Thursday, February 14, 2013

What’s in a Name?

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.  –Exodus 3:13, 14 (KJV)

Several years ago there was an elderly lady in our church who has since passed away.  I recall visiting in her home one day when she introduced me to a stray cat she had taken in a couple of weeks earlier.  This was a large male, sort of a garden variety cat, with a most mean disposition.  I have always thought myself to have a way with cats and dogs and even standoffish ones will eventually warm up to me, but not this one.  He would have nothing to do with me and actually hissed at me and tried to scratch men when I attempted to pet him.  His new owner laughed and said, “Don’t worry, Brother Dan.  He doesn’t like anyone except me.”  This was true, for she was the only person the cat would allow to handle him.  I asked what name she had given her new pet.  “Oh, I just call him ‘Cat.’” she replied.

Every time I think of this story it makes me smile.  I wanted her to give the cat a name, for even the lowliest of pets deserves a name, yet she apparently thought Cat was as good a name as any.  Consider how all of us have been endowed with a name, yet even our one name can take on different forms.  For example, to the federal government I am Daniel, although they actually know me by my Social Security Number.  To my church and friends I am Dan, Pastor Dan, Preacher Dan, or Brother Dan.  To some family members I am known as Danny.  All different names, yet each one is a reference to the same person.

According to God’s Word, the Lord has names He has given with which we can refer to Him.  We utter the sacred names of God in worship, prayer, praise, and adoration.  In the Old Testament He is God, Yahweh, God Almighty, the Most High, and the Great I Am.  In the New Testament He is Jesus Christ, Immanuel, the Son of God, the Son of Man, Savior, Redeemer, the Great Physician, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  After the resurrection of Christ came the Day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit of God came to dwell in and among mankind for all time.  He is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, and Counselor.  They are all one, manifestations and revelations of the same God – the three are One.

Consider also that you have a name, and God knows who you are.  You are by no means a face in the crowd, for the Lord knows you and desires to know you even better on a personal basis.  You are indeed a unique individual of immeasurable worth and potential to God.  Do not despair during the hard times and do not give up, for the Lord has a wonderful plan for your life.  Follow Him in faith, keep looking up.  Be of good cheer and be encouraged.

God bless you today.