An Identity Crisis?
Marvin Rosenthal, writing in "Israel, My Glory," tells about a mother who was asked by a census taker how many children she had. She responded, "Well, there is Billy and Harry and Martha and..."
"Never mind the names," the man interrupted, "Just give me the number!"
The mother, becoming indignant, replied, "They've not got numbers, they've all got names."
In our increasingly complex modern world, we are often reduced to numbers and statistics.
The government knows us by our Social Security numbers, an indelible identity that is included in virtually all our lifetime records and transactions. Bill Bright is no longer an identity to our government; only my "number" is!
Our opinions are often determined and expressed by the dubious science of statistical probability and sampling, where extremely small numbers of opinions are sought and by inference all the rest of us are lumped into the conclusions, with "confidence level" and "sampling error" numbers given, supposedly providing scientific respectability to the results. The accuracy of this is best illustrated by the many failed pre-election polls, with results even falling "outside" the projected (and presumably infallible) margins of error.
Is it any wonder many people have an "identity crisis"?
Thank God He not only has our number, but He knows our names! Paul, writing to Timothy, assured us that "the Lord knows those who are His" (2 Timothy 2:19, NLT).
Personal names are very important to God, especially His own. He says, "I am the Lord (YHWH, or Yahweh in Hebrew); that is my name!" (Isaiah 42:8). He first revealed His personal name to Moses in Exodus 3:14: "Tell them, 'The LORD (YAHWEH), the God of your ancestors -- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob -- has sent me to you." There are many references in the Bible
to God's personal name, as well as His many titles.
In Genesis 17:5, God gave Abram His name (Abraham), not a number, as well as Jacob (Israel) in Genesis 35:10.
When Jesus confronted Paul (formerly Saul) on the road to Damascus, He called him by name, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4, NLT).
God says to his chosen ones, "I have called you by name; you are mine" (Isaiah 43:1, NLT).
Our nation is so big that the government must give us a number to keep track of us. But isn't it comforting to know that our God and Savior, the One who created us and died for us, actually knows us by our names?
No Christian should ever have an identity crisis!
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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