SHEPHERD TO SHEEPGOD’S MATH
(Psa 139:17) How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Math is pretty amazing. Think of how many times you use it per day. You count this and you measure that. You do this when you cook, when you pay bills, when you work on a project. God even gave us a calculator of our fingers (and toes!) to add things up! In the book of Acts we see that God’s math played out in the birth and formation of the early church and it becomes a picture of how He works in our lives today.
ADD: (Acts 2:41) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. The Holy Spirit had fallen on the believers on the Day of Pentecost. Peter preached his sermon and many received the Lord. Later in Acts 4:4 it says more heard the word and believed and the church grew to five thousand souls.
MULTIPLY: (Acts 6:7) Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem… Right after the seven were chosen to serve the twelve apostles were then free to devote themselves to the word of God and prayer. Revival broke out as the word of God spread and now the church is growing exponentially.
SUBTRACTION: (Acts 5:5) Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied to Peter and the Holy Spirit about how much they were giving as a gift from the sale of their property. This deception was judged by God through death.
DIVISION: (Acts 14:4) But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. As the church grew people were divided as to the legitimacy of this new group. Also there was a division between Paul and Barnabas about taking John Mark on the second missionary journey due to his flakiness on the first missionary journey. (Acts 15:39-40) Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed…
So how do we total it all up? In our lives there is going to be growth (2 Pet 3:18) and sometimes progress beyond belief (Mark 4:8). But then there will be a pruning (John 15:2) and sometimes even a separation (Job 1:21). We love the first two but we must embrace the other two for a full count of God’s blessings. But remember all things work together for good (Rom 8:28) and measure up to God’s blessings! We haven’t even reached a fraction of the understanding of His love for us (Eph 3:17-19). The number one thing is to trust Him (Pro 3:5-6) and never doubt the angle He is working from (Isa 55:8-9). Remember He numbers the stars and even the hairs of our head (Luke 12:7). It all equals to rich insights of superb value leading to amazing dividends!