Posted by: Jo | October 18, 2013

God’s Chosen Name For Us

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)

image Giving a new born a name is an important decision in most cultures and, with some cultures, deeply entrenched tradition has a main sway over any other sentiment, but not only tradition has sway in some countries, several countries have strict laws banning unacceptable names. My father loved telling jokes, and one of his favourites was about a lady who agonised over a noble name for her new son. Her last name was King and she wanted a suitable name to enhance this already regal name. As she was still deciding, she drove past a building that had huge doors open at the entrance. One door had in big letters Nosmo the other King. She was thrilled and immediately went back to her husband to tell him they would name their son Nosmo and he agreed. Several weeks later she was driving past the same building and this time the huge doors were closed and to her horror now read “NO SMOKING”.

Many of us perhaps grow up not liking the name chosen by our parents. Some of us carry scars from the names we have been called at school. Others of us are dated by the old fashioned names now not used by the younger generation. Scripture has a lot to say about the importance of names and often records God himself changing a name. Some of the name changing has great significance for God’s purposes and the new name reflects what the recipient is to become not what he/ she is at the present. One of my favourite stories of the Old Testament is found in Judges where we read of Gideon. Our first impression of Gideon is of a nervous, indecisive probably cowardly figure, but much to our surprise we read of the mighty title bestowed on him from above.

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12)

Gideon was anything but a mighty warrior at that time, but when he finally accepts that the Lord is on his side he grows to fulfill that lofty name. It was God’s chosen name for him. (Whole story worth reading in Judges 6 and 7)

The other well-known name changing is found in the New Testament. Jesus changes Simon’s name, his disciple, to the name Peter.

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Peter (Cephas) means rock. When we first meet Peter he is nothing rock like. He appears to speak without thinking. He is impulsive, (jumping out of the boat), acts again without thinking of consequences (cutting off ear of servant), but God’s chosen name for him comes into fruition when we read of this solid rock of a person fulfilling his name and boldly proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ after the resurrection.image

Jesus the Good Shepherd knows each one of us by name. Some of us need to listen carefully to hear his chosen name for us.   When we may be facing a daunting task, we will hear him rename us, “Courageous One” and we know with his help we will fulfill that name. When circumstances have weakened us and we can no longer go on we will hear, “Strong and Firm One” knowing it will be his strength that will carry us through. When sorrow over-burdens us and darkens everything around us we will hear, “Filled with Light” as our name and know the darkness will disappear. We may be filled with doubt and have lots of unanswered questions, but this beautiful name will spur us on, “Faithful One” and we know the doubts will disappear as we trust the Lord.

image The beautiful promise for all who love the Lord is found in Revelation where we read of the ultimate new name we will have;

“….I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which is coming down from heaven from my God, and I will also write on him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12)


  1. Beautiful Jo! I thank the Lord constantly for giving me the courage to do what I had to do. I did not have the strength to do it alone. He certainly clothed me and saved me and watches over me.I truely feel his presence.
    Much love Jennifer


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