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14 April 2019 | Vicar Writes

The Priceless One

By Terry Wong

"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

We live in a day and age where people are reduced to numbers, alphabets and avatars. You are one of the thousands of likes on someone’s Facebook page. You roam the internet, hidden behind some avatar.

We live in city run by a super efficient civil service. It’s easy to feel that you are just a number, a national statistic. You feel that your demographic profile is just facts and stats for city planners and scenario-builders.

Without you realising it, some stranger living thousands of miles away is hacking away day and night to get to you. To these hackers, you are not mere data. You are a precious commodity to be traded, sold and circulated.  

You can’t help but feel used and devalued. So, to assure yourself that you are not alone, you join some gaming clan or you walk the streets. Yet, like ships that pass in the night, you discover that people are strangers in the night. People are talking without speaking. People are hearing without listening. All you hear is the Sound of Silence.

You step into a church service. But even there, you may remain incognito. Another statistic. You hear a lot but you are not heard. Someone might ask for your name or offer you coffee. If not, you quietly slip out, back into our own solitary world of one.

How precious is one?

Next to zero or next to nothing, as some will say. However, the Bible tells a different story. The one person, the one you, is all important to God. From Luke 15, we know that heaven pauses to celebrate when one lone sinner repents.

God is a personal God. He knows you by name (ISAIAH 43:1). And as a born-again believer, your name is in His book of life (LUKE 10:20). Every tear you shed is preserved (PSALM 56:8). Every strand of hair on your head is numbered (MATTHEW 10:30). Even in death, you remain precious to Him (PSALM 116:15).

Therefore, how we treat each person should be shaped by God’s perspective of the individual. When we invite someone to church, or to an Alpha course, or to Celebration of Hope, it is never about boosting some statistics. We invite the person simply because this person is precious to God and is deeply loved by God. In fact, this person is a human being of inestimable worth created in the image of God. This person can experience God’s love and feel its disarming effects in his or her soul and spirit. And this person can find meaning in life and fulfill God’s purpose for him or her.

You may be trying to invite many to Celebration of Hope. Well done! Remember the value of each ONE. Heaven rejoices over the priceless one—the one sinner who repents and gives his or her life to Jesus. What a wonderful hope we can offer to each person in our city, citizen or otherwise. One at a time.  

TODAY, spend time in prayer:

  • Thank God for His great love for you and for every human being.
  • Pray for unsaved family members and friends one by one, by name.  
  • Ask God to use you to show each one how precious he or she is to God.
  • Pray that each one will accept your invitation to Celebration of Hope.