See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! —1 John 3:1
30 Mar, 2021
Restored to be Known
by Rachel Howlett
Again, we awaken to God’s fresh mercies, sufficient for all that is ahead today. We thank Him that He has gone before us and prepared the way.
Perhaps you are already familiar with the idea of God as all-knowing. Psalm 139 tells us that His “eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 16). God is here with us now, aware of when we rise and when we sit, conscious of our words before they are uttered from our mouths.
But the story does not end with God simply knowing about us. Through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, we are known for more than the sum of our achievements or mistakes. We are known and loved for who we truly are. We are made in His image (Genesis 1:27)—part of God’s family and treasured members of his household (Ephesians 2).
What’s more, though sin separated us from God, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection made way for us to have direct access to our Creator. By Jesus dying on the cross in our place, we are restored into right relationship with God.
We are restored to be known.
In a community marred by high levels of poverty, abuse and neglect, Pastor Mauricio and Pastor Victor recognise first-hand the power of being known by God. Their church in San Martín, El Salvador has been continuing its efforts throughout mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children in the area.
"The church has not left the children alone,” said Compassion church Pastor Victor, who has served the San Martín community for 20 years.
One of the many practical ways the local church has been helping children to feel known, loved and connected is by delivering them a special gift on their birthday. The pressures of living in poverty during a global pandemic mean that many families in San Martín do not have the means to celebrate their child’s birthday or may simply forget. Children may be heartbroken because their birthdays are overshadowed by pandemic and poverty, but Jesus is sending His Church to recognise and remind them that their lives are important and valued.
For eight-year-old Josue, the birthday home visit by a Compassion volunteer was exciting. "At home, we don't celebrate my birthday because we do not have money. I felt excited when they came home because I didn't expect them," he said. “When I saw them, I felt thrilled.”
Pastor Mauricio explains, “It is necessary for the child to feel known and loved. The celebrations are a reminder that besides God, there is a sponsor and a church that knows them and values them."
Jesus’ life, death and resurrection speak of a new identity gifted to us completely by God’s grace. Our Heavenly Father has lavished His great love upon us, calling us “children of God” (1 John 3:1) and giving an eternal hope for our future.
It’s a good day to be known by God.
Dear Lord, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. I thank You that You do not just know about me, but You know me as Your child. You welcome me into Your family with open arms. With You, I belong. Help me to rest confidently in the knowledge that my identity is found in Christ, and Christ alone. Amen.
It is a precious gift to be known. How could you deepen your relationship with Jesus this week?
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