By Brooke Holt
“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.’” - Isaiah 43:1
One of the greatest challenges I have encountered within the body of Christ is people not knowing that God truly loves them and created them with a purpose. Even though God’s children know and even have often memorized John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” they often live as if God loves his people but maybe not them. God has a plan for his people, but somehow they have been forgotten, passed over, or missed. How the Lord longs to clear up that misunderstanding, and he speaks powerfully through his prophet Isaiah.
God so loved you that he sent his Son. God not only loves you, but God has a good plan for your life. It can be powerful to replace the words “Jacob” and “Israel” with your name. Originally, these words were for the nation of Israel; now, these words are for you: “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O _____, he who formed you, O _____: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’”
You are created by the Lord and for the Lord at this time in history for his good purpose. Everything about you is specially designed by your heavenly Father. Everything about you is his idea from your hair color to your height to your giftings. The Lord’s desire is that you would delight in yourself as he delights in you, that you would delight in his plans and purposes for you, and that you would embrace your identity as his beloved child.
And if that is not enough good news for the day, here is more: God knows you are not perfect and never will be. Did you read the word “redeemed”? You, beloved, were bought with a price. You are so deeply loved and valuable that Jesus died on your behalf that you could be free—free from the bondage of sin and the eternal effects of that sin. You are redeemed from all sin—cleansed, forgiven, healed, and free.
In his mercy and steadfast love, the Lord called you to himself. Just as an earthly parent delights in his or her children and longs to have them close by, so the Lord delights in that intimate, close relationship with you. Your name is precious to him. You are precious to him.
Today, the Lord calls you to himself. He wants you to draw close so that he can cover you in his love, so that he can speak to you of his goodness and grace, and so that he can remind you of who he made you to be and what he has called you to do.
Will you come? Will you draw close? Will you receive his love, receive his affirmation, and then receive his direction? In drawing near, you will find the love you have always longed for and the purpose for your life. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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