What Is In A Name?

Proverbs 22:1 ”A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

Philippians 2:9 “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.”

Recently, at my house there has been a lot of discussion about names. It has been a hot topic as we await the arrival of two new grandbabies. Of course with seven aunties, there are a lot of opinions being voiced about the names they don’t prefer and the names they love. There has even been a war on names as each girl is declaring their favorite names and telling their sisters the name is now off-limits! Of course we are all thinking, researching and helping with the list of both boy names, girl names and even possible nick names that we believe would be the best names as our new grand babies arrive. All of the excitement and discussion of names has taken me down memory lane and the prayerful choice of name for each of our eight daughters.

My husband and I chose names with meaning and purpose. Our first, third and eighth daughters have in their name one which honors a special relative but each of our daughters have a name that has a significant meaning, identifying a character trait we hoped and prayed would eventually become part of who they are. There is identity in a name. God reminds us how important a good name is in Proverbs 22:1. As important as a good name is nothing compares to our name as a son or daughter of the Most High God. What a privilege to be called by His name. The best part is that He chose us, we did not choose Him. He created us with a purpose and set in motion the days fashioned for us before we were born. (Psalm 139:16) Those days were to include an intimate relationship with Him so we can represent Him to the world. I recently had two events happen to me that made me realize the significance of a good name and His name that we represent. The first event happened as I was traveling back from my Colorado trip a few weeks ago. I received a text from a friend, sharing with me the name of a young woman who was in need of some encouragement and wisdom as she was walking through a challenging time as a military spouse. I had never met this young woman but my friend asked me to reach out to her and share my name and contact information. Her hope was that we could meet and I could encourage her. I did contact her and we met and talked and prayed for over an hour. I continued to check on her and connected her to some other young military spouses near her home. The next day I received a text message thanking me for all I had done for her and for making such a tremendous difference in her life.

The second event happened just last Saturday evening as I took a couple of my daughters, one of their friends, and my daughters Labrador named Truman to the annual Ft. Bragg Neon Run. This is one of our favorite fun runs that we participate in each year. It is a night-time run and all the participants glow as we cover our bodies, shoes, hair and even our dogs with items that illuminate the area around us. In the midst of people and dogs running and walking, strollers being pushed, and small bikes swerving, I heard my name being called from behind me. My initial thought was who has recognized me in the midst of this chaos? As I glanced back, I saw a young military spouse approaching, saying hello and identifying herself as the young woman who had been in one of my Bible studies at Protestant Women of the Chapel two years prior. She reminded me I had chosen her as one of my small group leaders during that class. She expressed how glad she was to see me. This young woman had remembered my name after two years. This brought back the thought of how important a good name is to God. We represent Him and people remember us. Our actions, our words and our responses.

What is in a name? Our given names represent our first names given to us by our parents, sometimes inherited from a family name, sometimes known as our Christian name given to us  at birth or at baptism. These names distinguish us from our surnames, or more commonly known as our last names. These names do have designated meanings. They also are often times shortened and these names then become our nick names. It is in this name along with our last name that God instructs us to pay attention because a good name is more important than great riches. Our given name and surname identify us with an earthly family but as I stated earlier the most important name we have is the one that calls us the son or daughter of the Most High. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who made a covenant with Abram and his descendants after him, and then established a new covenant with us through Jesus life, death and resurrection.  The significance of the two events that I shared is the fact that both of these young women were directed to me because of my good name that is known as one who relies on the name of the Lord. They were impacted by my life because I was willing to be available to represent Jesus name to them. Because I carry the name of the daughter of the King of Kings, I am identified as being a part of the family of God. Only in the name of Jesus are lives transformed and people saved. (Acts 4:12).  My love for Jesus and gratefulness for what He did for me, compels me to love others and to share His message of truth and love found in His word. A message that encourages, teaches, exhorts and brings wisdom to any situation building others up in their faith. What these two women experienced from their time with me was Jesus love extended to them. Ephesians 5:17, encourages us to seek the Lord each day so we can understand what His will is for our lives and His plan to touch others with His love and truth. May we purpose to make a difference in the lives of others with Jesus as our guide and in the process  demonstrate the love of Christ and make His name known. What is in Jesus name? Forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, peace and a place of hope. His name the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)

Jesus, Jesus there’s just something about that name.

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