Exodus 33:12-17 (NIV)

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”  14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?  What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”  17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

John 10:3 (NIV)  [The good shepherd] calls his own sheep by name.

DEVOTION – Bernice Karnop (Montana)

One Christmas when my son, Steve, was about eight years old, he came home from Sunday school with a present from his teacher.  “I got a gift with my name on it,” he announced proudly.  I was puzzled.  I knew that all the children had received similar gifts.  Why was it so important to him that the gift had his name on it?  He explained that the teacher had chosen this particular version of the gift with him in mind.  As he had looked around the room, he knew that Mrs. L. had chosen the gift that was the best one for him.  He felt special.

God offers me gifts at Christmas, the gifts of redemption, forgiveness, and a restored relationship with the Creator through God’s Son, Jesus.  God offers the same gift to everyone, but my salvation is unique to who I am.  It is more than a generic gift with a tag that says, “To: Anyone.”  It has my name on it.  My relationship with God is unique to who I am with my personality, gifts, and abilities.  God sees me, and each one of us, as an individual who is special and worth loving.  What an amazing gift!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God offers each of us a unique relationship of love.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for the gift of your love seen in Jesus Christ. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: To Hear Christ Calling My Name