The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"One By One"
"God does not view the human race en masse. He rather sees billions in terms of one... by one, by one, by one. by one. A Mind of infinite understanding can do that. Far more, a Heart of love that 'passeth knowledge' must do that."
Despite not having been to Rome at the time of writing his New Testament epistle, the Apostle Paul mentions twenty seven Roman believers by name (Romans 1:13; 16:1-13). Paul does not reveal how he knew most of these individuals, or knew of them, but we cannot fail to glean almost as powerful a lesson from his mention of so many in personal terms as we do from His teaching.
"And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press, and said, Who touched My clothes? And His disciples said unto Him, Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest thou, Who touched Me?" (Mark 5:25-31).
God does not view the human race en masse. He rather sees billions in terms of one… by one, by one, by one. by one. A Mind of infinite understanding can do that. Moreover, a Heart of love that "passeth knowledge" must do that (Psalm 147:5; Ephesians 3:19). Indeed, we can be surmise that the Lord Jesus Christ never saw a crowd during His earthly lifetime. Every face into which He looked, each representing hearts He had made and for which He would die, mattered to Him. Personally. Individually. Meaningfully, to Him, and to the person so loved. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30).
The Lord's chief servant of his day, Paul, well knew this about his Master. It would not do to merely preach to crowds, or write to churches composed of many or few. No, that would not do, not so long as the love of Christ guided and empowered Paul. People had to matter, individuals so important to God that they had to be mentioned by name. Space did not permit the inclusion of all, nor did Paul know every Roman believer. However, for all the immeasurable doctrinal light that shines from arguably the most important treatise of the Bible, the Apostle's benedictory farewell in Romans 16 glimmers with the glory of God as it pertains to each of us. Each one of us.
You and I matter. We matter to the living and true God, who made and sustains all things by His power, and who loves us personally by the devotion of His heart. Our family members matter. As do our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues, our fellow believers, our countrymen, and yes, our enemies. All matter, again, one by one, by one, by one, by one. Romans, the great Biblical treatise of justification, sanctification, glorification, and the most definitive declaration of the Gospel, meets us also at the most personal of levels. Priscilla, Urbane, Rufus, Apelles, Julia, Olympas, and other named individuals of the twenty seven would tell us this. Paul, and most importantly, Paul's Lord, saw the world this way, or rather, the people of the world. One by one, by one, by one…
"He calleth His own sheep by name."
"Greet the friends by name."
(III John 1:14)
Weekly Memory Verse
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.