January 14, 2010
A Mathful God?
by Shawn McEvoy, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
God doesn't count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus.
Romans 9:28, The Message
Thank God that he calls us by name, that our names have been written in the Book of Life. He knows us intimately. We are not just numbers to him, as the scripture above reminds.
That said, have you ever looked at the face of a calculator and marveled at how completely God is involved in all of those functions? He adds, he subtracts, he multiplies, he divides. Positives, negatives, rationals, irrationals, imaginaries, radicals... all indicate some aspect of God and what he does, how he interacts with his creation.
Let's take a look at some examples of the most basic of these functions, and how they suggest a perfect sum of completeness and trust. He's worked it all out. The numbers add up. The whole world - its time and history and future - is well calculated, and safe in his hands.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. --Acts 2:46-47, NAS
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. --1 Corinthians 3:7, KJV
"Nothing in Scripture and in the life of Christ could be clearer: Wealth is not an objective of the spiritual life. When we encounter money on the path of life, we are encouraged to do one of three things with it: Turn and walk in the other direction; pick it up and give it away; or use it for the necessities of life. It's this last part that I think has become skewed over time. Our list of 'needs' is much greater today than it was in 1900 and their list of needs were certainly greater than during the time when Christ walked the Earth. Now I know that here in the year , it is countercultural to give money away. It is countercultural to seek your security in things that aren't man-made. But, remember what Jesus promised, 'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)." --Steve Scalici, "Should Christians Strive for the American Dream?"
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! --John 1:29, NAS
If you subtract from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will subtract your part from the Tree of Life and the Holy City that are written in this book. --Revelation 22:19, MSG
"Our spiritual engrafting provides an eternity of new life. While the struggles of our present earthly existence cause momentary, light affliction, the life to come for those who are in Christ Jesus will last forever. There will be no more heartaches, no more pain. He has taken our heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh. He died so that we might live." --Peter Beck, "Engrafted for Life"
For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. --Hebrews 6:13-14, KJV
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. --2 Corinthians 9:10, NAS
"I would be afraid to bring children into this world if I did not know God. But because I know God, I am free to encourage you to have children... God's people are the ones who ought to be bringing a godly seed into this world. What does the world need? Jesus. How are they going to hear if the light goes out?" --Adrian Rogers, "Bringing Children into the World"
So you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. --Ezekiel 47:21, NAS
And the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. --Matthew 25:32, GNT
"God is in the business of division. As in creation, He divided whatever was necessary in order to bring order. He divides light and darkness today also. That is why His people are in this world but not of it. God's children are separated from the world as they are sanctified, or set apart, for the things of God. As Christians, we think of the Lord as One who wants to make "everything ok" or to bring peace to a given situation. However, the Lord Jesus clearly said that He came to divide. 'Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword' (Matt. 10:34)." --Tonilee Adamson & Bobbye Brooks, "Division"
The Sum of the Equation
I know that whatever God does will last forever; there is nothing to add or subtract from it; and God has done it so that people will fear him. --Ecclesiastes 3:14, CJB
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." -- Job 1:21, NAS
You can't take any of this stuff with you. Enjoy it and praise God for all of it. Instead of counting widgets, count blessings, count it all joy. Let him do the math of your life: be your accountant, buyer, salesman, financial planner, marketer and profiteer.