TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1a ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Last night, I was at a Lauren Daigle concert. What an amazing singer! God has blessed her with a beautiful voice! You know how some singers don’t sing their songs quite the way you hear them on an album? Lauren’s voice is spot on—strong and powerful!
After taking a “scenic” walk around the coliseum because we accidentally walked out of the wrong side of the building and couldn’t remember where we parked… we finally found the car (it only took 45 minutes of walking and asking three different security guards for help). As I drove Tracey home, we first agreed that we’ll be getting an Uber when we go to the For King and Country concert in April… and second, we talked about some of Lauren’s songs, including, “Losing My Religion.” (No, it’s not a cover of the 1990 song by R.E.M.)
Part of the lyrics say:
I’m losing my religion and finding something new
‘Cause I need something different, and different looks like You
I love this song. As I told Tracey, the message meant a lot to me because I don’t like the term “religion” applied to our faith. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s so much more personal—its a relationship.
In 1 John 3:1a, John wrote, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
Children of God—it doesn’t get any more personal than that. That’s who we are… But let’s think of some of the titles God has in terms of His relationship with us: Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Counselor, Deliverer, Defender… to name a few. All of these are highly personal.
When you look at the different beliefs of the world, all of them are about trying to earn favor with an impersonal god. Except Christianity. This is the one “religion” that is based on what God did for mankind.
Some may think it comes down to splitting hairs… religion, relationship… tomato, tomahtoe… but I don’t think it is. After all, if the healthcare industry can define the difference between diet and lifestyle, I can certainly differentiate religion versus relationship!
And as a child of God, my Heavenly Father is not impersonal. He’s involved in my life. He’s interested in what I have to say. He’s concerned about my well-being. He knows me better than I know myself. He’s so personally invested, He sent Jesus to die for me and when I accepted Him as my Savior, He gave me the Holy Spirit to dwell within me. So deeply personal.
And my Heavenly Father is the ultimate of ultimate multitaskers and does this for all His children. Let’s go to Isaiah 43:1 which says, “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.”
What a beautiful verse-mapping moment. Let’s substitute our names and claim it for ourselves: “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, ________, he who formed you, ________: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Studies have shown that our personal name is the most important word we hear… and God calls us personally by name. Religion isn’t going to do that for you. That only happens in a relationship.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the many ways He has shown His personal care for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray and be fully invested in your relationship with God.
SHARING ••• Please feel free to comment or share this blog with others. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Also, download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.