Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

You Are Not A Number

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

27th April 2014

But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1 NIV)

The Prisoner was a spy TV series in the late 1960’s. It followed a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious coastal village resort where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job.

The agent encounters the village's population, hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. They do not use names but instead are assigned numbers, which give no clue as to any person's status (prisoner or warder).

The prisoner, played by Patrick McGoohan was assigned the number 6, but in refusing to accept his new identity famously said, ‘I am not a number! I am a free man!’

The use of a number instead of a name de-personalises and de-humanises an individual. The Nazis set out to achieve this by placing people in cattle cars, feeding them subhuman food, and most notably, by giving them a number. Upon entering many Nazi camps, people were given numerical tattoos, taking away their names and turning them into a number.

Thankfully, in God’s eyes, we are not a number among some 7 billion people but are a valuable individual, with a name.

We are so precious to God that calls us by name and says ‘you are mine’. So precious, in fact, that God sent his only Son to die for us personally (John 3:16).

So precious that Jesus says, ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep’. (John 10:14-15)

Jesus knows each one of us personally and was prepared to lay his life down even if we were the only human being.

I think it is significant that if we accept the sacrifice of Christ the result is that our name (not a number) is written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8), and we have the wonderful prospect of being with God forever with God actually placing his name upon us: ‘The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name’. (Revelation 3:12).

We will be in the city of our God bearing his name forever because we are his people and he loves each one of us dearly.

I’m so glad that I am not just a number to God – How about you?


Father, thank you that you want a personal relationship with me, that you know me by name, and I am yours. Thank you that Jesus was willing to lay down his life for me so that I can be with you forever.

Have a good week knowing you are loved by God.

Pastor Barry

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