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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Photo by Doris High

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“The central truth of the gospel is that God has provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His son to the world. He suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will accept it. The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement.”
- Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia

"He Knows My Name!"

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1). "He calls his own sheep by name" (John 10:3).

The Holy Spirit will use many different means to bring hope and strength to His children in time of need. It may be a special receptivity He gives us regarding a particular Scripture.  It may be a call from a friend or a prayer offered by a pastor. The list goes on and on. God often uses the text of a song along with the musical accompaniment to speak to our hearts. I find particular encouragement in the words of a song titled, "He knows my name." 

Today I want to share from a short verse in Isaiah that is easily memorized and packed with assurance for the follower of Christ.

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you." Hear His words in your heart today. We have a command "Do not fear" followed by a present reality, "for I have redeemed you." 

"Do not fear" ("fear not" in the King James Version) is a common phrase found all through the Bible. In fact it is found 62 times from Genesis to Revelation!

"For I have redeemed you."  The greatest gift in life is to be redeemed by God.  Fanny Crosby wrote, "Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am."

"I have called you by name; You are mine." I belong to Jesus today and indeed He knows my name! Today in the midst of any frustrations, disappointments, fears, or discouragement you may have, I encourage you to focus on the One who truly knows your name, who loves and cares for you.

Regarding this passage David Guzik observes: "God twice owns His people. He has right of ownership both as Creator and Redeemer. His ownership is personal, because He says "I have called you by your name." His ownership is certain, because He seals it by saying "You are mine."  Knowing we belong to the LORD is a wonderful answer to fear. We can know that He holds us, protects us, guards us, and cares for us. We can know that He would not have created, redeemed, and called us unless He intended to complete the work He began in us. How can we be afraid when we know this God is for us, that He is looking out for our interests?"

Jesus had a wonderful teaching in John 10 where He declares: "I am the good shepherd."  The caring shepherd "calls his own sheep by name." What a blessed assurance it is to know that our Good Shepherd calls each one of us by name!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, how special it is to know that we will not appear as a stranger before You in heaven, but You will call us by name for You are thoroughly acquainted with us.  As a loving father cares for his child so You care for us, your children.  You place us in the palm of Your hand and no enemy can snatch us from Your protective and loving care.  What a tremendous and calm feeling this brings to our hearts this new day.  Amen.

Photo by Doris High

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"He Knows My Name"  Audio  (This is the song that prompted today's message)

"There Is A Redeemer"  Audio

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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