Daily D – Jeremiah 1:5
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (NIV)
What God said to Jeremiah, he also says to us. We are not all prophets, but before he formed us in the womb, he knew us. Before we were born, he had a purpose for our lives. (See Ephesians 2:10.)
Our newest granddaughter arrived Friday evening, two hours and thirty-one minutes ahead of her mother’s birthday. Can you imagine all the fun things they will do together to celebrate in the years to come? The mother/daughter adventures will be amazing! Mom loves traveling and fine dining. Can’t you see her introducing her daughter to the finer things of life? This will be enjoyable to observe.
Think about your children and/or grandchildren. Don’t have either? Ponder your parents. Every child is an object of hopes and dreams. Parents and grandparents, family and friends have wonderful plans for the lives of their little ones. Our Father in heaven, as noted above, does as well.
If you could give a newborn a non-material gift of exquisite value, what would it be?
Years ago, a woman told about attending a dinner of prominent people who tell beautiful stories through books and films. One of those in the circle of friends had welcomed a baby into the world. Around the dinner table, one after another answered the question above. It was a holy moment.
How would you answer this question for a special little one of your acquaintance?
Next month, another birthday will move me one step closer to regular discounts at movie theaters and buffet restaurants. I still enjoy hearing people express their wonderful hopes and dreams for me, how about you? This is something we do not have to outgrow.
There are discussions over months leading to the ultimate decision of a name for a newborn. A young man told a group of us a few years ago how he did not have a name for the first six years of his life. His parents simply called him, Boy. Another man recently told me his parents had not come up with a name for him before he was born. It took a full week for them to decide on what to call him.
If you know me well, you have heard me talk about the importance of a name. A young woman working at Starbucks inside the Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Fort Worth asked my name so that she could write it on my cup. When I told her, she said, “That’s my dad’s name!” Our discussions revealed how much she loves her dad. He lives up to his name which means, Beloved.
The two of us, and many others, share a name now. Jesus says one day we will get a name all to ourselves. It will be a special bond between him and us. It will be the name we live up to, the name we become over the course of our lives.
I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.”
This is a good step beyond the question, “What do you want on your tombstone?” or “What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?” This is a far more important question: “What do you want Jesus to name you one day?” or “What name are you in the process of becoming?”
Our Father in heaven’s hopes and dreams for us are far better than any we could come up with on our own. He who dreamed up the universe, and us, dreams better than any we have ever awakened from, or awakened to.
Ephesians 2:10 and Galatians 2:20 help us understand the meaning of life. God formed us and shaped us and prepared us for something only we can be and do. Jesus comes to live within us by his Spirit when we invite him to do so. He animates all he inspires. He makes possible what would otherwise be impossible. The life of faith fully expresses our new name so that on the day Jesus speaks it, we will immediately recognize it.
What do you want on your white stone?
I will live up to my new name.
Our Father, thank you for this little one born to express your light and life and loveliness. Thank you for entrusting her to her parents’ care. Thank you for giving us front-row seats to observe how you express your love to her and through her as she becomes all you dreamed she would be. Thank you that you are not finished with us but are carrying on your work in and through us until the day we meet Jesus face to face (Philippians 1:6). Mystery and majesty stand so close together. Beauty and wonder travel together. Hallelujah! I praise your name now and forever. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.