Today began with walking to the bus stop in the main village of Whistler to catch the #10 bus which takes us volunteers to the Olympic Village, a few kilometers away. Praying as I was walking, I prayed for my family, the day of ministry ahead, and other things. When I arrived at the Olympic Village I grabbed a cup of coffee and read from the Scriptures. I read a couple of chapters from the book of Numbers.
It is tempting to read through Numbers and not notice the names of people throughout the book. If you're American you probably have a hard time pronouncing many of them (I know I do). It's tempting to scan through the pages and think, "OK, that's important for someone, but not sure how those verses apply to me."
Let me suggest one way they apply to you.
God knew the name of each one of those people. They were not a number to him. They were a person who had worth. They were a person with a soul. They were a person who knew how to love and to be loved. And He loved them so much that He invited them to follow Him and to be their God.
God knows your name.
God loves you with an everlasting love. God sent His Son Jesus to die a cruel death upon a cross to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus rose from the dead to prove that He is God, and that He can give us eternal life. He offers salvation to those who will trust in Him for salvation.
Do you believe this? It's true.
Today at the Olympics there was a terrible tragedy. A luge athlete named Nodar Kumaritashvili died in an accident on a training run at the luge track in Whistler. The accident occurred only a few hours before the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.
First of all, won't you join me in prayer for Nodar's family, friends, teammates, coaches, and all of those affected by this tragedy?
Second, won't you join me in praying for each of the athletes who are competing in this year's Winter Olympics? God loves each one of them, and He wants to be their Savior and Lord.
Third, won't you join me in praying for us chaplains as we minister, and listen, and pray, and share, and love, and show mercy during the rest of these Olympics?
No person is just a number to God. He knows each person by name.