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Called by Your Name

Many years ago, when I taught in a Comprehensive School, my first aim was always to learn the name of every child in each class I taught. I knew that, once I knew their names, I could get their attention and begin to develop a relationship of mutual respect. Our name is important because it is part of our unique identity and individuality. To call someone by their name makes words we speak more personal and is often interpreted as being caring and empathic.

As our text for today indicates, our relationship with God begins when we are redeemed from the consequences of sin. We are assured that the Creator of the universe called each one of us by name and made us His own. He wrote each individual name in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). We are, therefore, told not to fear. So, remember that He will always be with you, even if you feel overwhelmed and at the end of your tether. You are precious and honoured in His sight and He loves you (Isaiah 43:4).

Jesus called some people by name, and it was always for a purpose. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector. He was a notorious cheat and traitor, hated and rejected by the Jews, because he worked for the Romans, who occupied their country. One day, hiding up a sycamore tree in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus, who was passing through his town, he heard Jesus call his name. “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5-6).

The situation was urgent. Jesus was on His way to the cross and would never pass this way again. Zacchaeus humbled himself, descended the tree to stand face to face with Jesus, who dearly loved this sinner. Zacchaeus was given a new beginning and a new future. Maybe, like me, you have heard Jesus call your name and speak to you, because He wants to give you a new beginning. It may mean taking a leap of faith, but He will lead you as you trust Him.

Immediately after Jesus had celebrated the last supper with His disciples, an argument arose among them as to which of them was considered greatest. Jesus singled out Simon Peter, and said to him, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (bring you to ruin through denial) but I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus called Simon by name to warn him that a spiritual battle was ahead, one which Satan would not ultimately win, for Jesus had prayed for Simon and he would be restored. I wonder if you can recall spiritual battles that you have faced. Do you recall hearing Jesus call you by name and speak to you in a way that warned you that something lay ahead which you did not currently understand, making you feel uneasy? I’m so thankful that, over the years, when I have faced major battles, during which Satan has been seeking to frustrate the purposes of God’s kingdom, I have been warned. I’m so grateful that Jesus, the Great High Priest, interceded for me, however tough things may have seemed at the time (see Hebrews 7:24-25). Therefore, ‘We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’.

Mary Magdalene travelled with Jesus as one of His followers, supporting Jesus out of her own means. She dearly loved Jesus who had healed her and delivered her of seven demons (Luke 8:1-2). She had witnessed His terrible death, watched his burial and was the first to witness the empty tomb. Weeping and overwhelmed with sorrow, through her grief, she heard the risen Jesus speak her name, “Mary,” and she recognised Him. Can you imagine the gentleness in the voice of Jesus, full of comfort, compassion and renewed hope? If grief, sadness or sorrow fills your heart today, seek the risen Jesus for comfort and healing. Hear Him say, “I have called you by name and you are mine.”

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, that, by Your Spirit, You still speak today. Open my heart to hear You call my name, and give me grace to listen and to obey Your still small voice. I praise You that You are risen and alive for evermore, seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for those whom You have called. Please use me to honour You and bring glory to Your name. Amen.


 

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Scripture

This is what the Lord says, 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, NIV

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Today's Writer

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

Margaret Silvester


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