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When we look at a flock of sheep, we see exactly that - a big flock. Thatís all. I donít see a sheep. I see sheep. All alike. None different.

But not so with the Shepherd. To Him, every sheep has a name. The one with thick white wool, thatís Amos. And the one with one ear up and the other down, thatís Simon. And the small one with a black patch on his led, heís an orphan with no brothers. I call him Joseph. Verse 3 "He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out."

When I see a crowd, I see exactly that - a crowd. A mass of people. You go into Chinatown the last few days, you see a mass of people - not persons, but people. A herd of humans. Thatís all we see.

But not so with the Shepherd. To him every face is different. Every face is a story. Every face is a child. They are His own. Every child has a name. The one with long hair, thatís Sally. The short and fat one, heís an orphan with no brothers, I call him Harry.

Pets - Fish tank, small aquarium at home. Suppose you see this man, looking into his fish tank and tells you their names and behaviours, what does that tells you?

Thatís how our Lord Jesus sees us. He knows His sheep - not the flock, but the sheep. He knows each one by name. That is why the Lord says in the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4), "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" The obvious answer is YES! He will! And the amazing thing about this is that, despite the large number - 100 sheep, the Shepherd will know that one is missing. Why? Because He does not look at the flock, but the sheep. Every one matters. Every one is precious.

LOOK AROUND YOU. Weíve about 30 of us here today. Do you see a crowd? And just a mass of people? Or do you see faces that you know and truly appreciate? LOOK AROUND TODAY. Is there anyone you canít call, because you do not know his or her name?

Thatís not with God. The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16a "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." Amazing! "Engraved". Cannot be taken off. Your name is on Godís hand.
We learnt that He calls us by name. Your name is upon His lips. And Isaiah tells us your name is on His palm.

Have you seen your name in some special places? Maybe. On a certificate or diploma. Maybe on a foundation stone, if you are the founder of a corporation. Or maybe youíve heard your name mentioned by some important people - your school principal, by a famous star. How do you feel? Very honoured. Very special.

THINK FOR A MOMENT - my name is on Godís lips, and on Godís hand? Can it be?

Perhaps for some of us, youíve never seen your name honoured. You felt neglected. You canít remember the last time someone mentioned your name with kindness. If so, it may be difficult for you to believe that God knows your name.

The truth is, He does. Written on his hand. Spoken