Devotional – January 13, 2021

Pastor David’s devotional 
Favorite Bible Verses
Today, I am going to begin a series of devotionals on some of my favorite Bible verses. I begin with a verse that in many ways has become a life verse for me. It is from the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 43 verses 1-2:
But now thus says the LORD,
    he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
When I was young, I was deeply afraid of failure. My fear kept me from answering my call to ministry. And, the “bullseye” of my fear was preaching. I was afraid of failing at preaching. Often, I thought to myself “what if I don’t have anything to say?” This fear was deeply rooted in my inability to trust that God would equip me for all God called me to do. For years, that fear kept me from answering my call to serve the church as a pastor.
I remember the day when God healed me of that fear. It was graduation day at Princeton. I was receiving the annual preaching award given to a student who showed great promise in
preaching. I knew I didn’t deserve the award and so did the rest of my class. As I stood before the crowd, today’s scripture ran through my mind. It was then that I knew what it meant. God calls us by name—each and every one of us. And, God’s calling is both general (to live a certain kind of life) and specific (to do something for God).
Always, God’s calling is to help build up the church, the body of Christ. Serving God is not always easy. There are times when we
“pass through the waters” and “walk through the fire.” But we are not alone. The God who called us will provide grace sufficient for every need. “Fear not” are words that speak to us
about the life of faithfulness. Do not be afraid to do what faithfulness requires; you are not alone! Do not be afraid to say yes to God. You will have what you need. Do not be afraid to
answer God’s call.
Now that I am getting older, this passage is speaking to me in new ways. As we age, and our bodies break down, there comes a time when we face death. As death draws near, I want to have this verse on my lips: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.”
One day, God will call my name to bring me home, and having been redeemed (by the grace of God), I can pass through the waters of death without fear. For I belong to God.
Perfect love casts out all fear, we hear in I John 4:18, and God is perfect, and God is love.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine” says the Lord.
Amen and Amen!
This is one of my favorite Bible verses. It means so much to me! What does it mean to you?
Think about it.
God bless you and stay well,
Pastor Dave