What’s in a Name?

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.

Tony

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8 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Tony,
    Nicely written…

    When I was a kid everyone called me Moose, not because I was big but because on a family vacation we had seen a real moose and I thought it was cool and wanted to be one (keep in mind I was really young at the time). Around the time I was in junior high school the name Moose didn’t really fit anymore but there are still people who think of me as Moose to this day.

    Now, I have the honor of being called Grandpa which is a great responsibility, I have to teach these little ones how to do things like put there hands to their heads like moose antlers and say ‘Hey Rocky’ because nobody else will teach them this important stuff (for those of you who don’t remember Rocky and Bullwinkle check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7mmrF-4rUE). At one and a half my first grandson started to imitate me by putting his hands to his head; he will also see me reading the Bible and Praying and with God’s help I hope he will do those things as well.

    So with a name comes honor and responsibility.
    -jim

  2. Mike,

    The bro nicknames are interchangeable for us. Just depends on who is calling who. Back in the day my friends used to call me “Tony B”, then “B”, then “B-ster”. I also did a little community college radio and I went by “Tony the B-man”. My favorite nickname was from my Dad who has gone on. We used to play the card game cribbage and the official name for the players of the game is “pone”, short for opponent. My Dad started calling Pone shortly after we took up playing. It was one of those cool names that nobody but us got.

    You have a nickname?

    Tony

  3. Jim,

    Well said man. Hopefully we will all be able to honor the ultimate name giver. It must pretty cool being a Grandpa. May God continue to bless you and strengthen you in that role! And feel free to lean on your friends here if you need help, prayer, or encouragement.

    Tony

  4. Bro-anerges,

    Cool blog baby. I think we were being Biblical before being Biblical was cool. I am glad we are honoring a tradition that both our Heavenly and Earthly Father has passed on to us. I also think the tone and excitment we use when we speak to each other tells alot. Thanks for the insite on the “pone” nickname, I always thought it just ryhmed with you name. I am very happy to be called a “Child of God” I love what Jesus tells us in Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” How true this is! Sounds like another Blog or topic for the study group. I love you bro!

  5. Your awesome my love!!! Your nicknames that your brother and you share are such a testiment to the love that the two off you share. Now the nicknames that my brother and I use for eachother noone would ever know by hearing them that there is a special love that my brother and I have for eachother 🙂
    I love you Pumpkin opps I gave one of our nicknames out.
    Jenny

  6. I have never read these all the way back here:-(
    I like this one. Especially since I got my own nickname for ya now:-)

  7. This one is my favorite entry..Out of the three or so that I’ve read. lol I’ve had many nicknames, currently the most widely used is Rissa, but over the years, I’ve had Marissa-Navidad, Riss, Pooter (my mom), and George. *Back story* When I was in middle school my guy friends said that if I had been a guy, that I looked like my name would be George and it stuck. It is the greatest privilege to be named a child of God, much better than if my name was changed to Mariah or something of that nature. Great one Dad =)

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