Monday, July 3, 2017

Do you see a crowd or Individuals?

Read Numbers 1-4.

Immediately one can determine why this is called the book of Numbers.  The LORD told Moses to take a national census (1:2).  The males, twenty years of age and older, numbered 603,550.  The reason for the limited count seems to be a check for the availability of those fit for war, if needed (1:45).  

Every person is important to God and should be important to us.
1. Numbers are important.
Each number represents a person with an eternal soul.  These are His creation.  When someone says they are not interested in the attendance at church, do they truly value individuals or just a crowd?  Attendance figures, if used correctly, are one indicator whether the ministry is effectively growing or diminishing in its influence for Christ.

2. Organization is important. 
Next, God gave instructions about how the 12 tribal families were to be organized.  Three tribes camped on each side of the Tabernacle.  Banners were displayed high in the air so the people could find their spot.  This infrastructure served the nation well for leadership, communication, and mobilization purposes.

Organization is important to God because it provides the very channels for leaders to lead.  Without efficient organization of people and work, communication will not be effective.  The work will suffer.  Production will not reach the group's potential capacity.  The local church is on a mission.  That mission demands organization for mobilizing each person in the congregation so they can find their spot.

3. Service is important.
The Levites were given specific jobs to do.  Whether it was offering the sacrifices, guarding the Tabernacle, or properly packing up the "tent of meeting" for the next move, every duty was important.  Further, there was needed training for these duties.  In this case, handling God's stuff the wrong way could have meant death.  Every person doing their job correctly was a ministry for the LORD.

God has designed and equipped each person to serve Him effectively.  We do not have to wonder if wants to use us.  He does.  We do not have to wonder if God can use us.  He can.  We do not ever need to say we have nothing useful to offer.  Though some training may be required through the Holy Spirit He has already given us what we need.  As accountable stewards, our job is to get busy using what He has given to us. 

Ephesians 2:10- "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

1 Corinthians 12:7, 11-"To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good...All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."

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