Monday, May 07, 2007

God knows you by name!

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: 1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3 (NIV)

I Chronicles 2:1 (NIV)
These were the sons of [Jacob] Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

Philippians 4:3 (NIV)
3 Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the Gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Revelation 3:5 (NIV)
5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and His angels.

Good morning!

Do you like your name? A name is one of the most important things we select for our children. It is a permanent identifier – a recognition tool. Throughout history, people were identified by the family unit in which they live, and were recognized by who their parents, brothers and sisters were. Jeff and I found it challenging to select a name that would follow our children for their entire lives. We took the task seriously, and sought the Lord in naming each of them. The name Rachel means little lamb of God. Benjamin is the son of our right hand. And the name David means beloved son. From the time we discovered we were expecting until that miraculous moment when we held our baby for the very first time, we wondered about what we should name them. We knew that God had called this little life into being – that He had a greater plan for our child to be than we could possibly begin to comprehend or understand. We wanted to get their name right, not just for our child’s sake, but because we knew this baby was a gift from above and deserved a name that the Lord would want them to have.

It is a blessing every Sunday when people call me by my name. During the greeting time when I shake hands with my Faith family that I have come to know and love, there is nothing better than hearing someone say, “Hi Deb. It’s great to see you today.” They know my name! They know who I am and whose I am. Most people know that my husband is one of the pastors at Faith Church. They know that my mother-in-law and father-in-law sit near the front row of the sanctuary every Sunday, so they can see and hear their son as he preaches the Word of God. When my mother spends the weekend with me and I take her to church on Sunday morning, our church people greet her by name. We are known and identified by who our family is. That may be a good or not-so-good thing. More than anything else, I want people to identify me as a child of the living God, born again through the blood of my Savior. When people look at me and say my name, I want them to see Jesus Christ living in me. It is His blood that makes me a part of the forever family of God.

There are moments when I wish the Lord did not know my name, especially when I’ve messed up or said something I instantly regret. Sometimes I tarnish the name of my family because of things I say or do, and I wonder how that makes my “kin” feel. There are moments when I tarnish the good name of the Lord, especially when I show lack of respect for who He is; when I refuse to obey His instruction manual. I confess there have been times when I should have bit my tongue instead of letting it run like wildfire in hateful spurts of emotional madness. Have you ever said something that you instantly regret? Have you ever spoken ill of someone in your family, whether it be someone in your biological family, or someone in your church family? What does it feel like to have someone speak ill words about you?

I heard someone say in church this weekend that “we don’t get to pick our kin.” Families are about as diverse as they can be. Every person has a unique and distinct finger print. We may not look alike, act alike, or think alike, and yet, through the blood, we are all kin, whether we like it or not. I don’t know of a perfect family out there, and yet, I can tell you that my family is so perfect for me. We agree to disagree on many things and sometimes we have a hard time letting go of the scars we leave imprinted on each other’s lives. I have found that blood is thicker than water, and even though I may spar with my family from time to time, if you come after them, this sister is going to rise up and defend her family.

Through Jesus Christ, we are all family through His blood. We are an extraordinarily diverse group of people. Each and every one of us brings a unique and special gift mix to the group. My spirit senses there is a little sibling rivalry going on today within the body of Christ. Blood is thicker than water, and my friends, we need to start acting like the family God created us to be. We are better together and through Jesus Christ, we can spread His love and salvation message around the world.

God knows you by name. He knows your heart. He understands the motives behind everything you say and do. God created you with a purpose and plan. Are you living for Him today? Are you happy to know that He knows who you are, or would you prefer to hide out, avoiding having to look Him in the face? My prayer for you today is that you will find out who you are, whose you are in Christ, and just how precious you are to Him.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: your name to be found in the Lamb’s book of life. Oh yes, God knows you by name. He knows who you are and He invites you today, to come home to your family, who loves you so very much. It is just not the same without you. Blood is thicker than water, and the blood of Christ can change even the hardest heart. You are always welcome in the family of God. Won’t you ask Jesus to come into your heart today?
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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