August 2016


Prayer is the word we use for communication with God. This implies a couple of things. First of all, prayer is the opportunity for us to open our hearts up to our Maker. Tell God everything that is on your heart, in your mind, and that you are concerned about. This is important. It is our opportunity to ask God the questions that we have about life.

The other thing that the word communication applies is that God responds to our cries of prayer. Too often we don’t hear the response because we walk away from the conversation before giving God the chance to respond. When this happens we think that God doesn’t even listen to our prayers.

The truth is that God not only hears our prayers, but he answers them. He answers them sometimes with the exact response that we expect. Often  he answers our prayers with something that looks absolutely different from what we were expected. Listen for his response.

 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)

In math classes in school they still teach a concept known as “greater than/less than.” This is not the technical name for the concept, but as children we learn that some quantities are greater than others.

The book of Hebrews is a testimony to this concept on a much deeper level than what quantity is greater or less than another quantity. In the book of Hebrews we find that Christ is greater than every other person or thing that we know.

The prophets of Old Testament days were important. They had a direct line to God. He spoke to them and gave them a message that was always true. As a group, these prophets were revered long after their death because of the intimacy they had with God. But the book of Hebrews teaches us that the prophets of old had nothing on Jesus. As closely as these men walked with God, as spiritual as they were, and as important as they were to the history of Israel, Jesus walked closer; He has a greater spirit; He is more important to the history of the World.

Jesus is the great Greater Than.

 “[T]hat at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” (Philippians 2:10a)

Hardly anyone does anything without the aid of the Internet these days. For someone to get on-line to do research, check email, or a number of other tasks, he must have a “service provider.” When the provider has problems the access to the internet goes down. And in our area, I find that my provider is not always adequate to the task I am doing.

Healthcare has jumped on the “provider” bandwagon, too. We no longer get to see our doctor, but must make appointments with our “primary care provider” which is often a group that has been approved by our insurance—that’s how healthcare providers get paid. This kind of system makes it cumbersome to need and see a physician.

There is one provider who never lets us down, though. God has chosen to be the provider for all the needs of mankind—He just wants us to receive this provision. He does all the work. As the hymn writer said, “Have faith in God, He provides for His own.”

 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

I’ve watched cheer squads work on their stunts. You know, building a human pyramid, stacking one on top of another to create a giant physical tower. What I noticed is that these squads always put the bigger, sturdier members on the bottom so that the one on the uppermost layer is the lightest. They do this so that the foundation will be strong enough to hold steady. (I think they want the smallest burden to be held, too.) What they are trying to achieve is a creation that will work.

The lesson is learned from the builder, who puts strong, worthy material at the base of his creation to make sure that the building holds up.

Life should be handled in the same way: build on the best foundation available. We know that foundation to be Christ and His teachings. Start with a true, strong foundation and your structure (your life) won’t falter.

 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. . . . He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit In season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:1 & 3)