Do you have nickname? Whenever my brother calls me on the phone I greet him with a hearty “Bro-Shocka”. It used to be “Bro-Saka” and before that “Bro-Sef”. So what’s in a name? For my brother and I the nicknames we pin each other is our simple way of attesting to and affirming our affinity and love for each other, similar to the way a husband and a wife give each other pet names, but what about in the context of God?
We find several times in the Bible that God alters or changes the names of people. In our small group study we have been focusing on the life of Abraham and Sarah. This Old Testament couple both started out with different names, Abram and Sarai respectively. Likewise, in the New Testament we see the individuals named Simon and Saul renamed to the more familiar names of Peter and Paul. The Bible records many name changes and the ones mentioned here are just few examples.
But why the change? It seems to me that in each instance above God was doing something in the lives of the individuals affected. With Abraham and Sarai God was establishing them as the parents of the His chosen people, and similarly in the examples of Peter and Paul, God was affecting change in their lives by establishing both as the primary leaders of the early church.
So what’s the take-away? For me it made me start thinking about who I am in Christ. It made me think, “Well God has been affecting change in my life, so hey where is my cool name change?” Then it hit me.
Forgiven, Redeemed, Reconciled, Adopted, Loved, Chosen, Elected, Protected, Sheltered, Disciple, Bond-servant …..
One of my favorites is found 1 John 3:1.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (ESV)
It amazes me still that God showed His love for us by becoming one of us and submitting His guiltless life into the hands of those who would execute Him so that we might be greatly loved and additionally, greatly named. Thank you Jesus!
What are some of your nicknames?
Peace and Grace.