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  • Shawn Thornton

No One Greater or Higher

Updated: Jul 8

31 Days of Courageous Hope - Day 5

Monday - July 5th

Scripture to Read Today: Genesis 1:1-31


CLICK HERE to access a downloadable PDF of today’s 31 Days of Courageous Hope

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26



The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to lead a multi-staffed church as Senior Pastor at 29 years of age. That church, Bible Center Church, was one of the largest congregations in the Appalachian region. 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 30s when they became pastor of this wonderful church family. You can sense the faith journey Bible Center has been a part of since its inception. That church family 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 still looked quite young, not everyone I met expected or believed I was the Senior Pastor of Bible Center. Frequently, 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. Jim had adult daughters, gray hair, and a stately look. 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, yet profound, Hebrew name for God - “Elohim.”


“Elohim” serves as a foundation to all the names and attributes of God throughout the Scriptures. The opening chapter of the Bible gives us the story of creation. We discover twenty-eight uses of the name “Elohim” translated as “God” in the thirty-one 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, living however we want to live with no sense of accountability becomes natural.


Elohim reigns supreme. He is the greatest and the highest in all of the universe. 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. You can have courageous hope knowing God walks with you through every part of your life journey. The highest of positions and the greatest of titles among human beings pales compared to our “Elohim!”


There is no one greater or higher than our God - Elohim. Look to Him! Trust Him!


Today’s Prayer

Creator God, Who made and sustains everything in the universe, thank You for loving me. Thank You for being the greatest and highest of all and having time for me. Help me live my life today in such a way that all I do and say pleases you and points others to you! - Amen

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