Is your reputation so good that when people hear it they smile? If only it were so with all of us. Unfortunately, many people hear the name Christ, or Christian, and ridicule it. His Name is worth defending, however, and the best way to defend it is through our own character.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
What’s in a name?
Do you know what your given name means? The name Sally means Princess. What better name for someone who is a daughter of God, my King? But I wonder if I always live up to my name. At times I find myself using it with too much pride, at other times with too little pride.
We can view our given name in several ways. First, it is our identifying label. When we converse with others, we speak each other’s names for the sake of identity. Second, our name is an aspect of our character. When we hear a name, we immediately picture how the person speaks, shows emotion or acts in certain situations.
In many societies, people put great stock in naming their children. But they often end up with a nickname because of their behavior. A colicky baby may be named Sissy or Fussy. Or the nickname Scrooge can attach itself to a stingy child. Nicknames can stick with us all our lives, even causing us to act accordingly.
God’s name shows His identity and character, too. He reveals Himself to His people in different ways, depending on their needs during crisis. When we need help, assurance or hope, we can call on His name. Psalm 124:8 tells us “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
One of my favorite verses about God’s character is Isaiah 48:11. “For My own sake, I will do it; that My name may not be polluted and that I may not give My glory to another.” In other words, we can depend on God’s name in every respect. His real name, I AM, tells us He is everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Whatever we need, whenever we need it, He is available to give it. Because of His greatness, we can depend on Him even as His people have done throughout the ages.
How do we approach such a holy, powerful, great God? Through His only Son, Jesus, who died for our sins and rose from the dead to intercede on our behalf. With His Father, He purchased peace for us and sits at God’s right hand to maintain that peace for us. No longer do we have to live in fear of anything, especially of being separated from Him because of our sin. His personal names, which include those of Healer, Provider, Shepherd, Righteousness and others, guarantee it. He always lives up to His Name and we can always depend on His flawless character.
Lord, we hallow Your Name, knowing with certainty You are all You say You are. Thank You from the deepest part of ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.