No One Greater or Higher
Wednesday - September 30th
Scripture to Read Today: Genesis 1:1-31
Elohim: The living, supreme, mighty God Who created everything
Day 30 of 30 Days of the Names and Attributes of God
Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love.
The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to lead a multi-staffed church as Senior Pastor at 29 years of age. The church was one of the largest congregations in the Appalachian Region and had a preschool and an elementary school. The dear folks of Bible Center Church in Charleston, West Virginia, took a risky step of faith in calling a young, not-quite-30, Shawn Thornton to serve as their fourth Senior Pastor in 60 years. All three of the pastors before me had been in their early 30's when they became pastor of this wonderful church family. You can sense the kind of faith journey Bible Center has been a part of since its inception. The Bible Center congregation will always be near and dear to Lesli and me. They embraced us as a young family and taught us much about stepping out in faith.
As a young 29-year-old pastor who did not look a day over 17, not everyone one I met expected or believed I was the Senior Pastor of Bible Center. On several occasions, they would mistake one of our older pastors (you know, someone in their mid to late thirties) as the Senior Pastor. There were also occasions when we used one of our other pastors' age or gray hair to minister in the moment. When, on one occasion, I needed to go to some sweet grandparents to inform them that their eighteen-year-old grandson had murdered his mother, their daughter, I did not hesitate to take our Music Minister, Jim McQuerrey, with me. The grandparents were not a part of our church congregation, but we needed to be the ones to go to them. They assumed Jim was the Senior Pastor. We never corrected them. Why would we? We just needed to inform them and sit there with them in their pain.
While not knowing who the Senior Pastor is in a church is not a big deal, it is a big deal if you confuse Who the supreme God and creator of the universe is. The God described in Genesis chapter one, creating everything ever created out of nothing, is the highest of all beings anywhere. Genesis chapter one uses the most basic and yet profound name for God - "Elohim." This devotional is the last day of our 30-day Take5 devotional focus on some of God's names and attributes. I have based this September focus on a great, free tool from the Navigators Ministry. I am thankful for the Navigators making this excellent, simple tool available to us. CLICK HERE for the PDF of that resource.
Our last name of God, "Elohim," is foundational to all of the names and attributes we have considered this month. We turn to the opening chapter of the entire Bible - the story of creation. Here we discover 28 uses of the name "Elohim" translated as "God" in the 31 verses of Genesis chapter one. Elohim means "the highest, supreme, mighty, living God of all creation." One of Satan's greatest deceptions is that God did not create everything. He loves it when we believe something or someone else is responsible for the universe and humanity. When we lack a clear understanding that Elohim made us and will hold us accountable for our lives, doing whatever we want to do without any thought of our God becomes very easy.
As we conclude our look at these 30 attributes and names of God, step back and realize that Elohim made everything, including you. Understand that you will answer to Him one day for how you handled the stewardship of your life. Remember that He promises to walk with you as your God. Remember that He will be both your way maker and your promise keeper. He is the highest, supreme, living, mighty God. When you walk with Him and submit your life to Him, you need not fear anything or anyone. The highest of positions and the greatest of titles among human beings pales in comparison to our Elohim!
There is no one greater or higher than our God - Elohim. Look to Him! Trust Him!
P.S. Tomorrow, October 1st, we begin a journey through the Book of Proverbs in our daily Take5 devotionals. You can subscribe to these devotionals and get a notice each day when the new Take5 is released. And you can invite others to join us!