We Are His
Pray that today’s word to you from the Lord will make you both tough and bold in your particular place.
Read Isaiah 43:1-13
 But now, this is what the LORD says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.  All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.  I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.  I have revealed and saved and proclaimed- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.  Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat comfort and assurance does God offer here?
Imagine these words addressed by the Almighty Lord, Creator of everything, to timid, vulnerable people far from home: “I have created you, shaped you, bought you freedom, and summoned you by name (1); you are precious, honored and loved” (4). We, too, are his in these ways. Enjoy those thoughts for a moment. But we’re not God’s just to bask in the glow of his love. Verses 10-13 give us a clear role to play, as they do Israel. How would you sum up that role? It is hinted at in v. 7, where God uses the words “created…to bring honor to me.” What are the difficult “waters,” “rivers,” “fire” or “flames” that you or the church are passing through now (2)? Name them before God. Now remember waters you have passed through safely before, with God accompanying you. Let the memory of them make you bold about the present. You are his. Rejoice and live in that wonderful truth!
Bring to God now any difficulties or challenges you or your church are facing. Then, resolve to go forward, trusting him.
Thank You, Lord, for this great wonder that You love me and all Your people so very much. I’m very grateful.