpose is greater. God is taking history somewhere. He is redeeming people from all the nations of the world and bringing them into His family or as Paul writes to Titus, “[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Nobody wants to waste their life. They want to give it to a great purpose. Unfortunately, they were made and long for a purpose much greater than this world can offer them. God’s purpose is greater and He is graciously calling them to it.