Each time a census year rolls around in our country, much money and energy are invested in trying to persuade individuals that they count.
Every tool short of physical force is used to convince people of the importance of being counted. The major argument seems to be that our getting our share of the pie depends on it.

For a very different reason, we often wished that all of us could see how much each individual counts. It’s a point which is central to the message of the New Testament.

Jesus paid attention to individuals. He was willing to leave ninety-nine to find one who was lost.

 “So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’” — Luke 15:3-6

Discovery of that one was occasion for rejoicing. He tasted death for every person. He invites anyone who will come to drink freely the water of life. In His church, every single member has the potential for so much good. Members of the body overlooked by the world are honored by the Lord. The effectiveness and unity of the church depends on each member realizing that the rest of the body is counting on him to do what he can.

The time will come when “each one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Perhaps only in appearing before the judgment-seat of Christ will we fully realize how much our own individual lives matter.

It would change the church and the world if we could grasp the value of the individual. No more hiding in the crowd. No more thinking my little bit won’t matter. More doing what I can and standing up and being counted. More concern for each individual. What a difference it would make!

~Strength for the Journey