With those words, He drops into my spirit another glimpse into His nature. Another glimpse into His unbounded affection for every unique, individual soul He has created.
“Limited edition.” Usually we think of this phrase as referring to just a few highly desirable collector’s items with very restricted availability.
Exactly! And that’s what you are. Limited edition. Prized. Highly desired. Sought after. Treasured.
Yes, there are seven billion people on the planet, plus who knows how many billion more that have already lived and died since God gave birth to the human race. To us finite beings, it sure seems easy to be lost in such a massive crowd. But nope, you’re not. Quite the contrary, in fact. Remember, He has a universe-sized space in His heart, just for you!! He’s got one for each of those other seven billion folks too. He’s intimately fascinated by and involved with the tiniest details of every one of our daily lives. He has also long yearned for communion with each of us individually. For this to be possible, we came with a flabbergasting price tag: every last drop of His life’s blood. The unspeakably precious blood of the eternal covenant – this is the inexpressibly expensive payment that serves as a measurement of how much each one of us is worth to Him.
Limited edition. Let’s search with our hearts’ eyes for His infinite perspective. Since a thousand years is truly like a day to the Lord – and He’s already existed for an eternity past – to Him, the entire span of human history feels like the mere passing of a week. It’s a blink. In that split second, in that blip stuck in between eternity past and eternity future, He has the briefest of interims to create all the beings that are going to rapturously enjoy Him forever. To Him, seven billion plus is actually a very small number. Once that blink is over, that will be it! Limited edition.
Think about the zealous enthusiasts that will camp out overnight in line outside a business to be among the first purchasers of a feverishly anticipated special collector’s piece. Think of the waves of excited energy that crash through the crowd when the store finally opens. Think of the customer, who has waited all night with euphoric expectancy for the ecstasy of ownership. Think of the moment that he finally holds that long-awaited treasure in hand. His adrenalin makes his fingers tremble and his heart race. Now take that elation, that exhilaration, that thrill, and multiply it by infinity… to get at least a tiny peek at Daddy’s emotions towards you. This is a small picture of the kind of bliss He experiences over having you as His very own. You, simply put, are His eternity-long dream come true. You are His masterpiece. You are the magnum opus of His heart.
And so is your neighbor. And so is that child with Down Syndrome that you recently saw while grocery shopping. And so is the Starbucks cashier who sold you your usual coffee at the outset of your morning. And so is the baby in the womb of the glowing pregnant mom that you waved to the other day. And so is the little boy crying in the school yard right now because the class bully wounded him deeply with words. And, actually, so is the careless driver who cut you off in rush hour traffic. (Ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Maybe she just got screamed at by her husband. Maybe she’s living through hell right now. Maybe she’s struggling with suicidal thoughts. Pray for her.)
Limited edition. Every individual soul that you come into contact with today is God’s limited edition creation. Each one is exceedingly precious to Him. Do you see them? He does. Ask Him to share His heart for them with you. He will, if you ask.
A few weeks ago, I was lying in my tent at our Pastors’ School, getting ready to sleep for the night. To unwind, I began to read a few news articles. One of them was about a little toddler. She was clinging to her mother as they were both swept away from their vehicle in the raging waters poured out by Hurricane Harvey. Mercifully, some rescue workers were able to pull them out before the water sucked them under a trestle and out of reach. The small child was still alive. Tragically, though, her mama was already dead. When I read that, I burst into tears in the darkness of my tent. My shoulders heaved with the intense weeping that overtook me. Daddy God was crying for that little girl. He was letting me cry with Him. I don’t know her. But He does. She’s his limited edition treasure. He cares so very deeply for her. Her pain tears Him up inside.
The Father’s Mathematics
Sometimes we are tempted to think that the impact we are making on this earth is terribly narrow in scope. Pathetically inadequate. “I’m not like that evangelist who is traveling the world winning multitudes to Jesus,” comes the uneasy thought. “My little piece just doesn’t seem very important.”
If just one soul has infinite worth to Jesus… if that one individual has a universe-sized space in His heart… if His love for that little one goes so deep that He deemed her worthy of purchase with His own blood… then if you reach out and touch that one, the difference you are making actually has infinite value. The significance of the impact you are having is absolutely immeasurable.
(photo via Kris Arnold)
200,000,000 souls x infinity = infinity
1 soul x infinity = infinity
Large or small, any number times infinity still equals infinity. There is no infinity that is greater or smaller than the next infinity. Comparisons really are irrelevant. King Jesus values that one priceless broken person just as much as He values the 200 million that Billy’s life intersected with. Tony is His limited edition image bearer. He has a universe of space in His heart just for him. He is INEXPRESSIBLY EXCITED to spend endless ages walking around Heaven with His arm wrapped around this cherished boy!
“Then the King will say, ‘I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me — you did it to Me’” (Matt. 25:40, MSG).
Jesus wants you to understand this. When you smile at that Starbucks cashier, you are reaching His heart. When you lovingly squeeze that neighbor child’s shoulder, you are squeezing His. When you take a moment to share a moment of kindness with the lonely granny on the corner, His eyes leak with the beauty of it. Let’s make our lives about passionately caring for the “least of these.” These are His limited edition, inestimably costly masterpieces. There is colossal, immeasurable, infinite value in every moment we thus spend ministering to His heart.
Each and every one.
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