I had a sense of pride about it. I felt that it made me special…having four names. If you asked me I would tell you proudly, “My name is Patricia Anne with an e, Patricia Anne Pat Batley.” I thought I was so special because I had more names than anyone else. I had four names. I didn’t realize Pat was a nickname and almost everyone has a nickname, they just didn’t wear it as proudly as I did mine. Then when I started school, I could never decide what I wanted to be called so every year I rotated it; Pat one year and Patricia the next. I’m still known by both. Patricia is a fancy name, not nearly as fancy as Victoria or Elisabeth, but Pat really fits me better.
Now my list of names is longer and far more precious than the name my parents gave me. Wayne, my precious sweetheart, calls me Baby. Kimberly and Jason call me Mama. And those Grandbabies, that I never ever get tired of talking about, call me Nana. Nana is a very precious name when it’s used by any of them.
My Grandchildren love me, but they “really” love their Papa. When Brayden was learning to talk I offered him a banana. He said, “No, Papa. I pointed at a banana and repeated, “Brayden, its a banana…do you want a banana? He reached for the banana—no, papa. Brayden, you really know how to hurt your Nana!
I know names are important and through the years I’ve really tried to remember them. Sometimes I have messed up royally. Once two boys visited my children’s church the same day. One was Snapper and the other was Kevin. One boy and his family came back and began to attend our church. I was so proud of myself for remembering the quiet, adorable little guys name, so I used it often. “Good Morning, Snapper. So nice to see you, Snapper.”
For two months I used and perhaps, overused his name, until one day, two months later by the way, his mom corrected me. “His name is Kevin.” All I could think about was all those times I had called that poor child Snapper. Imagine what he must have been thinking? And why would anyone name their child Snapper. I won’t go there, but I’ve heard worse.
Names are important. Some are family names and we pass them down, even though some sound old and mildewy. Some come from weird places and sound just as weird. Some names are chosen because they are rich with meaning and a parent wants them to be like their name. I guess every parent has a reason.
God has lots of names. Each of which reveals and describes who He is accurately. He shares and reveals and uncovers each name like we open a beautifully wrapped present so we can glimpse another facet of who He is and what He is like.
God shared a special revelation with Isaiah about a special baby that would be born, even going into details about His name. He gave adjectives that described His nature that we would use as proper nouns. Rich, pregnant words that describe His nature, His personality and some of His attributes.
Isaiah 9:6 nlt “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” More than a mindless nickname; titles that describe His nature. Attributes that can be accessed and enjoyed by believers.
Matthew 1:23 nlt “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).” This is the most amazing title of them all—Immanuel—God with us. God is so big and yet He wants to live with us. In spite of our finiteness. Amazing! Only God would think of that! As I reflect on all that that means I must respond in praise. I must respond in awe to the beauty of Who He is and Who He wants to become in my life.
His name is powerful. There’s healing in His name. There’s victory in His name. At His name every knee will bow. Man’s rebellious cursing and blaspheming His name doesn’t dent it or void it of its power. His name is above every name. His name is the only name that can save us from our sins. His name is Jesus. Immanuel. Savior. Healer. Lover of my soul!
I wear His name when I’m called a Christian. I bear His name when I follow His commands. I reflect His name when I love the unloveable. I speak His name instead of fear. I whisper His name in worship. I worship His name in deep adoration. I bow to His name in surrender. That name that is above every name!
Thank you God for sending Jesus. For giving us the opportunity to know you and walk with you and to enjoy your presence. Your presence brings peace. It brings the influence of all you are into our lives. Let us live our lives under the influence of your peace, your joy, your love. Reflecting your nature, your name into our circumstances, into our homes and neighborhoods, so that Jesus will be exalted and glorified in our lives! Let your name be magnified everywhere I go!
I’d love to hear from you. What does His name mean to you.
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