Fresh Hope – 20th July 2018

A name is a powerful thing. There is nothing quite as attention grabbing as calling someone by his or her name. Learning another person’s name is step one to forming a relationship and connection. A name is personal, intimate, and deeply linked with one’s identity.

Before a parent gives their child their first birthday present, a Christmas gift, a piece of advice, a home to live in or food to eat, the first thing given to them is a name. In many cultures, names hold prophetic significance, so as a person is called, so they will be. Names provide identity and words have power – that is why namecalling can be so destructive when it is done to harm. People begin to label themselves with the names spoken over them and thus form an identity and self-worth based from that name.

Jesus knew the power of a name so much so that he even changed people’s names! Look at Simon. Jesus renamed Simon, ‘Peter’. ‘Peter’ means ‘rock’, and he was to be the rock of Jesus’ Church (Matthew 16:18). Peter in fact was anything but a rock! He was so unstable and weak. But despite his failings, Jesus continued to trust him to fulfil the calling of his name as He constantly spoke the name of ‘Peter’ over him.

In Isaiah 43:1 God himself says to you, ‘I have called you by name’. This doesn’t just mean that He knows your name, there is greater meaning. For the Hebrew people (the context in which this scripture was written), a name said a lot about who a person was. It would tell you a lot about their presence as a person. Therefore to call someone by name was to actually be seeking their presence as a person. So when God is calling you by name, as scripture says, He isn’t just calling your name because He knows it, He is calling YOU because He wants you as a person.

Today God is grabbing your attention. He is getting personal. The maker of the universe is using your name, and it isn’t just calling your name so you can do something, it is because He is calling YOU as a person and all that you entail. He wants your company.

Perhaps the names and words spoken over your life and identity aren’t actually the names and words that God speaks over your life. Ask God to show you how HE sees you. Tune in to the God calling you by name.  

Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.