More than a Number


Numbers 1-0

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Psalm 139:1-14

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

You are more to God than just a number.

In this world of PIN numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and even those aggravating little paper numbers you have to take at the DMV, it is easy to get lost. As our world gets more and more busy, it also seems to get less and less personal. Very few times in the world in which we live do people take the time to really get to know someone.

 This year at school, our children had to memorize this portion of scripture.  They were required to memorize one verse a day until they could say the whole Scripture by memory. There was one little first grader who blessed my heart every time I got the privilege of listening to him quote these verses. As he would say each scripture by memory, I could just image God looking down on that sweet little boy and smiling as He listened to these words being spoken by one so small.

I believe that God feels this way about all of His children, big and small alike. You see, to God we are so much more than a number, so much more than a speck on  a map, even more than a number on a census sheet stuck away in an office somewhere.

God looks at each one of us as if we were the only one on earth. He sent His Son to die on a cross for each and every one of us. Had we been the only one, God still would have done the same thing, just for us. John 3:16 tells us:

“For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

Friend, you can take the words “the world” out and insert your name there. Jesus died on the cross just for you, and just for me, and just for everyone who ever lived and who will ever live on this earth.

Oh, how great is God’s love for us that we should be called His children! (1 John 3:1)

The next time the devil tries to get you to believe that you are nothing more than a face in a crowd of people, that you are not important, or that no one cares, please remember these verses.

God knows you by name, He knows the very number of hairs on your head(Matthew 10:30), and He cares.

 

No Cost Too Great


photo by: Flickr

photo by: Flickr

6″And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” 10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

                                     Matthew 26:6-13

How much does this cost? This is a question that we hear a lot these days due to the economy. We oftentimes find ourselves asking it as well, whether it be paying bills, buying groceries, or even taking the kids out to eat.

I believe it is a legitimate concern since we want to be good stewards with the blessings God has bestowed upon us. But what about when it comes to our service for God? Do you ever find yourself asking, “What is serving God going to cost me?”

When this thought first crossed my mind, my immediate response was, “Of course not!” but as I searched my heart further and I was honest with myself I discovered that, yes, I do ask this question more times than I should.

It should not matter what serving God will cost us. We are so important to God that He sent His Son to die on a cruel cross for our sins. We should be willing to give up anything that is needed of us in order to serve God.

As scary as that sounds, I have grown to understand that we can not out-give God. Whether we give of our time or our finances, God is faithful to supply our needs.  Philippians 4:19 says:

“But my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

The lady in this story was giving to God all that she had. She did not consider the cost. She did what she could to bring honor and glory to God.

As I read this Scripture and have continued to ponder it in my heart, I have discovered some changes that need to take place in my own way of thinking. Possibly you have too.

I pray today if you find yourself concerned with the cost of ministering for Jesus or serving Him, that you will think back to these verses and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. John 3:16 tells us:

by: depositphotos.com

by: depositphotos.com

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I have made the commitment this morning to stop focusing on what serving God will cost me. I do not want to be so concerned with the cost of serving God that I miss an opportunity to bless others. I want to share God’s love with those around me no matter what I must give up.

I pray today that you will join me in this commitment. I can promise that you will not be sorry. I am reminded of the Scripture that is found in Matthew 6:19-20

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy,

and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

One day all these earthly things will pass away and all that will matter is what we did for God’s glory.

There is a quote that I was recently reminded of as I helped one of my students work on a literature report. It is by Jim Elliot,  a missionary who was killed while ministering to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Jim said:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep

to gain that which he cannot lose.”

I pray that these words will find you encouraged and inspired this morning to continue to minster for God’s Glory.