Don’t you just love it when a baby is born? It is as if the Lord speaks in an audible voice saying “Life should continue.” A friend of mine from Ghana just had her fourth baby. It’s a girl! I cannot wait to take her cute pink things and hold that precious one. I am also very eager to learn what they name her.
In the United States, we name our children something we like or possibly a family name. My friend and her husband create names that hold great meaning. Their children’s names are more than just names, they make a proclamation. Their first child’s name is Jivatt and it means Jesus Is Victorious All The Time. Their second child’s name is Jeneff and it means Jesus Never Fails. Their third child’s name is Jeswin and it means Jesus Wins. You can see why I am eagerly anticipating this child’s name. I know it won’t be just a name, but it will be a name with meaning.
In Biblical times, names carried meaning to them. In Genesis 17:5, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham because it meant father of many nations. In Genesis 16:11 Hagar was told to name her son Ishmael “for the LORD has heard of your misery.” In Genesis 32:8, God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. 1 Samuel 25:25 tells of a man named Nabal, which meant fool and he was one. I wouldn’t recommend that name to you if you’re pregnant.
People were also known by their father’s name, which is where we get our surnames. Luke 3:22-38 traces the genealogy of Christ back to God with each person in the line being declared “the son of” followed by their father’s name. It is how they were known. They took their father’s name.
When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we take on His name. We are referred to by the world as Christians or Christ ones because we are in His family [Acts 11:26]. He refers to us as His children in John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; and 1 John 3:10. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 He refers to us as those “called by my name.” When we come into a personal relationship with Christ, we carry His name and we represent Him wherever we go and whatever we do.
I’ve told the students at FCA for the past four years, wherever you go and whatever you do, you are a witness for Christ. You can choose to be a good witness or a bad witness, but you are always a witness. How about you? What kind of a witness are you? Do you make your Father’s name proud or do you try and hide who you are like Peter did [Luke 22:57].
Wear your Father’s name proudly and represent Him with the honor and glory He is due. Saying you’re a Christian isn’t just a religious preference. It means something. Show the world what it means to be in the family of Christ.