Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Week 53: Beyond Numbers

(The Lord said) “…I have called you by name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1b

It’s officially been two years since Rick invited me to join them on this journey. It’s been one year since I packed up my life and moved 250 miles to a city I had up until then only visited. Now I call her home.

And yesterday marked the first service for the Vine. We had discussed some time ago (and again with the last week) that we didn’t want to be a church of numbers. We want to care for each and every single individual that walks through that door. We want to know them and be known in return. That’s how God created us…to be more than a number.

I once heard a story:

The census taker was in a hurry when he rushed up to the lady’s house.

He curtly asked the woman about the number of children in the home. She started out, “Well, let me think. There’s Janet, and Dewayne, and Ciara, and Sibyl.”

Immediately, the census taker interrupted, “Never mind the names. Please, lady, just give me the number of children you have!” It was the wrong thing to say. The mother indignantly replied, “My children aren’t numbers. My children all have names.”

That’s the way it is today. We are constantly bombarded with numbers. The date. The Mac mailing address at the office if anyone where to reach me. My employee ID is a number. I used to write out checks and the clerk would ask as for my driver’s license number. We fill out application after application for a number of things and they always ask for our social security numbers. Some would argue that you are identified by your credit score number. I go to the doctor and give my name, but all they want is the ID number on my insurance card. We use a number system to keep kids straight at daycares and children’s ministries across the nation (and for good reason).

But, aren’t you tired of just being a number?

There’s good news. The most important Person/Being in your life counts you more than a number. To the Lord, you’re a human being; you’re His son or daughter; you’re His.

We are real people. We all have real sins. And we are in desperate need of a real Savior. That Savior is Jesus Christ. He came into this world for you. He came for me. And He gave it all up to save you; to save me.

For that, He deserves unending praise, glory and thanks.

Light of the World

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12

Have you ever experienced a black out in the middle of the night?

I remember the lights going out multiple times when I was kid. It’s amazing how much light one small candle can give off.

“Let there be light.”  These words were spoken and so it all began.  Time and all that exists came to be only after this one sentence brought about the beginning.  And then, in the course of human history, the true Light came into the world. The one who spoke light into being was the true Light, and in Him all can be enlightened.

Just as we stumble around in the darkness for lack of light, we stumble around in our sin, lost in it, without the Light of the World.  If we walk with Jesus, we will never walk in darkness because He will guide us.  He’ll be the lamp to our feet and the light to our path. Light always overpowers darkness! Always! It takes very little light to compensate for deep darkness.

Also, if we walk with Jesus we’ll ourselves be light to the world (Matthew 5:14). In us, the world will see Him.  They’ll find hope in Him, they’ll see His love.  Our lives will bear witness to the One who sent us, just as His life bore witness to the One who sent Him.

I’ve always been one to see a connection in music. Kari Jobe’s We Are does just that as she sings of us being the light that Jesus calls us to be:

We are the light of the world.
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world,
and we gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine.

So let His light shine through you.  Others may see it and turn to Him.