A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Marlon Furtado

Have you ever been sitting at an outdoor cafe watching people walk by, or walking down a crowded sidewalk, when the thought suddenly flashes in your mind, “None of these people know you. How significant are you, anyway?” I know that it’s happened to me many times. The thought may be fleeting, but it’s an important question for each of us. The way in which a person answers it is critical. In my opinion, most people don’t have an adequate answer. They try to convince themselves of their significance, or value, by quickly reviewing their accomplishments and how many people they have helped. They may also look for their significance in their job or education or bank account or social standing.

While there’s nothing wrong with taking pleasure in our accomplishments and achievements, I think there is a better way to deal with this important question. The answer is found in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament. In 147:4 it reveals that God “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” God calls each of the billions of stars in the billions of galaxies by a different name. And herein lies the solution to the “Significance Issue” – God knows your name! He loves you and knows all the details of your life. Nothing about you is insignificant to Him. From the richest person in the world to the poorest of the poor, every one of the billions of people on this planet are on a first-name basis with God.

You may have questioned God’s love for you because of some painful or disappointing trials in life. That’s very natural, but I would suggest you look elsewhere to be convinced of His love. Look at the Cross of Christ. The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that “God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ didn’t die because we had done anything to deserve His love. Quite the contrary! While we were still enjoying sin and at odds with God, Jesus voluntarily died to pay the penalty our sins deserved. Now, THAT’s love!

Here’s a related question: God loves you and knows all about you, but do you know Him? I don’t mean, do you believe He exists or know about Him. I mean, do you have a personal relationship with Him. That’s what Jesus was speaking about in Matthew 7:21-23, when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’” Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’”

I was one of these people. I used to think my goodness was good enough to earn me the right to go to Heaven. For years I had gone to church, but there was no personal relationship with Jesus. I thought of Him only as a historical figure, like George Washington. I could learn facts about Him, but I had no interest to do so. After I was shown in the Bible that Jesus died to pay for my sins and came back to life, I asked Him to forgive me, to come into my life, and to be the Leader of the rest of my life. Since that moment, that one act of faith, Jesus has become the most important person in my life. Now, as I read and study the Bible, I talk directly with God as a Friend and Father. No longer are my prayers rote repetitions. My spiritual growth with God is no longer dependent upon priest or parent. Jesus wants this one-on-one relationship with you, as well, so that He can reveal His love for you and your significance to Him.

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