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Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, …”

It’s called counting. We learned how to do it when we were young, we probably started teaching our kids how to do it when they were young, and then we bragged about how our grandkids could do it when we were old. We grew up and counted our pennies, then our dollars, and it’s good to know how much money we’ve got in our pockets, the balance of our checkbooks, and what the tabulation is on our credit cards. We do it all by some form of counting. We know how many children we have, how many times we’ve been married,

and how many people were in church last Sunday (not many these days but more soon, we trust). Sean Hannity keeps telling us how many days until the next presidential election,

as he’s counting them down. It’s basic and very simple, and yet it’s critical to our wellbeing in so many ways.

As people we sometimes forget to count. Our checkbooks get overdrawn, we miss the due date on our credit cards, and if you get old enough you might not have an accurate count of how many years you’ve been living. Sadly, it happens. God counts too, and He never makes a mistake and He never forgets to count. God is both an excellent accountant, and He is also an excellent teacher, which is not always the case. One famous and great teaching quote (or not so great) is from George Bernard Shaw who said "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." But God can and does do both. We need His teaching on our counting.

We need God to teach us to count the days of our lives, so that we may use them wisely for Him (Psalm 90:12 KJV) “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Then we need to know that He is counting our every step “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” (Job 31:4) and just the value of knowing God’s good thoughts

toward us is such a joy “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (Psalm 139:17-18.) And what about how God “counted us faithful” as He did Timothy, putting us into the ministry! (1 Timothy 1:12.) You have to love the way God counts, and we desperately need Him to teach us to count, especially when it comes to the tough times in our lives so that we may, as James 1:2 types of Christians “…. count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” Counting is a very good thing when it’s done God’s way!

In my own counting career, I was taught that the set of natural numbers consists of “1, 2, 3, 4, ….” while the set of whole numbers consists of “0, 1, 2, 3, 4, …” In other words, there is no zero in the natural numbers, because we naturally begin counting things that are there, not things that are not there. We begin counting sheep with “one sheep” and our measurements are something we can measure, not something that doesn’t exist. That’s natural I guess, thus the name. German mathematician and logician Leopold Kronecker (1823–1891) is reported to have said, “God created the natural numbers; all the rest is the work of man.”

But I beg to differ with Mr. Kronecker. In Isaiah 44:22 God tells Israel “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins:…” And in Acts 3:19 we are thusly advised and exhorted “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” This being the case, with our sins being blotted out, we can say that when God counts on his ledger the sins of the Redeemed, they amount to …. that’s right, they amount to “0.” Yes friends, God also created the set of whole numbers! When we put our faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ, he counts our sins as zero! What a thing, what a thing!

No wonder Paul said “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Philippians 3:8.)

“Now Paul, that’s good counting!”

Love and Prayers to all,

Pastor

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