These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. (Exodus 1:1-5)
Every time I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, I encounter a list of names. Whether it is like this, a family of Joseph or long genealogy lists, one thing is certain: God cares about individuals! Each of these brothers would play a role in the future of Israel and the biblical story of redemption. They would live out their lives and produce children who would have special encounters with God, which would grace the pages of the Bible. Each of them was important. Each of them had a role to play in God’s wonderful plan for human history. And…so do you!
Many times, we discount ourselves when we read the Bible, or an inspirational book of encouragement, recounting the story of someone who overcame unbelievable odds and rose to success. We say to ourselves, “That was them. That is not me. God won’t do that in my life.” Self-talk, which is degrading often demeans the character of God. When we think we are unimportant to God, we are saying: “God doesn’t care about me. In fact, He probably doesn’t even know I exist.” Nothing could be further from the truth!
How do you move from a feeling that shouts “you are just another face in the crowd” to an expectant life of joy, waiting for the next turn around the bend? It all stems from how you see yourself. If you are in Christ, you are known intimately by Jesus. He died for you and is coming again for you. However, until He does, He has a plan for your life. You see, you are more than just a name. You are a child of the King, intensely loved, powerfully protected and finely tuned to give Him glory.
Don’t worry about next week, but rather view today as a chance to live out God’s plan for the next breath of life…and it’s going to be a real adventure!