By Name

Day 287

Prayer for the day

Let those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great is the LORD!”

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 43-44, 1 Thessalonians 2

“I have summoned you by name,” says the LORD by the prophet. “You are mine.”

What a declaration! Isaiah speaks to his people and proclaims their destiny, the reality that lies behind all that has been going on for them. He declares their identity and their future all in one statement. They have been called by God, called by name. God knows them. God loves them. God draws them by name. And then when they have been summoned, their identity is truly pronounced: you are MINE.

The people of Israel are given identity by Isaiah. They belong to God. God is asserting his ownership of them in this passage, not to be a burden to them, but to be an encouragement, and a reminder. They were created as a people by this God who has called them, and now, this God is doing wonderful things to them and through them. They are to remember that the wonderful things that are happening and will happen are not happening of their own accord, but by the word of the God to whom they belong.

Paul has similar words to say to the Christians in Thessalonica. He reminds them that they gave themselves to this God when he was among them, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He reminds them of the work he did among them, “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”

There’s that word again: “Call.” It seems that in both of these passages, God desires to remind the people that this salvation they have received, these lives they are living, are not a result of their worthiness or effort, but the result of the call of God.

Today, when you hear his voice, will you listen?

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