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4**-2*-85*5 is a very important number to me. Can you guess what significance there is in those numbers? It’s not a phone number…it’s what Uncle Sam calls me. You see, there are a lot of Peter Schmidts living in the US, and so when I fill out official documents like tax forms and wage statements, the government identifies me by calling me not Peter Schmidt, instead I have the privilege of being named 4**-2*-85*5, my Social Security Number. Nothing makes you feel more important than having a 9-digit number assigned to you.
Actually this world does a good job of making us all feel like just another number, going through the rat-race called life. The friendly crew member at McDonalds who takes your order gives you your Big Mac, smiles, and tells you to have a nice day. And you feel really special, like someone cares about you, until you realize that they wish everyone a nice day. They say it so much that it really doesn’t mean much. And often those “have a nice days,” are said with so little interest that I’ve heard “have a nice day’s” that sounded more like “here’s your food, now get lost,” because you are just one of billions and billions served, and we have to move on to the next number. Our world has a way of making us not feel very important, we are all just numbers. Before I put our new phone number of the national do not call list, our home phone was ringing off the hook. And you would think by how many people called us that there were a lot of people that cared about us. And you might feel popular or important for a while until you realize that all those telemarketing companies don’t really want to be your friend, but they are calling you because they want to in some way separate you from your money. Do you ever feel that you are a 4**-2*-85*5, and many of the people who do show interest in you are really more interested in what they can get out of you?
And maybe sometimes in a bigger church like Bethlehem, we don’t feel all that important. You might think that nobody even notices if you are there or not. There might be a lot of people in your classroom…how important are you really? Would anyone lose any sleep if you went to a different school next year? God wants you to know today that you are precious to him. The Lord doesn’t see you as just another number to he has to deal with. He doesn’t pester or flatter you because he wants to get something out of you. God has an interest in you, not because he wants to take your goods but because wants to give you eternal treasures. God used a man named Philip to show a lonely foreigner how precious he was to God. And the Lord Jesus uses you to show other people just how important they are to God.
When you take a stone and throw it into a lake, what happens to the water? There’s kind of a gulp as the stone plops in, but then the waves begin to go out in a perfect circle Then those circles get bigger and bigger, spreading farther and farther away from the center. That’s what was going on in Philip’s day. At Pentecost, all of Jesus’ believers were in Jerusalem. In not too long a time, persecution happened, and the believers were scattered. But that wasn’t a bad thing, because they went out like ever expanding circles. The first mission field after the Jews were the Samaritans. Acts Chapter 8 records Philip’s hard work among these people. The Holy Spirit blessed
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