By Name

By Name

26 September 2015

Reading: Romans 9; Psalm 74


27 Isaiah maintained this same emphasis: If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. 28 God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus. (Romans 9:27-28 MSG)

In Romans 9, Paul is explaining his love for his own people and the fine line between the plans God makes and the choices people make. In the midst of explaining the sovereign will of God and the free will of individuals, Paul quotes from Isaiah 10:22-23 and says, “God doesn’t count us, he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus.”

Paul’s application of this quote from Isaiah is that God doesn’t merely deal with masses of people and eons of time. Paul explains that God chooses and calls people by name. Each person is chosen and called to play a specific role in his plan of the ages.

I’m encouraged and reminded that God isn’t just doing cosmic arithmetic and collecting a certain number of warm bodies to plug into his purposes and processes, but that God is selecting individuals for eternal purposes. “God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name!”

We will never be only statistics to God. God knows numbers. He knows the number of the stars in heaven, but he also calls them by name. God knows the number of Christ-followers on the earth at any given moment, but he also knows each of us by name.

God personally chose each of us to choose salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He doesn’t merely count us, he calls us by name! We’ll never be just another statistic to him.


Father, Please help me to appreciate this more today—that you called me by my name. Help me to never look at another person as a statistic and not a person with a name. I know statistics have value in measuring what needs to be done and what gets done, but I also know arithmetic is not your focus. Amen.

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