When I studied history I learned about some tribes in Africa in which child-naming was a big event on the calendar. There were special people in tribe that were responsible for child naming. The child would cry and cry as these people shouted out different names, but when the right name was shouted out they would stop crying. Then they would know the baby had accepted the name. Sometimes this would go on for weeks, so it was a relief when they got it right.
Nowadays, with the influence from the west, it`s different. People are naming their children after celebrities or events. Recently Obama jetted into Kenya with Air Force One, and now there are some children called Obama Air-force-one. Others even name their children with a whole sentence. There is a Kenyan celebrity who named his two children ‘Keep It Real’ and ‘I Am Blessed’.
No matter what your name is the Lord knows you by that name, and it`s written in the book of life, if you`re a Christian. Some people struggle with the fact their bosses don`t even address them by name, because we feel important, valued and singled out when someone calls us by name. In the early days in Kenya girls wouldn’t disclose their name to just any guy who approached them. So for a guy to get a lady`s name was considered a triumph, and it indicated step one of a lady trusting him and a birth of a friendship.
It`s so amazing and affirming to know that the Lord address us by name. It shows how important we are to Him. He doesn`t address us as just part of the crowd. ‘When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus” (Luke 19:5). It doesn`t matter if you feel unworthy or you`re in a mess. He will still call you by name, because you matter to Him.
‘Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!"’ (Luke 8:58). I`m so pleased that Jesus mentioned Abraham. That`s how well He knew him. Even in his absence He referred to Him. But the way He mentioned Abraham is the same way He mentions our name when interceding for us before the Father. How do you feel when people of great influence mention your name? The other day Peter Horrobin, the founder of Ellel Ministries was teaching and he mentioned my name. How did it make me feel? You could see the glow on my face.
What if you saw the queen had tattooed your name on her palm? In the Bible God says ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’ (Isaiah 49:16). What`s your name? Say it out loud and say, "I love my name … It’s engraved on God`s palm". If you could see all the names that appear on His palm, you’d see your name is one of them.
So let`s live a holy life, so our names won`t be blotted out from the book of life. ‘The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book’ (Exodus 32:33). ‘The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels’ (Revelation 3:6).
Bring the names of your loved ones who aren’t Christian before the Lord, and pray for their salvation. And let’s always greet people by name.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for my name. I speak a blessing over it, and I thank You that You know me so well. Help me to know myself as You know me. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.