The Value of Individuals
Many years ago a certain preacher was accustomed to large responses when he would preach a gospel meeting. In time, the preacher began to gauge his success or failure on the number of responses a meeting generated. One meeting, however, was quite special. The preacher spent ten days (as was the custom) preaching his heart out, but the only response was a 12-year old girl who desired to be baptized. The preacher left that town disappointed that more did not respond to the gospel.
The young lady, however, grew up to be the mother of five gospel preachers.
Never underestimate the power of God working through just one person! It’s entirely possible that we Christians can become so engrossed with masses that we forget about the value of an individual. Churches, too, often spend so much time wringing their hands about attendance numbers and budget concerns that we fail to see opportunities to reach individuals.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:12-13). The unrighteous may be capable of good things (Matt 7:22), but how much more power is found in an individual obediently working within the confines of God’s will? That kind of power can change communities. The world itself cannot stand against that kind of power. Oh, that more brethren believed it!
The Bible emphasizes the power of God working through individuals. David stood alone with God against a giant of a man (1 Sam 17). Esther saved an entire nation at the peril of her own life (Esther 4). Abraham’s faith became an example to countless millions (Heb. 11:8-9). And yes, one godly mother teaching her children can influence entire generations for good (1 Samuel 1-2).
We all need to be reminded of the value of a soul (Mk 8:36-37). We need to act accordingly.
How concerned am I over someone who has fallen away (2 Pet. 2:20-22)?
Am I willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:11)?
Do I think saving souls really worth the effort (Luke 19:10)?
What individual in the church do I need to get to know better (Rom. 12:10)?
When I look at people, do I see souls that are precious in God’s sight?
Have I really thought about the power of God working through me (Phil 2:13)?
Do I have a genuine love for people (1 Cor. 13:4-8)?
Would I rather have friends than money (James 2:1-13)?
Do I view a particular person as unimportant (Phil. 2:3)?
Can the cause of Christ, in my opinion, get along without a certain individual (1 Cor. 12)?
Jesus never met a person who was unimportant to Him. In our desire to be more Christlike, let’s be sure we see people the way He saw them. Let’s show others the value of Godly living. — John Baker