Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Called By Name


But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.

- Isaiah 43:1-4

How beautiful are those words? God tells us not to fear. He says, "I have called you by name, you are mine." Read that and tell me it's not reassuring.

When I was in college, I was a member of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and I remember singing a version of Isaiah 43 set to music. I loved this song and every time I revisit these words, the strength of them washes over me and seeps down deep into my bones. There is nothing in this world like the feeling that comes from being told that God has chosen us.

We're sinful, terrible people. Not only does the Bible tell us so, both early and often, but we see it in our lives. We have hurt people, we have failed to do things that we ought to do, we have fallen short of the glory of God.

God owes us nothing, but He has chosen us. He sent His own son to die for our sins, and He calls us out by name and makes us His. Neither water nor fire will part us from Him, and even in the loneliest of days, the knowledge that God has chosen me and poured out His love to me makes things seem a little less dark. And the knowledge that this is not my forever home and that He has chosen a place for me to spend eternity makes life seem lighter still.

When we think about where we belong, the pat answer "with God" isn't quite so pat anymore, is it? It's actually quite amazing and His grace seems even more so every time I think about it.

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12 comments:

  1. Being "with God" is QUITE amazing and the more time I spend abiding with Him, the more I stand in awe of Who He is!

    Thank you for stopping by blog and visiting, today!

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    Please let me know if you do and I will come back and join with you!

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  2. Intervarsity...you've been trained well. My daughter belonged in college and recently told me just how those scripture versed songs help her in life!

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  3. This is one of my favorite Scripture passages!

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  4. First, I love your new layout!! I'm kind of a layout addict, and this one is so pretty!!

    Second, this is such a wonderful scripture. I love being reminded that God calls us by name. It's such an amazing thing.

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  5. These words were very encouraging.

    Also, I like your new blog layout. It's very nice.

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  6. Amen! What a precious gift He has given us... to be with Him. To know we are His.
    Beautiful post!

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  7. WOW!!!! I needed that today and God has used His words, through your blog, to soothe my soul! Thank you! And thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments on my children! I look forward to reading more from you! God bless!

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  8. I was in InterVarsity too! It was probably the time of my life I experienced the most growth as a follower of Jesus and it's where i met my husband. The word precious is one I am finding often in my time reading the Bible right now. To think of who God is, and then to think we are precious to him...wow. Thanks for visiting me!

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  9. I once heard the testimony of a woman who was burned severely by the eruption of a volcano. The burn treatment was so very difficult---and it involved water. This verse was her strength as God brought her healing. She is scarred on her skin, but her story is pure and beautiful. I never read this verse without thinking of her. Grateful for God's leading you to share it here today.

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  10. Hi Amy, I wanted to circle back and say thank you for adding your voice to the faith jam on Faith Barista a few weeks ago. This is one of the most moving passages and it was wonderful to visit together over at your place. You touch my heart everytime you come and visit over at Faith Barista -- and now here, Amy! Blessings!

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