Isaiah 43:1 - 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."
As near as I can tell, there are two kinds of people in this world:
1. There are those who believe their Bible should be kept as clean, neat and pristine as possible.
2. Then there are those folks who write notes, jot down commentary, and record insights in their Scripture. (We're not going to touch upon the many souls who use their Bibles as a safety deposit box to hold old recipes and beloved poems.)
Reagan Lee, a 16-year-old girl from Georgia, fits somewhere in between those two viewpoints.
Let me explain: sometime last year she found out her 18-year-old boyfriend, Garrett, wanted his own Bible. It was a simple purchase, easily made. Lee was glad to be giving her boyfriend such a "really pure gift," but she wanted this Bible to be very special, so she took it upon herself to personalize it.
Indeed, Lee spent the next three months using her skills to personalize every page of that Bible. She put into that Bible all kinds of little commentary thoughts, notes, drawings, designs and noteworthy verses. Having seen some of her work, I can tell you even though Michelangelo doesn't have to worry, everything she did was tasteful and sincere.
After she gave the Bible to her very pleased boyfriend, she posted sample pictures of what she had done on social media. Although a few people criticized her for her artistic renderings, most people applauded her for having given such a thoughtful and personal gift.
Now, being the curious sort, I wonder how do you feel about a personalized Bible?
Are you for it or against it? I wonder if the Lord is for it or against it.
Well, I can't tell you how God feels about a personalized Bible, but I do know He is pretty enthusiastic about personalizing the salvation story. Now most of you know John 3:16 -- the "Gospel in a nutshell." You remember how it begins: "For God so loved the world ...." That passage means the Lord knows and loves everybody, which includes all the billions of people who have ever or will ever live.
God loves everybody. Scripture is clear on that. But it is also clear that He loves me, the individual.
When Jesus was born, it was to save me. When He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, He received and carried my sins. When He died, that was for me ... and so was His resurrection. And now, as Luther said, "The Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel and keeps me in the faith."
And that's true for you, too. You see, you are a very special, a one-of-a-kind person to the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, truly You are a great God. You have the capacity to love and reach out to save an entire world, but You do so one soul at a time. I pray that while there is still time, the lost may come to know You, appreciate You, and love You in return. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was written on December 30, 2017 by Veronica Neffinger for Christian Headlines. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.christianheadlines.com/blog/girlfriend-personalizes-entire-bible-for-boyfriend-s-christmas-gift
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries