What’s In a Name?

Names…they can mean a lot.

My parents–who had to come up with a LOT of names (I’m one of 13 kids)–always tried to name us after Biblical characters. They took the names seriously.

My name–David Matthew Joseph Johnson (‘Joseph’ was my Confirmation name) means “Beloved, Gift of God, Increasing Faith, God is Gracious”.

Now that’s a mouthful! (Can you imagine my mom when angry calling me by all those names? Nope…”David Matthew!” was enough!)

I had a dream the other night about names…some lady had named her child ‘Schwan’s’ after the frozen food delivery service! (How would you like to grow up with that one?)

Yes…I have weird dreams!

It does seems that, lately, parents think more about what their kids’ names sound like, more than what they mean.

But names here on earth are not nearly as important as the name that God gives us.

He calls us all ‘My Child‘, and knows us each by name.

We are given that ‘name’ based on our Relationship with Him, through our faith in Jesus, the Son. Because of that relationship, we are adopted into the family of God.

John 1:12-13:“…to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” 

That ‘adoption’–God adopting us into His family by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ–changes everything!

It is this loving, grace-filled and life-giving relationship which motivates us to change.

We no longer try to ‘avoid sin’ out of fear or legalism, but rather, we find ourselves increasingly changed within so that we don’t want to sin–because of our love for God!

We want to love and obey Him!

It’s like the child who grows up in a loving, affirming, Biblically-balanced home–they are not those who ‘can’t wait to get out’ and live sinfully. Rather, they know that, even when the parent isn’t around, they want to honor that relationship, so they don’t do the things that would sabotage or hurt it, because that relationship is still important to them, and they know that the relationship has been based on love and is for their good!

That’s what God works in us when we become ‘Children of God’. His Spirit begins working from within–changing our hearts, motives, desires–making us more like Jesus, NOT because we ‘have to be’, but because we ‘want to be’ like Him. It is our new nature!

Romans 8:11-14: “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

This is great news! We don’t ‘have to’ sin!

We can walk with the Spirit, enjoying our relationship with the Father, through our faith in the Son, and…as a result…we realize that we don’t want to sin!

Why would we jeopardize that relationship?

It all hinges on that new relationship…the adoption into His family.

Romans 8:15-16: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

Your name, your destiny, your direction, your eternity…ALL have been changed, due to His adopting you into His family–the Family of God, through Jesus Christ.

Child of God is what you are now…that is what He calls you.

Enjoy Him. Love Him. Worship Him. Draw close to Him.

You’ll find that sin–whatever it is–suddenly has very little power over you.

You are a Child of God!

Start thinking that way, and He will change you!

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

One thought on “What’s In a Name?

  1. I love reading your posts. They are so inspiring to me. I don’t know how to leave a comment. Do I have to sign up for that site. Can you let me know if you get this. I’m in FL and my phone for email doesn’t always work.Thanksg

    Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy® Note 4.

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