God's Word for Today

Friday, August 8, 2008

Common Denominator

Being the math impaired individual that I am I was surprised by the comparison that kept washing over me.

It was a perfect example of exactly what a common denominator is.

I had to do a Google search for the words “common denominator” to get a refresher on exactly what this mathematical term meant.

common denominator (plural common denominators)
1. (mathematics) Any integer that is a common multiple of the denominators of two or more fractions

2. (by extension) A trait or attribute that is shared by all members of some category
Retrieved from "http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/common_denominator"

For this purpose I will focus on the second definition of a common denominator as being a shared attribute by a group or category.

In the mathematical world there is usually either a correct answer on an incorrect answer, however in life there are so many shades of gray that it can at times make it very difficult to make the appropriate or correct choice.

However if you are fortunate to have a common denominator in your life then things have a way of getting whittled down to the very basics concepts, the foundation from which all strong things are built. The common denominator.

When you are faced with difficult things in your life it is amazing how simple they can become. It is the presence of the common denominator that can either make or break the eventual outcome of any situation.

Do I want to receive the news of a cancer reoccurrence, no I do not. However if that should ever happen I have the common denominator, my relationship with Christ that will sustain me if that should ever happen.

Do I willingly seek tragedy, no one ever does, but if the worst should happen then I have that foundation beneath the shaking ground that my be under me when a difficult situation turns up in my life.

The thing is that when you find yourself in a situation when you are faced with something difficult, something of the world that you have to find a way through things become very clear. In looking back once the storm has calmed you recognize that the reason the situation got out of control was because there was no common denominator present. Jesus was no where to be found in that situation. That is what happens when you deal with the people of the world. There is no common denominator. If they, the people who worship worldly things, can not see it or buy it then it is worth nothing to them. If it does not enhance their appearance then it is not important.

Sadly we as Christians have to live in the world along side of the worldly people. We have to find a way to look past the worldliness and to love as Christ loves.

This at times can be very difficult. There are countless times when I want to scream and shout and say can’t you see, you can’t buy happiness. You can’t purchase eternal salvation at the Best Buy.

The reality is that making things look good on the outside is easy if you are willing to go into debt to attain it. Having status is easy if you are willing to live beyond your means. Being up to date is attainable if you are willing to invest your time and energy (and some more money) to make sure that all your gadgets are the latest model and state of the art.

These worldly thing only cloud the issue of what, in my opinion, is missing from so many lives.

The presence of the common denominator of Jesus Christ, but isn’t that what the father of lies is trying to achieve. He wants all of us to be so distracted by the world that we never stop to consider the alternative and better common denominator, Jesus s Christ.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you should not enjoy living in a new house or driving a new car. I have been enjoying my new house for two years now.

It is the common denominator that makes the difference in the perspective. I know that my existence and my happiness does not hinge on the location or market value of my house.

It is our faith in Jesus that has allowed us to be able to provide a safe and sound home to raise our family in. It is our faith in Jesus that continues to provide that common denominator that gives us the perspective to see past so many worldly things and be able to whittle it down to what is really important.

Remember the movie “City Slickers” and Curly’s (character played by Jack Palance) philosophy on life.

Curly: You know what the secret of life is?

Mitch: No, what?

Curly: This.

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean ****.
(I didn’t think we needed the colorful expletive)

Mitch: That's great, but what's the one thing?

Curly: That's what you've got to figure out.

It is that one thing that we all have to come to realize for ourselves.

We all seek happiness from worldly things in the beginning. Then when we come to our senses (LK 15:17) we realize that worldly things will rust (MT 6:19-21) and deteriorate.

It is only when we place our faith and trust in Jesus that we have something eternal and never failing.

Thank You Jesus for that eternal common denominator.

MT 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Copyright © Aug 2008 R. Lambright


Eve said...

I don't know what made me realize that there was more to life than what we had, but I kept searching for that one thing. That one thing as it turns out was God. When I found him, all else fell into place. : )

Sarah said...

As a math teacher - I like it!
It will make a great devotional for my math classes this year.

Mary said...

I was out of town for a few days and am behind. . but I read with interest some of the recipes from the old cook book. I thought as I read them over, "Is this for real?!?!"
liver/raisin - ham/prune - chicken/tongue sandwiches! Yuk! I can't imagine eating those combinations. I think I could tolerate the lima bean cake over those. At least the cake had sugar in it. :)

That was a very interesting post on the "Common Denominator"

I also REALLY enjoyed reading the post about the campmeeting. Sure stirred up memories of the years that I went. There is NOTHING like campmeeting! From morning 'til night!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Even with Jesus as my common denominator, it sometimes takes me a long time to come around to his realization...his presence...his sustaining word and promises of peace and presence.

I think that age has shed some much needed wisdom and light into the process, and I am quicker now to realize God in everything. I sure wish I had been wiser sooner. It would have saved me some unnecessary heartache.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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