Monday June 8, 2020 Week 7
FOCUS OF THE WEEK: GOD’S CALLING IN OUR LIVES
God promises to call us by name
But now 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 ALL PROMISES ARE FULFILLED IN CHRIST. Please read John 1: 40-51. I spent part of my weekend with my husband’s adorable one year old grand-daughter. As you might guess she loves to play “Where’s Eva”. Here’s how it goes: she walks behind a piece of furniture where she is out of sight. The seeker then says “Where’s Eva?” Suddenly, as if she had been gone for days, this pretty, wide-eyed little girl pops out giggling with a huge smile that seems to relay, “Here I am, It’s me! I’m Eva!”. This scenario is repeated as many times as the seeker can last. Each time is met with as much delight as the first when Eva hears her name called.
At birth each one of us is gifted with a name that becomes part of our uniqueness. I don't know about you but when someone calls me by my name rather than ‘Mam , Miss, or Hun ( as we do in the south), I automatically feel a sense of respect and importance because that person took an extra step to remember who I am. When I hear my name called I wait in anticipation to see what is next. In addition,when I hear my name called by a loved one I often feel a sense of love and authentic concern that I’m sure all of us desire.
In this passage from John, Jesus is calling some of his disciples. He knows each one of them by name before they even arrive on the scene. He knows their personality, their life circumstances, their strengths and their weaknesses. They certainly didn’t have it all together when He called them to be a part of His great ministry. This is the same for us. The Lord knows us intimately - better than we know ourselves. He cares and loves us enough to know the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He even knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He loves us enough to call us even when our character flaws seem to be glaring. This side of heaven, we will never be able to understand this kind of love and importance each one of holds in the heart of our Lord. He created us, He knows us, and He loves us. And as we might imagine, He wants the very best for us. Just like His beloved disciples long ago, He calls our name and invites us to follow Him.
Imagine what Eva feels when she hears her mom or dad call her name. She hears her name spoken by the two voices she most longs to hear every single day. I’m sure in her eyes this is heads and tails above playing her games with anyone else. Now, think about us in our adult world. With all that goes on in a day, think about what you hear when Jesus calls your name. Are you listening? Do you hear Him? If so, how do you respond? In this busy world we live in it’s so easy for us to get lost in our own stuff and miss the call entirely. Rest assured He is calling us by name because that’s a promise He makes.
This week we are talking about God’s calling on our lives. My plan is to begin my quiet time asking Him to speak to me directly, then wait before launching into all my requests. I want to listen for “Madelaine” to be spoken from the One who loves me more than I can imagine and hear what He has for me. I hope I can quiet my world long enough to respond like my adorable one year old visitor this weekend and say , “Here I am! It’s me! It’s Madelaine! What do You have for me today?“
Stay engaged this week with the posts to see what happens after we hear our name called. What is He saying to you after He has your attention?
For further reading: Luke 6:12-19; Jeremiah 1:3; Isaiah 43:7; 1Thess. 4:7-8
Father God, How great it is that You know more about us than we will ever know about ourselves. Despite all the ugly we come to You with, You still wrap Your arms around us like a mother with her newborn baby. Even when we turn our backs on You, You still call us by name and want us to follow You. Thank You for creating us, knowing us, and loving us the way You do . Make our ears sensitive enough to hear when YOU speak. Give us the desire to then follow only You. In Your precious name we pray, Amen.