Monday, March 8, 2010

The Numbers Game

Deu 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

We are unwise to compare ourselves with others. Paul said, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2Co 10:12

Numbers can be fickle friends. Many of us have been so caught up in the numbers game that we fail to grasp the Lord's greatest blessings upon us.

Think, for a moment, of some of the greatest successes in the work of the Lord.

*Noah is lauded in the 11th chapter of Hebrews as a great man of faith. He preached for 120 years and had only his family to show for it.

*Adoniram Judson is seen as one of the greatest of all missionaries. He toiled for seven years before he led his first convert to the Lord.

*Jesus Himself tearfully watched hundreds of disciples turn away. (John 6:66). As He was a dying on the cross, only a small handful of women stood by in support of Him. Only John was there to represent the disciples. Yet, by the multiplied millions, we now intone "Oh, what a Savior!"

It seems that only the preachers who have the numbers, and their sycophants who greatly desire to have crowds, ever give credence to their meaning. "God is so interested in numbers" they say, "That He wrote an entire book about them." Their condescending attitude says, "The only ones who don't care about numbers are the ones who don't have them."

But how many disappointed servants of the Lord have been devastated because of playing, and losing, the numbers game?

Ministry is ebb and flow. We must accept that. A lack of numbers does not disclose the frown of God any more than the abundance of numbers indicates the smile of the Lord.

Numbers can represent greater ability to reach the lost, but they can also mean cribs filled with increase. Increased numbers can indicate increased benefits and/or increased heartache.

When we settle our minds on the fact that God loves us, chooses us, blesses us, not because of numbers, be they many or few, but simply because He desires a relationship with us, we can finally feel like we count without having to count.

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