There is a lot of time and energy being spent in the world today just to be taken seriously. People feel like they must fight for attention. Advertising has become more bold and outrageous than ever. It is hard to get people to pay attention. Celebrities do wild stunts. We post odd status updates to social media just hoping to cause someone to listen. At work, we take extra time for a presentation because we want to boss to take us seriously and consider us for the next area of advancement.
Things are different when we look at how we get attention from people and how we get attention from God. We do not have to fight to get His attention. We do not have to outdo another to get His attention. We do not have to be wild and crazy and do something off the collar to get His attention. The Psalmist wrote that He always took him seriously. He always listens. He always is genuine and sincere.
To God, you are important. He ALWAYS takes you seriously. Every prayer. Every need. Every desire. Every hair on your head. Every piece of your life. It all matters to Him. So you can spend your day trying to get attention from someone, or you can recognize that you already have His full attention. His attention is the best.
“You’ve always given me breathing room,
a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,
an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,
made me welcome among those who know and love you.”
-Psalm 61:3-5 [MSG]
As we grow, we cannot help but put values on people. It is all around us. Some people make more money than others. Some people come from a more advanced culture than others. Some people are more popular than others. We might catch ourselves picking favorites. Sometimes we find ourselves in a position to consider whose life is more important. All life is important. All life is precious.
It is hard to see some people mistreated or passed by because they don’t fit into a mold that is popularized by the mainstream people. I have heard people say, “That person is a waste.” People have said it would be “good if he would just die.” I wonder what God thinks as He sees these people—His children.
In Genesis, at the very beginning, God created people and He cared for them. In today’s passage, it speaks about shedding the blood of humans. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans let his blood be shed.” Now many people abuse and misunderstand the meaning of this passage without looking forward. It continues, “BECAUSE GOD MADE HUMANS IN HIS IMAGE REFLECTING GOD’S VERY NATURE.” God would rather no human blood is shed because life is precious. Each person matters. Each person is made in His image. So today as you walk through your day, as you see people on the street or at work that you might not speak to or look at—that you might ignore and think less of—today consider them as God would consider them. They are precious. Each and every one.
“Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans let his blood be shed,
Because God made humans in his image
reflecting God’s very nature.
You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce,
lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”
-Genesis 9:6-7 [MSG]
When my friend came to me to take over at my work area, she said she was going to replace me. I told her that I was irreplaceable. She first took it as me joking that I was too good for her to take over where I was located; however, I said it again. I am irreplaceable. You are irreplaceable. No one is replaceable.
I worked jobs where I was a number. The boss said that he didn’t care if we came or went because he could always have us replaced. We didn’t matter. We had our licenses. We had our certifications. We could have a nice resume. In the end, we were simply a number and there was always someone else to fill our shoes if he decided to take our position away.
With God, you are irreplaceable. Now don’t get boastful. Don’t get puffed up over this statement. It doesn’t mean that God needs you. It doesn’t mean that you are better than anyone else. It means that God has a purpose for your life. He has something that only you and you alone, can do in this lifetime. So you are irreplaceable. You are beautiful. You are priceless. You are important. Jesus spoke about going after one sheep though the 99 were safe. We each have been the one sheep. Each one of us matter. You, my friend, are irreplaceable.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” – Luke 15:4 [NLT]
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” – Isaiah 49:16 [ESV]
Although I was told time and time again to not write on my hand, I continue to write things on my left hand so I do not forget what is important. As I was teaching a lesson this past weekend, a child asked what was written on my hand. It so happened to be a verse from Nehemiah. The night before I was reading from Nehemiah and found some verses I wanted to revisit. Most of the time you will find that my left hand has a fresh verse or remnants of past verses that have faded with the numerous hand washings, and I am okay with my dirty hands. They are reminders of what is important to me.
It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah that notes how God has us engraved on the palms of His hands. Imagine all of us, His sinful, flawed children, all written on His perfect hands. Can you see how important you are to Him? Can you grasp that you, YOU right there, matter to Him?
Too often we get caught up on being received well by those around us. We want to be loved. We want to be appreciated. We want to feel important. At times we find ourselves discouraged in these areas of our life. Today is a good day to remember just how important you are to the Most High God. Remember, He has your name written on His hand. You don’t have to do anything to get your name there—He put it there because He loves you. You are special. You are important.