"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." ~Juliet
I have always been interested in names. There have been a few babies born at our church and I loved hearing what the parents decided to call their children. Names are important, they are the one legacy that really sticks with you. Have you ever looked up what your name means? It's pretty cool, especially if you look at it from God's perspective. You see, He calls you by name. (Isaiah 45:3) So whether your name is Spike or Hortense...you and your name are significant to God.
Think about it, your name is the one word that you have heard consistently throughout your life. It is like a repetitious pronouncement over your life. So I want to explore what that can mean as a Christian.
In the Bible, names were very significant. From Adam (Of The Earth) to Jesus (God Is Salvation), names carry the weight of life. There were instances where names where changed, because people were changed by the touch of God. When Abram was changed to Abraham, a man's life changed from "High Father" to "Father Of Nations". His wife, Sarai changed to Sarah...which didn't seem to be much of a change but when you look at the definitions, God was making a statement. You see she went from "MY princess" to "Princess". God was changing this woman's legacy from someone's trophy to a higher standing.
What about someone who changes their name on their own? Then they are rejecting the legacy that the name carries. Whether it is a surname or their first name...they are turning away from the life that the name represents.
Recently, there was a football player who changed his last name. He changed it from Johnson to Ocho Cinco. What do you think he was saying about his legacy? Johnson=Son of John to the number 85. Do you think he had a problem with his Dad? Who knows. But I do know this football player is the most all-out player that I have seen. He is so committed to the game, that he legally changed his last name to his football jersey number, 85...Ocho Cinco.
When we meditate on the concept that God calls us by name, we should take a look at what our name means. Especially when we become a Christian, because our name speaks volumes as to what we were before and after accepting Christ.
To illustrate, take my name: Kelly. Kelly means Warrior or fighter. Without Christ, I am the opposite of a warrior. I am weak, I give up to easily and become a doormat. But as I allow Christ to work through me more and more every day, a spiritual warrior starts to awaken and I am ready to speak up, to stand and to not allow people to take advantage of me.
I shared this with my Bible study group the other night. I was amazed to find the amazing potential encircled in that group. We had a Conquerer, Friend, Joyous Song, Promise Keeper, and a Gift of God's Mercy. When we accept Christ, the full impact of our name can be realized in our life.
So Spike, your name means long, heavy nail. When a spike has no purpose, it is a heavy piece of metal that will rust eventually. When it does have a purpose, it secures a piece of railroad that tons of material can travel over...or cars of people. One loose spike in a railroad can cause a catastrophe.
Spike, who are you in Christ? You can either decide to be a spike with no purpose and rust, or in the hand of our Carpenter, be hammered into place (Psalms 16:8-9) and help support the lives of others as they seek Christ in their life.
Hortense, your name means Garden. A garden that has no gardener goes to weeds very quickly. It is unproductive and may hide a snake or two. Hortense, if you allow the Master Gardener into your life, your life will be so fruitful (Galatians 5:22-23) you will always have enough to share with others.
So what is it about your name? What does it say about your potential for abundant life in Christ? If you are curious, send me your first name and I'll help you discover what God thinks about you. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Be encouraged today, God knows your name. Do you?
I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. Isaiah 45:3