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."
Are there any of you who write or receive "love" letters anymore? That's right, love letters. I thought that if there were people who still sent and received letters, it would have to be those who sent letters of love, right? After all, who else would take the time to put pen to paper just for you?
Well, my grandparents used to send and receive letters back in the days before TV and radio. When a person you cared for sent you a letter, you wouldn't just read it once and throw it away. You'd read it over and over and over again; then you'd put it in a safe place to read it later. Each word mattered. The punctuation mattered. When someone you loved wrote you a letter, it was a treasure that made life worth living, literally.
So, if human words of love were sent with the intent that you read them over and over again because you truly mattered to the sender—if that is the power of human words from one who loves you—then listen up! The prophet Isaiah says something remarkable here. He says that God's Word is a love letter written by God Himself to a sinful world to tell them about a life and salvation that He wants for each person on the face of the planet: past, present, and future.
Today, God Himself is calling you by name, telling you that He has a life and salvation for you. He is literally sending you a message through His prophet, Isaiah, but even more so, through His Son Jesus Christ.
In fact, I challenge you to read again what God says in Isaiah 43: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, you are Mine." Also, read the book of John in the New Testament. There it says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
You see, in the old days, when you read a love letter you didn't just see words on a page, you saw the person who wrote those words; you heard his or her voice behind each and every word. That's how God wants you to see His words. His are no ordinary words; they make true life possible for you and me.
Listen again, as God speaks through Isaiah: "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. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior" (Isaiah 43:2-3a).
And that's just a glimpse of the rescue He provides to the world in Jesus. Read His love letter to you, and see!
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach me to treasure each Word of Scripture for what it is: Your love letter of grace and mercy to a fallen world. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "A Love Letter That Lasts!" a message by Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What was the last letter you wrote? Received?
2. Does God call each of us—individually—to Himself? How does He do that?
3. What's your favorite letter from God in the Bible?
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