ODJ: search for significance

August 15, 2014 

READ: Genesis 29:31-35 

Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for 
she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” And then she stopped having children (v.35).

I have to admit, with some shame, that I’ve Googled my own name. I know, I know—it’s immature and narcissistic. I think I—and others like me—do this because we want some living proof that we’re significant and important in some way.

Leah in the book of Genesis could probably relate. For starters, her husband had to be tricked into marrying her. He actually had wanted to marry Rachel, Leah’s prettier, younger sister. Desperate for her husband’s love and attention (Genesis 29:32), Leah bore him some sons whose names reflect her painful search for significance. For example, her third son was named Levi, which meant: “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” (v.34). Sadly, there’s no evidence that Jacob ever came to truly cherish his first wife.

Leah eventually recognised this, and named her fourth son Judah, which means, “Now I will praise the LORD!” (v.35). Little did Leah know what great things would come forth from Judah’s life. In the years and centuries that followed, his bloodline would contain King David, Joseph and—eventually—Jesus Himself. Yes, Judah had a unique role in God’s salvation plan.

The moment that Leah stopped trying to find her significance in her husband, and found it in God instead (“Now, I will praise the LORD!”), she became part of the most significant story of all time: the gospel! 

Leah’s story is a huge encouragement to me. I have used many silly and destructive means in my search for significance. But the greatest significance I’ll ever find in life isn’t from the world and its empty promises and values. It’s found in God alone—being plugged into His story and eternal purposes. —Peter Chin

365-day plan› Luke 15:11-32

Read 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Romans 8:15-17 to see examples of the significance we find in Jesus.
How have you attempted to find significance apart from Jesus? What will you do to seek your part in God’s great story?

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: Becoming

May 14, 2013 

READ: Luke 2:41-52 

Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. —Luke 2:52 

I grew up in a small town. No famous people. No busy streets. Not much to do. Yet I’ve always been thankful for my quiet, uncomplicated upbringing.

One evening when my husband and I were attending a business dinner, a new acquaintance asked me where I was from. When I told her, she said, “Aren’t you embarrassed to admit it?”

Unsure whether or not she was joking, I simply said, “No.”

Although my town was sometimes belittled for its lack of sophistication, it was not lacking in things that matter. My family was part of a church community in which parents brought up children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

Jesus also grew up in a small town: Nazareth. A man named Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Jesus proved that the answer is yes. Even though He grew up in an insignificant place, He was the most significant person in all of history.

Experience taught me and Scripture confirms that what matters is not where you grow up but how you grow up. Sometimes we feel insignificant compared to sophisticated people from prominent places. But we are significant to God, and He can make us strong in spirit and filled with His wisdom.

— Julie Ackerman Link

O teach me what it cost You, Lord,
To make a sinner whole;
And help me understand anew
The value of one soul! —Anon.

What we become is more important than where we’re from.