Names of God: El Roi (God Who Sees)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

 “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”

The encouraging story of Hagar is for everyone who’s ever felt invisible. Everything changed for this Egyptian servant when she was given by her barren mistress, Sarai, to Abram in order to conceive an heir for him. Hagar’s affection for Sarai quickly morphed into hatred once Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child. This led to abusive behavior at the hands of Sarai. When the harassment became intolerable, Hagar abruptly fled into the wilderness without money, food, water, or a plan. 

Trudging all alone through a desert wasteland, no doubt feeling forgotten, Hagar stumbled upon a desert spring. When she stopped to drink, she found more than refreshing water. She found supernatural help! In angelic form, the Lord met her. He reassured her with lavish promises, then sent her back home filled and strengthened with new hope. Is it any wonder Hagar gave the Lord the name “The God who sees me”? 

Implicit in this name is God’s overriding compassion. When Hagar had no idea where to go or what to do next, she was reminded that God is real, that He sees the needs of His creatures, and that He draws near to help. God doesn’t just glance our way; long and hard, He studies the difficulties we face. And then He acts.

Do you feel like you’re alone, that nobody really sees (much less understands) the troubles you face? Maybe you feel like injustice is rampant in your life. Even in such dark times, trust that God is El Roi. He sees—and He sees you. He looks intently. He notices. He studies everything and misses nothing. Others may overlook you or forget you, but God never will. And because He sees you, He knows what you need and gladly provides the comfort you are looking for.


You are the God who sees me. Thank You for keeping Your eye on me, for knowing my situation, and for caring about what happens to me. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my book, 100 Names of God Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.


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Names of God: El Chaiyai: God of My Life

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8

When two strangers meet and exchange handshakes and names, the inevitable first question is “So, what do you do?” A professional athlete might respond with, “I’m a linebacker for the Ravens.” A businessperson might reply, “I’m the VP of Sales for ABC Corporation.”

Most of us usually identify ourselves or describe our lives by the roles we play, by how we spend our days, and by the kind of work we do. Because we assume that activity equals identity, we say things like, “Oh, I’m just a stay-at-home mom to five kids,” or “I’m a junior at Lincoln High School.” While such labels and self-descriptions are not technically untrue, they have very little to do with who we really are. This is because 

One of the awesome teachings of the Christian faith is that we are not defined by what we do. Our identity is rooted in the everlasting God who made us, not in the things we make (careers, families, mistakes, etc.). As the One who designed us, God is the One who defines us. Before (and after) we are anything else, we are redeemed people who are beloved creatures of God—made by Him and for Him, built for His glory.

This means for the athlete, sport is not his or her life. For the mom, family is not her life. For the businessperson, career is not his or her life. Life—real life, abundant life, eternal life—comes only from God. He is our life. He names us and tells us who we are. He gives us value and purpose. Our worth and identity come from Him, not from anything we do or fail to do.

Remember today that your life is not defined by your ability in sports, devotion to your family, or success in a career. Your identity isn’t money, possessions, achievements, or the approval of others. God created you to know, to love, to serve, and to be satisfied in Him.

When you acknowledge God as your life, you start to really live!


Lord, You created me and gave me breath to live. Help me to remember that I exist because of You, God. You are the God of my life. Help me to live out this truth today. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my upcoming book 100 Names of God Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.


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You Humble?

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

That truth is played out again and again in Scripture. Look at the following examples:

• Moses, a refugee on the run from a murder charge who found work as a shepherd
• Rahab, a prostitute in a pagan city
• Gideon, a man so unsure of himself that he needed three miracles to be convinced that God was calling him
• Ruth, a poor widow who survived by scrounging leftover grain in the fields
• Saul, a man so reluctant to become king that he hid from the people who were trying to appoint him
• David, the tagalong little brother of “real” warriors
• Mary, an unmarried young woman from a nondescript Jewish town
• Peter, Andrew, James, and John, blue-collar types with no formal religious training
• Paul, a man so misguided he started his career persecuting Christians

Each of them was used by God to accomplish something extraordinary. Their humility is what made them valuable to him.

It’s a question of glory—specifically, Who gets it? People who are prone to exalting themselves or taking a bow in God’s spotlight are useless to him. God’s purpose is to reveal himself and his power to humankind. People who don’t give him all glory and honor confuse the issue and interfere with his plan.

Those who embrace their humility, on the other hand, are perfect instruments for his work. Fake humility doesn’t cut it. Neither does self-degradation. The humility Jesus is talking about involves recognizing that all your talents and abilities are God-given, for the purpose of serving him.

In Acts 10, the apostle Peter visits the home of a Gentile named Cornelius. Cornelius is so overwhelmed by the honor that he falls down and starts worshiping Peter. The apostle is quick to pull him to his feet. “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” he emphasizes.

Peter wanted no part of the glory that was due to God alone. He knew exactly what he was—and wasn’t. That’s why he was so useful to the Lord.

I served as editor for THE BIBLE: WHY IT MATTERS TODAY which is published by Time Inc Books. This blog post was adapted from that title. This special edition magazine is published in the US and available wherever magazines are sold.


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Free Names of God Study Resource

, by Christopher D. Hudson

I am sharing this free Bible study Chart to new subscribers to my email list. Sign up below and you'll receive the NAMES OF GOD eChart. This wonderful tool contains ten Hebrew names for God, their English definitions, and helpful Biblical references.

Once you receive the free download you are free to unsubscribe to my email newsletter, but I'll hope you give it a try for a month or two.


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Don’t Store Up Treasures on Earth

, by Christopher D. Hudson

As long-term investment tips go, Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:19–21 is the gold standard against which all others are measured.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

His point is twofold. First, there’s no such thing as a secure earthly investment. Any possession—or passion—can be taken away through human misdeeds or natural occurrence. Those that aren’t taken away tend to lose their luster (or depreciate) over time.

Second, even if an earthly investment could be secured, pouring resources into it still would make little sense in the long term. Such an investment would yield sixty to seventy years of returns at most. An investment in God’s heavenly kingdom, on the other hand, has no limits on its yield. It will pay dividends forever.

To store your treasures in heaven is to

• build a portfolio of God-honoring work;

• invest in the lives of others, especially those in need;

• pour your resources—money, time, and talents—into things that benefit God’s kingdom;

• divest yourself of the greedy impulses that tempt you to pursue immediate gratification.

The fruitlessness of pursuing wealth and acquiring possessions is often summarized in a single phrase: “You can’t take it with you.” But Jesus says you can take it with you, if you invest your resources according to his strategy.

I served as editor for THE BIBLE: WHY IT MATTERS TODAY which is published by Time Inc Books. This blog post was adapted from that title. This special edition magazine is published in the US and available wherever magazines are sold.


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