What’s In A Name?

March 8, 2012

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Naming a child can be a much discussed and debated topic among parents.

The names we chose for our boys took a lot of time and thought to come up with. We settled on names which reflected “Gentle Strength” and “Bears Christ with Joy.” Amazingly, the boys “are becoming their names. One is an athletic, yet soft hearted feeler. The other is our happy go lucky, never have a bad day son.

Naming your child can almost feel like a prophetic exercise as you see them “grow” into their names.

I recently had the privilege to preside over a Nigerian couple’s baby naming ceremony here in South Africa. In many parts of Nigeria it is custom to hold this ceremony 8 days afer a child is born to announce the name of the child. A name in Nigeria carries much significance for the child. Everytime his or her name is mentioned, the destiny of the child is proclaimed. This little boy I dedicated actually has 9 names! That’s a lot of proclamation!

baby dedication

This morning, I read my Bible and came across Psalm 54. In verse one, David expresses his need for God to be his deliverer and vindicator.

“O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might.”

It hit me. David expressed his trust in God by reminding Him of His Name. He did not even specify which name, just declared that the Name of the Lord would save Him.

My little Nigerian friend may have 9 names, but God has hundreds! David needed a rescuer in a time of trouble. He cried out to God through the declaration of His name.

In other situations or scenarios, the name of God can be the answer to what we hope for and what we need.

Our Redeemer.

Your Comforter.

My Rock that is Faithful and True.

Friend, Counselor, Peace, Mighty,……..

Our children often “become” what we proclaim daily over them when we use their names. We pick names which represent attributes and character we hope to see in our children someday.

Why not address God by His Name? God’s names also represent His nature and His attributes.

When we proclaim these truths, no magical or mystical power is released to change our situation. We merely have brought a reminder to ourself of the God we serve.

Who better to know the reminders we need than….ourselves!

“The NAME of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

What name of God do you need to “preach” to yourself today? 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God