What are some of your favorite ways in which God comes to you?
In our church body, we teach three particular ways, or means, in which God comes to us – through His Word (the Bible), in our baptisms, and in the Lord’s Supper.
Your belief system might be a touch different, but I doubt that it strays much from these three connectors. We need God like fish need water, more than that. Our deepest need in this life is for God. We will scramble any which way until our hearts settle in His arms. God, however, does not remain hidden. He has left these three precious things that are both physical and spiritual for one reason – to come to us. God loves worship. He loves praise. He loves His created things. But all of it is intended for connecting us with His Son, His promises, and His Salvation. When we understand that He comes in these three ways, according to His Word, then we are no longer searching and searching and searching. Instead, we know we have been found by Him.
If all of that last paragraph sounded like theological mumbo jumbo to you, just rest in this.
God comes to you.
Let’s return to Isaiah 43 once again, and study this concept. Start by reading Isaiah 43:1 below. If you feel so led, write this verse out in a notebook, on scrap paper, on your shoe, wherever, to commit it deep into your heart.
But now thus says the Lord,
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.
Note: God is the action taker. God is the seeker. He calls, we answer. Before you were born, He called you. Before your parents or your grandparents brought you to church or you, yourself, came to church, He called. Before baptism, before confirmation, before growth…He called you.
God calls you by your name.
Heidi, David, Macee, Jonah, Jyeva, Ezekiel
This is my family. Each with their own name. He didn’t just call each of us, He called us by our names. What is your name? Fill it in the space below.
God calls you, He brings you into His redemptive plan, by this name. He writes this name in His Book of Life (Rev. 3:5) and on His heart. And guess what…He keeps writing.
The book of Job shares another way that God reveals Himself, by His Word, to those around us. Please read Job 19:23-24.
Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
So, Job’s life, not so easy. The first part and the last part, pretty good. The middle was all kinds of gunky and hard. Loss, ongoing health problems, cruddy friends, embarrassment, marriage issues, the list goes on for our friend, Job. His physical, earthly problems bubbled up into a spiritual crisis. In the verses above, Job attests to what each of us would want in the same circumstance,
“If I am going to go through all of this, I want it to matter.”
Job cries out to God,
“Make it count! Don’t leave me here. Do something with this!” (Heidi’s personal paraphrase)
What Job wanted is what God indeed gives to each of us – a testimony of His work, written in Iron Ink.
Unerasable. Durable. Able to withstand the arguments and the questioning. Going out for generations to come- in our families, in our churches, in our communities.
Listen to Job’s testimony, written in the Iron Ink of Job 19:25-26:
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God…
God comes to others through our testimony of Jesus Christ.
He reaches into this Word so that others can know of our great Redeemer. They will know Him by who we are and where we have been and the Word we share because of it.
Flip back to Isaiah 43. This time scroll down to verses 14 and 15 –
Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and bring them all down as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.”
Babylon is not a happy prophecy for Israel. Israel is about to have a Job moment. Right after the proclamation of grace in Isaiah 43:1, “I have called you by name, you are mine,” God brings hard news to His people. It’s about to get messy. Babylon is bondage. They will be sent far away, their nation destroyed, families split up, livelihoods decimated. Messy. But God’s message isn’t just “messy is coming,” It is –
I use the messy.
It is no mistake that God calls Himself Redeemer in this passage. You are mine, He says, when life comes at you, when you walk through the fire, when bondage overtakes you, people will see my redemption story. “For your sake,” (verse 14) “I send.” the Lord says, “So that I can redeem. So that they will know my redemption.”
We are iron ink. Every time we share His Word and His testimony on our lives, He comes.
He comes for you.
He comes for me.
He comes for them.
He comes. Redeemer, Holy One, Creator, King.
Watch Him write, girls. Watch Him write.
What does it mean to you that God calls you by name?
Share with us the names of those you hold dear. This doesn’t have to be a complete list, but a way to celebrate that God calls them each by name,
What iron ink testimony is God writing in your life that shares His redemption with others? What Bible verses or passages speak His life into your story?