Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Crown Him With Many Crowns"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 113:2 – Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. (NIV 2011)
Nutricia — that's one name that I'll never forget! It was given to a baby girl. Her mother got it from a label on a tin can. She liked the name, so called her daughter by that name. Nutricia was a brand name for milk supplements. In truth, it was fitting for this baby. After all, she was born in a remote tribe in South America, where most of the babies died at birth due to dreadful health conditions — before the missionaries arrived.
It's been 40 years since I visited Nutricia's village, and it's taken me that long to see her name in a new light. I no longer snicker at that choice of name. Now, I imagine how the name could command respect and awe: For the rest of Nutricia's life, whenever her name would be spoken, it would suggest the products that helped to save her and her people from starvation, disease, and death, restoring hope and life and promise of a future. By bearing that name, Nutricia would proclaim the company that made the products. Her life example would prove the name to be associated with health and wellness. She would ascribe honour and a good reputation to that company — in other words, a good name. Nutricia. What a name! It's far more than just a word on a tin can.
This all gets me thinking about the name which we as God's children receive when we are birthed by the Spirit into the kingdom of the Father, "from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name" (Ephesians 3:15 NIV 2011). The name of the Lord is more than a mere word. It's His "good name" — His reputation. It's about the power, authority, and grace of our glorious Lord. It's about all that He is and does. In embracing His name, we proclaim the One and only name (authority) which can rescue us from the tragic effects of sin and spiritual death and, in turn, give us the abundant gifts of grace and a future eternal hope through the Son.
"I will hope in your name, for your name is good." (Psalm 52:9b NIV 2011). Blessed be the name of our Lord! What a name! It surely commands respect and awe — our worship. "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name." (Hebrews 13:15 NIV 2011)
Indeed, let us aim to give God a good name (reputation) through our lives. Why would we not aim to reflect His nature as truthfully as we can through our words, passions, choices, and habits? Surely, we wish to always reflect His purity and holiness: "Hallowed be Thy name". How can we stop overflowing with gratitude in response to all that He does?
Prayer: Lord, empower us to love Your name with such passion that we will not be ashamed to bear it, even amidst the sounds of mockery. Rather, may we, by Your power, continue to praise You, being grateful to bear that name. Amen.