One of the things that I enjoyed most about being pregnant…expect for the swollen ankles and graceful waddle…was thinking about what we would name our new addition to our family. Do we name the child after a family member? Somebody alive? Somebody who has passed who we want to honor? A biblical name? A modern name? A unique name that will surprise people? Do we have a junior? A family name that has been passed down? It was a big decision, one that gave my husband and I just a glimpse of the great responsibility we were about to be handed by the Lord, entrusting us with this living being! I mean, we could ruin our child’s life – or make him resent us forever – if we name him something like “Eugene Reginald McBojangles the 3rd.” I deeply apologize if that is your name! I remember repeating different sets of names…”that name sounds like he would be a doctor,” “that’s the name of somebody who would be president,” “that is definitely the name of a successful man.” As if the name I gave my children would dictate their destiny and the path of their life…
Well, thankfully, only the Lord has that much power! There are many times in the Bible when the Lord changed the name of His followers. And this typically came with a covenant or promise. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham when He promised that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky.
Genesis 17:5 —– No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah when He gave her the blessing of a son, and shared with her the promise that He gave to her husband Abraham.
Genesis 17:15, 16 —– And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel when He passed down to him the promise given to his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham.
Genesis 35:9-11 —– This time he gave Jacob a new name and blessed him by saying: I am God All-Powerful, and from now on your name will be Israel instead of Jacob. You will have many children. Your descendants will become nations, and some of the men in your family will even be kings. 12 I will give you the land that I promised Abraham and Isaac, and it will belong to your family forever.
Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, when He affirmed to the lowly fisherman that upon him, He would build His Church.
Matthew 16:15-18 —– He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Even Saul, infamous for his persecution of the followers of Jesus Christ, was given a different name when Jesus overhauled his life and filled him with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:9 —– But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him.
Beloved, Jesus has made a covenant with you and has called you by a new name as well. The same God who established His covenant and promises with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, looks into our hearts and souls and makes a covenant with us as well. And God never ever forgets His promises…even when we forget them. He established a new covenant with us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and He calls us by a new name!
When you invite into your life the love of God, the salvation of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit…
Your name is no longer “Shame” – But you shall now be called IDENTIFIED BY GRACE!
Your name is no longer “Fear” – But you shall now be called COURAGEOUS!
Your name is no longer “Regret” – But you shall now be called FREE!
Your name is no longer “Broken” – But you shall now be called COMPLETE!
Your name is no longer “Depression” – But you shall now be called PEACEFUL!
Your name is no longer “Guilty” – But you shall now be called FORGIVEN!
Your name is no longer “Worried” – But you shall now be called CONFIDENT!
Your name is no longer “Insecure” – But you shall now be called SECURE IN CHRIST!
Your name is no longer “Alone” – But you shall now be called ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD!
Your name is no longer “Unloved” – But you shall now be called LOVED AND CHOSEN!
Your name is no longer “Unwanted” – But you shall now be called CHERISHED!
Your name is no longer “Weak” – But you shall now be called STRONG AND VICTORIOUS!
The question is, who do you say that Jesus is? What do you say His name is? Do you call Him Savior? Do you call Him Lord? You see, His name is Lord, Savior, God Almighty whether you call Him that or not…but it makes no difference in your life unless you invite Him in to change your name and call you…HIS!