WHAT’S IN A NAME
READ: PHILLIPANS 2: 5-11
Because God raised him to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above all names. (V. 9)
My oldest grandson went through a slight identity crisis during his early years in elementary school. He was upset that he shared his name, David Smith, with 2,893,883 other people in the USA. Seeking to improve his identity he added the Family name of his great grandfather to his middle name renaming himself-David Andrew Kilpanski Smith. He used this name for a short period of time and soon went back to his given name heeding our advice that God had created him to be his own unique person whose qualities transcended his name.
Most parents spend considerable time selecting a name for their children. They normally reflect family history; a significant person or place their parents have high regard for; or reflect the parents hope for the child in the future. True, your name given at birth become your outward identifier to the world. However, while some names are more common than others, it is the moral and spiritual character of the person that gives true meaning and value to their name. If you are a person of solid moral character as reflected by integrity, dependability, loyalty, wisdom, kindness, fairness, and of gentle spirit, your name will become highly respected and esteemed. Conversely, if your base character is defined by deceit, evil, greed, self-centeredness, and constant anger, your name might invoke fear, but will be worthless in terms of respect and honor. So, to answer the question, “What’s in a name- you are!”
Jesus was purposely given his name directly by his Father and it means “to deliver or rescue.” His name is reflective of the divine mission given to him when he was made incarnate to dwell among men for a short time. However, the true power in Jesus name was not found in the four letters of its composition, but in the manner, he faithfully carried out the will of the Father. He taught; He healed; He forgave; He was a model of mercy and grace; He suffered for the sins of man on the cross; He descended into hell and defeated Satan; and He arose assuring all of us who confess him to be our Lord and Savior the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. That is what is meant when the hymnist wrote, All Hail the Power of Jesus Name!
PAUSE FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER
Jesus divine and perfect character gave power and substance to his name. We have the choice to use our name to be a positive or negative influence in our world. Why not follow Jesus example so that our names bring glory to our Creator.
Dear Jesus, help me daily be a positive influence for you using my name to bring you Glory.