More Than a Number

Why do you suppose Nehemiah records so many names in his account of those returning to settle in Jerusalem? The names serve to focus our attention on the promises God made to His people. They remind the workers they are part of one special family of purpose. Perhaps most importantly, the names remind us that these were real people with real stories who made a real difference.
There is no doubt the Bible is full of numbers. In fact there’s a whole book called Numbers! God is not scared of numbers and neither should we be. Through the Gospels and Acts we read about the numbers involved in Jesus’s ministry, discipleship team, and the expansion of the early Church. 
Jesus reminds us of the importance of keeping record  when he  said in Matthew 18:12, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the 99 others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” This passage suggests that we are to care for His sheep. That means knowing the health and state of the flock.  How many are in the pasture? Is anyone missing? Does anyone need extra attention?
We should count people, because people count. If each one is precious to God, then each one should be precious to us. We all need to understand that  every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God. He really does care about people and so should we – those in the family of God as well as those far from home 

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