We removed exactly 504 pieces of tinsel from our Christmas tree, 28 sparkly twizzlers, 39 candy canes, 26 home made ornaments, 4 birds and one star along with many other ornaments. Those numbers may not be important to you. But, if you’re a runner, how many miles did you run this year? What is your PR? How many races did you run? If you’re not a runner, how much money did you lose in the stock market recently? How many friends do you have on facebook? How many followers on Instagram? How many of your tweets have been retweeted?
Our society is obsessed with numbers. I check the scale every day. I compare my miles I ran this year to years in the past. I compare my year end paycheck to those in the past. What numbers do you check consistently? Don’t we lose sleep some nights crunching numbers in our heads, trying to make the numbers work? It makes my head spin!
We have so many figures controlling our lives. I wanted to explore what numbers were truly important to Jesus. Here’s what I found.
77 – The number of times we should forgive others. Ouch! I don’t keep track of that, but I’m not sure that I’ve extended forgiveness that many times this year. Have you? Can we try not to hold grudges at all this year but forgive those who have hurt us?
5000 and 4000 – the number of men Jesus fed in addition to the women and children, so even more than that! These numbers are mentioned in three of the four gospels, consistently. That’s a lot of people to feed. While these miracles display Jesus’ power, I think there’s a lesson for us to help others more. Can we help feed at shelters, donate to food pantries, salvation army, empty stocking funds and other organizations?
3 – the number of times Jesus predicted his death and that He would rise again on the third day! If something is mentioned three times in the Bible, it is important! Jesus wanted his disciples to know this was a big event. So, Easter should be well celebrated and kept in our hearts all year long as the reminder of what Jesus has done for us on the cross!
2 – Two coins the widow placed in the temple treasury – “but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” She gave her all – generous and sacrificial giving. How can we give more this year? More money to the church, to good charitable organizations, our time to help others? Do we give 100% of our efforts to everything we do?
1 – The number of lepers out of the ten who were healed that returned to thank Jesus. Wow! Just one and Jesus noticed the nine who did not thank Him. Do we thank Jesus for all His blessings or do we feel we deserve them and are entitled to them? Let’s pray for opened eyes this year to notice all His blessings and to thank Him for every one of them. After all, how do you feel when you give a heartfelt gift and not receive a simple ‘thanks’? He gives lavishly out of his love for us and that is pure grace!
This year, I want to work for numbers that count, that are important to God’s Kingdom. I want to thank Him for the blessings He pours out on me because I know I am not deserving of them. I want to serve Him more this year, give more to Him, after all it’s all His to begin with. I want to truly remember what Jesus did for me on the cross all through the year, I want to serve others, give to those in need and I want to be quick to forgive. Those are the numbers I’m working towards this year. How about you?
All the other numbers we follow, track, work for will all pass away, except the tinsel. That apparently never biodegrades and will exist long after the end of time and that’s why we reuse it every year. But everything else will pass away and be forgotten. Let’s make our numbers count in 2019. What numbers will you focus on this year? Please comment below.
Happy New Year and God bless you all!
Matthew 18:22, Matthew 14:21, Mark 8:20, Matthew 20:19, Luke 21:4 Luke 17:17.