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Tuesday-Making It Personal


See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!


Galatians 6:11


We like to be treated like an individual. Like we’re special. We like it when people remember our name. We may give junk mail a second glance when our name appears on the envelope. But we quickly dump anything addressed to “Occupant.”


Companies are trying to impress us as they try to make it look like they’re treating us like an individual. My favorite is when I get an envelope in the mail, and the outside is in cursive and not plain letters. From a distance it does look nice, like someone took the time to handwrite my name.


But look at it closely. Does it look too perfect? Then ask yourself this question: “Does anyone on planet Earth write that neatly?” I don’t care if they went to a Catholic or private school. No one, and I mean no one, writes that neatly and consistently.


In case you didn’t know, this is just a different setting in the software that merged your information from the vast database of names they purchased. They actually didn’t do anything different, they just picked a different font. A different typeface.


For me, it’s a little easier to see if a letter is coming from someone that actually knows me. My legal name is Chester, so all my business contacts and databases around the world know me as Chester.


But my friends know me as Chet. I’ve been called Chet from Day-One. Both my dad and I are Chester. So, to make it easier in the family, he’s Chester and I’m Chet.


Yes, we all want to be known. But more than just being known, we want to be personally known. Known personally for the individual we are. We want those who know us best to connect with us in a deep way.


And who doesn’t jump at the chance to rip open an envelope where the address is handwritten? As we eagerly open the card or letter, we get that special twinge inside when we see a handwritten note.


It makes us think that we’re special. That they took the time to write something to me. To personally put their thoughts down on paper and then send it directly to you.


That’s exactly the feeling that Paul wants the Galatians to know that he has for them in his heart. He wants nothing but the best for them. He wants to protect them.


Paul wants them to grow and become the people that God wants them to be. He wants them to grow individually in the image of his son[1]. He deeply desires for them to mature in their faith, becoming more and more like Jesus.


But more than just individual growth, he also wants them to become a mature local congregation of the church of Christ. They are to grow together in love[2]. They are to become one body, but with many parts[3].


When Paul personally wrote these words, he’s pouring himself out for the Galatians. He’s expressing just how much they mean to him. That they are special to him.


But it’s just a shadow of the personal love that God has for us. He personally made us so that he can reveal himself to us. To be in a completely transparent, intimate relationship with the God of the universe.


We all have that empty space inside of us. That place where nothing seems to fit. That hollow feeling where our thoughts just echo back and forth. There’s a blankness to our lives that we know without anyone needing to tell us.


That’s the way God made us. He designed us so that the only one who can fulfill our deepest longings is himself. He alone makes us complete. He’s the answer to all those questions about life that haunt us every day of our lives.


Jesus came to fill us, putting the pieces of our lives back together so that we can have a fulfilled life. A life with meaning and purpose. A life that matters. A life that counts.


It’s not a life without pain. It’s not a life without disappointment, heartache, or tears. But it is a life with him, where he welcomes us with open arms and gladly takes our burdens on himself.


Now, just you didn’t know, there’s no one else in the entire history of the world that offers this kind of life. This kind of love. This is the only story where God dies to bring us back to himself.


But being unique isn’t the reason to believe it. We need to believe it because it’s true and it fulfills all the longings and hurts we have. It’s not us trying to fix ourselves, it’s God come down to redeem, repair, and reunite us with himself.


Now that’s a personal message worth receiving.

[1] Romans 8:29

[2] Ephesians 4:16

[3] 1 Corinthians 12:12


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