"Mary!" Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene at the tomb. She did not recognize the resurrected Jesus until He called her by name. (John 10:16)
Have you ever heard Jesus call you? Scripture gives us an endearing promise through the prophet Isaiah, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine." (Isaiah 43:1)
My personal encounter with the voice of God came several weeks after a dramatic turnaround of my life, a life without God, to a total commitment to Jesus, making Him my Lord and Savior.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)
Just as sheep know their shepherd's voice, I longed to hear Jesus and respond to the Shepherd of my soul.
I began to write love letters to Him, some rhyming poems, some in the form of psalms, all forms of seeking to get to know Jesus better. I began to read the Bible for the first time, joining with others in Bible studies.
Then, one early morning, at 5:15 a.m., scarcely awake, I was surprised to hear these words, "These things did I set upon you that you should know My Mind." The words were curious, yet compelling. It couldn't have been my own thoughts as I did not then or now normally talk like that. Could I really know the mind of Christ? How could that be? What did it mean? But when I looked into the Bible, the words were truth!
"For 'Who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16)
Surely we are meant to know the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit who has been sent to point us to Jesus! The "these things" Jesus spoke to me about have turned out to be the many reflections I have spoken to others and written through the Spirit, which have served to comfort, edify and exhort the Body of Christ.
"He who is of God hears God's words..." (John 8:47)
He may not call me by name, exactly, yet He speaks and talks with me. And His words are like honey in my mouth. His sweetness permeates all of me. Truly I am His! God may even give me a new name! Just as He changed Abram into Abraham, Sarai into Sarah, Jacob into Israel, Simon into Cephas, who knows what new name not only I but each of us will be called!
"You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name." (Isaiah 62:2)
As I was distributing nametags to each person attending our church's recent Lenten Retreat, I repeated God's words from Isaiah 43:1b, "I have called you by your name; you are Mine." Truly we are His!
© Constance Vanides
March 29, 2012