What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name?
Sometimes everything.
I work hard to get people’s names right, because it matters.
One of the worst mistakes I make is calling one child by a sibling’s name? Ouch.
Kids let you know right away – especially teens.
Get their name wrong once – you’re suspect.
Get their name wrong twice – you’re on long-term probation.
Third time? Why are you even bothering to talk with me any longer.
We all care about our names. We’re sensitive about them. Their pronunciation. Their spelling. Their significance.
We’re careful about sharing our names.
Curious about others with the same name.
Names are a bond
or a bane
a burden
or a boon.
Whatever they are, they matter. Our names matter dearly to us.
So, why would we think God’s name would matter any less to Him?
I caught part of a special newscast on ABC 6 over the week-end. Christiane Amanpour was interviewing a woman standing in front of an archeological find. Ms. Amanpour asked if the site had significance regarding Jesus –
Yes, the woman replied – or Allah or Yahweh or Mohammed or whatever name you choose to call god, it doesn’t matter. It is holy and has significance.
That’s nonsense to me.
God’s name matters. Of course, it matters. We’re talking about a higher being, a deity, the Creator of the Universe – He knows His name.
He says He wants to be known by humans. He created us. He knows where we start introductions. We say our name.
And He has told us His name – Jesus.
At the birth of the church, Peter made a speech to the masses and he said this:
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.  Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12
God has a name.
And it matters.
It’s going to get harder and harder for people to say it: Jesus.
It’s going to become less and less popular to indicate that there is only ONE name by which we can be saved: Jesus.
But it will never be less true.
I’ve started a second blog this month. I’m doing a personal study this year of the name of Jesus, the titles and “names” of Jesus described in the Bible, their significance and what they reveal about God.
I’ve decided to create flash fiction (300-700 word stories) as a way of meditating about these titles.
I invite you to come by anytime and read along: What’s in aName
But beyond the blog, I ask you to meditate on the name of Jesus. If you have any doubt that Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation, I challenge you to pray about that and study up on it. Email me, I’ll give you places to start looking.
When people say it doesn’t matter what we call God,
start calling them by the wrong name.
When they rankle or correct you or act offended,
smile and tell them the God’s name is also important to Him.
It matters.
What’s in a name? Eternal life. That’s all.

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    The Conversation

  1. Linda Byce says:

    That was Awesome.
    Amen Girl!
    Also It just breaks my heart when I hear people take HIS name in vain. Just tossing IT around like it means nothing. Even on family friendly TV.:(

  2. Anonymous says:

    My Sunday school kids learn His name: Elohim (Creator), Jehovah (Protector), El Shaddai (King of Kings), Jehovah-Jirah (Provider), Adonai (Savior) and Jesus. We seldom hear His name in the Greek or Hebrew but I want the kids to know the meaning of His name in any language. Names do mean something special and his is the most special. Good work, Lori MOMMA

  3. Amen. And when they are flippant about it. Kinda like when people assume if you have a long name that you go by the shorter version. Like calling an Elizabeth Beth or Liz without asking permission or preferences. My girl has a name like that (not that one) and it drives me nuts. She doesn’t mind, but I do. People hear me call her by the full name and still call her by the short one. Grr.

    So what does God think when folks overly familiarize His name?!

    Greath thoughts.

  4. Caroline says:

    Enjoyed this post and so true. I like the way you bring the truth across. Good job.

  5. Cheri says:

    Lori, I’m excited about your new blog. Loved this post!