Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV)

1 But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth– 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

DEVOTION – Xoxhi E. Dixon (California)

My father creates quivers for bow-hunters.  He carves into genuine leather intricate pictures of wildlife.  During my last visit, he carved the details of an eagle into a side-quiver.  Pressing a blade into the supple leather, he varied the pressure to create different textures that gave his artwork dimension.  Then he covered the leather with crimson dye, magnifying its beauty.

As my father designed another masterpiece, I thought of how often I forget to Appreciate God’s creativity in others and in myself.  The Bible teaches that all people are important to God and designed with unique qualities and purpose.  The apostle Paul tells us that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).

Learning more about the lord by studying the Bible helps us view others as God’s beloved masterpieces.  Like the intricate designs my father carves, our worth is determined by the love and creativity of our Creator.  we each have value as one-of-a-kind creations, simply because we are made by God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We are uniquely created for God’s glory.

LINK2LIFE: To see a picture of Xochi’s dad making his quivers, go to devotional.upperroom.org/blog.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to accept your perfect love and to see others and ourselves as your unique masterpieaces, created in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE SEEKING AFFIRMATION AND ACCEPTANCE.

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