People are God’s priority. They have the HIGHEST value to Him.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coin and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?” Luke 15:8
These parables show how each person is so important to God that He would go after and search carefully for them, RELENTLESSLY, until the person is “found.”
Each person is so important, that when they are returned to a relationship with Him, there is jubilant celebration, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.”
What if I started regarding people as this important?
I am sticking to my friend a day challenge. It hasn’t been impressive, but each day I’ve made myself get out of the house and go somewhere to invite someone. I talked with the bank teller on Monday as I made the church deposit. He goes to church with his sister who’s in high school.
I needed a new headlamp for my car so I went to Auto Zone. The man there was hale and hearty, moving energetically as we looked at my car and the offerings on the shelf, keeping a dialog going about which headlamps he put in his wife’s car. I invited him to church and he told me where he attends. I still told him how our church is like family, and we really try to put the Bible into action in our lives. He may never come, but he listened with interest and took the invitation.
Last night Ken and I listened to some of an audio book by financial guru Tony Robbins. He talked so much about how to be financially secure, and achieve your financial dreams. He advocated that people put so much effort into this. He went on and on, recommending all kinds of strategies
He said some good things and gave us some ideas we will implement, but I thought, “What if we put this much effort into going after people, instead of going after wealth?”
I read in Luke 16:15, “What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
God doesn’t care about my new outfit, how I fix up my house, or my retirement strategy. He cares about people. In the story of the rich and Lazarus, Lazarus went to Hades because he valued his rich clothes and luxury more than people. The shrewd manager discussed in Luke 16 was commended for using his financial power to build good relationships.
I have to see people as super important as well. Each person I meet is my new best thing! Each one has great value, and I want to learn to recognize that more.
Robbins recommended a multi-prong approach to creating wealth.
I have a multi-prong approach too. Have coffee with neighbors. Make time to have get togethers. Be willing to broach the subjects I’m scared to bring up. Text and stay in touch with people. Care about what is going on in their lives. Follow up on women I meet. Pray A LOT, with thanksgiving.
Sometimes, too, I just need to unclench the knot of trepidation in my heart that keeps me stiff and blank-minded as I interact with others. I need to relax and open myself more instead.
But here is the thing. All of these things can be effective, but the real thing I need is God. I have to focus very clearly on the knowledge that it is God who WILL MAKE A WAY for people to know him. He and only He can build the church. Each step must be orchestrated by Him.
I can have FULL CONFIDENCE that we will break through the barrier, the place where we are stuck, and get to the place of our dreams.
My part must be in learning to delight in people as much as He does.
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. II Chron 20:12