Pause

Being known.

Being valued.

Belonging.

These are gifts of God’s Love.

We receive them in Christ.

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Listen

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Luke 1:30-33

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Think

Have you heard someone say to you “don’t be afraid” before calling your name? Hearing a refreshing voice say “I am not going to hurt you,” calling your name. Perhaps you have never experienced a call from someone with a good heart and good intentions.

Today’s scripture brings us guidance on what we can expect when God calls our name. God has good intentions for us. Instead of feeling empty when someone calls our name, we are comforted when God calls us and says, “Don’t be afraid.” Like Mary and the angel Gabriel, after God makes us feel secure, God speaks our name, thereby honoring us. God bestows value upon us.

What are you afraid of? Do you want to experience God’s calling?

Whatever it might be, know that the Lord wants to give you comfort and honor you.

Israel Loachamin

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Pray

Lord, thank you for knowing my name. May I give you everything today that I am afraid of and may I feel your comfort and honor. Amen.

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Go

Where shepherds lately knelt, and kept the angel’s word,
I come in half belief, a pilgrim strangely stirred;
But there is room and welcome there for me,
but there is room and welcome there for me.

Can I, will I forget how Love was born and burned
its way into my heart unasked, unforced, unearned,
to die, to live, and not alone for me,
to die, to live, and not alone for me?

from “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” by Jaroslav J. Vajda (1986)

Israel Loachamin

Israel Loachamin is the ordained pastor of the Spanish Service at First Baptist Church Waco and the director of La Puerta Waco. He was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, and came to faith in Christ at the age of twelve. He has been calling Texas his second home since 2005 and is a husband to Emily and father to a year-old boy, Lucas. He has also served as a youth pastor, music director, missions minister, and teaching assistant. He finished his undergraduate studies at Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio, TX, in 2010, and graduated with his Master of Divinity in 2019. Israel is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, TX.

Of the Fathers Love Begotten

Mark Hayes

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