Isaiah 62:2b-3 – You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (NIV)
The week before Christmas, one of my sons dropped by to make some adjustments to my computer. It was a quick visit without much conversation. But on his way out, he turned around and said to me, "There were three terrorist attacks today, Mom: one in Berlin, one in Zurich, one in Ankara. So much hatred." We looked at each other. His eyes were serious. I am sure that mine were bewildered.
I went to my computer to search for details. The random attack at the Christmas market in Berlin became my main focus. A truck had barged its way into the decorated booths, killing twelve unsuspecting shoppers and injuring fifty-six. The driver of the truck escaped. After some confusion, his identity was confirmed, with the telling detail that he was known to police. Would that mean that he would be found quickly, or was he a seasoned criminal who knew how to escape detection? I was not sure, but in a few days, he was located in Italy, and killed by police.
His death shocked me. Suddenly, he was not dealing with the police anymore, but with the King whose unique birth had been the focus of the celebratory market in Berlin. Being known to police led to his capture and physical death, but facing the Judge Who fully knows his motives and actions may mean his eternal death.
But facing this Judge awaits each of us! Thankfully, those who follow Jesus do not have to fear an exposure of their hidden sins, such as intentional gossip, gnawing envy, or lustful thoughts. The penalty for their evil deeds and thoughts has been paid by the atoning death of their Lord Jesus. Already during their life on earth they will receive a new identity, and upon entrance into eternity they will receive a crown of glory. As proof of their new identity they will be known to the Lord by a new name, such as "Loved by God" (Romans 1:7 NIV) or "Received mercy" (1 Peter 2:10 NIV), and the remembrance of their sins will be wiped away.
Hebrews 8:12 – For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (NIV)
God's people can enter the kingdom with the innocence and trust of a child. Children do not worry about paying their parents for gifts that they receive from them. Rather, children are absorbed by the glory of the gift, and look up to their parents with a big smile on their face.
The blessings of being known to God as His child abound. Fear of punishment will be replaced with gratitude for being forgiven. As confident sons and daughters of the Lord, we will speak freely about His grace. We will shine in this dark world like a crown of beauty held securely in the hand of our Lord.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, we thank You that we no longer have to fear Your judgment, but that we are known to You as honourable sons and daughters. We humbly ask You for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit as we learn to walk in Your ways. We pray this in the name of Jesus, our Saviour. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Here O My Lord" (Lyrics)