Give me a word, Lord: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

As we’ve been continuing our nightly reading through the Bible in a year, your girl here has had the pleasure of reading through the Old Testament. I’m currently in Chronicles. As I read aloud to my husband, I read the names with great authority pretending I know how to pronounce them. We get a giggle out of it every time. I woke up with some of those crazy names running through my head: names like Eleazar, Dodai, Jehoida, Azmaveth. Who comes up with these names? Well, it turns out, in biblical times, the names truly had meaning and gave identity to the person. Think about these few examples. Joshua means God is my salvation. Caleb means faith and devotion. Jabez, oh Jabez, his name means born in great suffering. His mama had a time delivering him!
Also remember that God changed names several times. He changed Abram to Abraham to mean father of a multitude. He indeed became father Abraham. He changed the name of Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul thus changing their entire destiny.

Man has tried changing biblical names as well. Old King Nebuchadnezzar (there’s a name for you) changed the name of Daniel to Belteshazzar, Shadrach to Hananiah, Meshach to Mishael, and Abednego to Azariah. Their birth names were declarations about God, but the king was trying to give them a new identity with names that identified them with the gods of Babylon. As we all know, this didn’t work. Man can change a man’s name, but he can’t change his heart. Their hearts belonged to the one true God. Lions didn’t devour Daniel, and Jesus walked in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Not one hair was singed, nor did their garments even smell of smoke. God wins every time!

Just for fun, I looked up the meaning of my name, and I have to say my parents did well! Krista means follower of Christ. Thankfully, I had a father that instilled Christ into me at an early age and laid the foundation for the person I am now. All my life, I’ve been called Kay Kay, which I’ve shortened to K.K. over the years. The meaning of Kay is rejoice. Rejoice rejoice! I think that’s pretty cool!

Nowadays, names aren’t necessarily given because of meaning. Rather most babies are given the name because it’s a family name, or because we like the sound of it, or the name means something to us. There is one name above all others which has great meaning and truly identifies the bearer of the name: JESUS. Jesus means to deliver and to rescue. Matthew 1:21 declared it. “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus came into this world to deliver us, to rescue us, and to save us from our sins. He is Emmanuel, Christ, Lord, Master, Son of God, and Son of Man. That name is truly a name above all names. We should sing praises to His name. Because He has saved us, we are His and He is ours. He is within us, and our identity is in Him. So no matter what your mama or daddy named you, your identity is now in Jesus. Isn’t that awesome! Let’s live life out to the fullest today for the One whose name is above all names!

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