What Is Your Name

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Bleak Midwinter"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 1:21 – She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (NASB)

How do we get our names? All of us have a name, usually given to us by our parents, but sometimes changed for various reasons, such as in marriage.

Why was I given my names? Vincent is my first name, but I hope my parents weren't thinking of the great painter, Vincent Van Gogh, since my artistic abilities are virtually non-existent. Charles, my middle name, makes sense because that was my father's first name. I am often challenged by the memory of his example of integrity and determination in the face of difficult challenges.

Names are often used to call a person, but they can have a different meaning simply by a change in tone. I was usually called Vince or Vincent, but when I heard my mother say in a loud voice with an emphatic tone, "Vincent Charles!" I knew that I was in trouble.

Names can be confusing when duplicated. My oldest grandson was named Michael, soon to be called Mike. Years later, two of his cousins married boys with the same name. You can imagine the confusion at family gatherings when someone called, "Mike!" While all three have the same name, I can assure you that they are all very different. Now in my later years, where I live, one of my good friends is called Mike — the same name — but again, very different.

One of today's most prominent names is "Vladimir". Probably, you immediately add "Putin" and think of the current world problems. If you are a baseball fan, however, you might also add "Junior", since Vladimir Guerrero Junior is following his father's lead as an outstanding baseball star.

The Bible has many examples of name changes. In Genesis, Abram and Sarai were renamed Abraham and Sarah, and they became the parents of many nations. Jacob was renamed Israel; fisherman Simon was renamed Cephas or Peter. Saul the persecutor used his alternate name Paul when he led the development of Christianity.

I cannot meet the challenge given to Jesus when He was given the name meaning "to save His people from their sins". But I can strive daily to walk as closely beside Him as possible, sharing His love and helping others so that when my name is spoken, others will see even a small reflection of Him.

My challenge to you is to do likewise.

Prayer: Dear Father, we thank You for our names and the opportunity to strive daily to make our actions reflect the example of Jesus as closely as possible. We are grateful that He fulfilled the challenge given at His birth. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Inspiring words, Vince.

    Great challenge for us all, Vincent. God bless!

    Good morning, Vince, Vincent Charles!
    GREAT devotion. Thanks so much.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Thanks for your devotion today. May your Christmas season be one full of God’s blessings!

    Vincent, thank you for this wonderful devotional that made me stop to rejoice and contemplate on the Name that is above all names! King of Kings, and Lord of lords.

    How about the name ” Mr. Walter”?!
    Thanks for your devotional today and your example of faithfulness and serving – I hope I can do the same.

    Thanks, Vince, for another interesting devotional and the advice in your closing prayer. Yes, it is important that when people hear our name mentioned, it is better that they can compare it to actions our Lord would do, rather than to wrongful actions. Blessings for your writings.

    Good Morning, Vincent,
    It is amazing to me how the gifted contributors to the Presbyterian Canada devotional originate their ideas. How simple…the name concept…but no one else thought of it but you and it rings so true.
    Thank you, Vincent.

    Good morning, Vincent, Thank you so much for your devotional. Right beside me at the computer I have a card with my name on it saying, ‘She reaches forth her hands to the needy.” Prov 31:20 What a challenge. I do try, but??? then at the bottom of the card it says “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches ” Proverbs 22:1. So much to try to fulfill, so much to be grateful for!!! Thank you so much for all of the devotionals you share with us all.

    Hi Vince,
    My mom did the same thing with our full name when there was a problem. Sometimes she went down the list until she got the right one. So funny.
    It is interesting to know why we were given our names. I am sure you remember putting a lot of thought into choosing your children’s names. We have the same situation with “Dave” that you have with Mike and they appear on both sides of the family. It adds to the fun.
    It would be lovely if we all reflected a little bit of Jesus to the people we interact with every day. Thanks for sharing and many blessings to Vincent Charles Walter.

    Thank you, Vincent. I loved it when I went to Israel and found places named “Sharon.”

    Hello Vince
    Thank you for this devotional and I enjoyed your info also. I, too, can identify with the tone of voice of my mom that would let me know I was in trouble.
    I am truly thankful for the name God has for us. ”My child.”
    Have a great weekend coming up. May God continue to use you to show His light and love to others.

    Dear Mr. Walter,
    I very much look forward to your devotionals and get quite excited when one arrives in my inbox. Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. You are making a wonderful contribution to my spiritual wellness!

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