By Name

July 2, 2011
by Mary Lou Tompkins

Exodus 33:17 – And the Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." (NIV)

While on the PCCWeb Daily Devotional tour of central Europe and the Oberammergau Passion Play at this time last year, we purchased a "Heidi" doll for our younger granddaughter, Caraline, and a "no name" (but wearing the traditional folk dress of Switzerland) one for Alaura. When they received the dolls, they were excited, but it wasn't long before Alaura wondered what her doll's name was. As the girls were to be going with us to our "big white trailer", as they call our fifth-wheel summer home, I bought a copy of the book Heidi to read to them during their holiday. What a pleasant time we had sharing such a wholesome story and chatting about the qualities of the various characters and the many fundamental Christian principles with these two special little girls. Before we had even finished reading the book, Alaura proclaimed that her doll must be called "Clara"! Indeed, I agreed, she really could be. To Alaura, naming her doll gave the doll the personality and characteristics of Clara in the book.

When I think of the difference it made to Alaura to know that her doll had a name, I can't help but think of the difference it makes to us to know that we are not unknown to our Lord, but that He knows each one of us by name. And how much more wonderful it is to know, when we receive Christ as our Saviour, that our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life!

As important as it is for us to know that God knows us by name, how much more important it is for us to know the name of the Lord, our God! For example, "Jesus" means "Saviour". Before Jesus was born, Joseph was told, "You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 NIV) Indeed, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has come so that when we believe His name and confess our sins, we might have life everlasting!

As I ponder these thoughts, a familiar chorus pops into my head:

    There is strength in the name of the Lord!
    There is power in the name of the Lord!
    There is hope in the name of the Lord!
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
      – Sandi Patti

One of my favourite Scriptures is about the power in Jesus' name:

Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)

There is power in the name of the Lord! We should never take it upon our lips lightly. Praise His name!

Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we come before You, praising Your name. Thank You, Lord, that You know us each by name and that You care so much about each of us that You sent Jesus to save us from our sins and bring us back to You. You are a great God and greatly to be praised! Amen.

About the author:

Mary Lou Tompkins <bmltompkins@hotmail.com>
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

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