“Names”

As we go through life with a birth name, we also take on many more names to describe our functions, duties, jobs, obligations and pleasures. Some of these names we adopt and others are conferred on us by society. If we were to use the metaphor of hat for these names, we might have to build an extra closet in which to store them. Just a few of the names we have at home are: wife, husband, parent, provider, counselor, nurse, teacher, mechanic, etc, etc. At work and in our culture we have many others names: employee,
boss, salesman, consumer, lawyer, doctor and many others. Of course each “hat” could be sub-divided into “sizes” and “colors.” Parent into teacher, role-model and counselor comes to mind. The cliché “he wears many hats” also applies here.

In our spiritual walk we also have many names once we are united with Christ in our death and rebirth. (Rom 6:3-6) (2 Cor 5:17) We are called servants, (Col 1:23) (2 Ti 2:24) friends, (Jo 15:14-15) ambassadors, (2 Cor 5:20) Christians, (Acts 11:26) priests, (1 Pe 2:5 & 9) children, (Rom 8:24 &16) (1 Jo 3:1) and heirs (Gal 4:7)
(Rom 8:17) There are more “hats” to wear but any one of these would be a wonderful blessing. However, we get to wear them all simultaneously!

There is one more name we will be given—the one on the white stone. (Rev 2:17) There is much speculation about its meaning. Some commentators believe it may be JESUS, Christian or “an unknown name that will be revealed in heaven.” (Roper) Since most of us have had the same given name since birth, it seems strange to think we will be given a new and different name. Our precious God will still know us as intimately as He did when He formed us in the womb. (Jer 1:5) “What’s in a name?”

—Jim Bailey