Charles and Norma Ellis
1But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
4Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
5Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
6I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
God has called His people by His name (43:7). What an honor! Ever since the church was planted in Antioch she has delighted as a bride to take the name of her husband Christian. (Acts 11:26).
One of the twisted, sad things that we notice today is the reluctance on the part of some women to give up their own surname at marriage. This could be an outward sign of a woman's unwillingness to be truly united to her husband and to become submissive to him. In that case this would be a denial of the one-flesh genius of Christian marriage.
This same independent spirit is manifested in a reluctance to become a member of the organized church, the visible body of Christ.
As we read this section, let us think about the tenderness, the promise of continual faithfulness and love of the Lord the Husband for His wife. Let us think of Calvary, where He died for His bride, indeed where He died that she might become His bride! Then we can better appreciate what it means to be called by His name.
The Christian woman must be wary of some of the seemingly innocent contemporary trends. She must keep foremost in her thinking the fact that marriage is a beautiful picture of the covenant! A refusal to bear one's husband's name is symptomatic of a reluctance to submit to God's master plan. Surely to attempt to enjoy the advantages of marriage but to refuse its responsibilities is to behave outrageously towards the plan of God for the creatures He made.
We who want to know our identity should be happy to have others know whether we are single or married. Women should be proud to be a Miss or a Mrs., and not let themselves be labeled Ms.! If we are married we should be most happy to bear the name of our husband!
We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."
Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.
Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.
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