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ODB: What’s In A Name?

April 3, 2014


We honor God’s name when we call Him our Father and live like His children. 

READ: John 1:35-42 

You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church. —Matthew 16:18 

My friend wrote a letter to his newborn child that he wanted him to read when he was older: “My dear boy, Daddy and Mummy wish that you will find and stay focused on the Light. Your Chinese name is xin xuan. Xin means faithfulness, contentment, and integrity; xuan stands for warmth and light.” He and his wife carefully chose a name based on their hopes for their baby boy.

When Jesus renamed Simon as Peter/Cephas (John 1:42), it wasn’t a random choice. Peter means “the rock.” But it took a while for him to live up to his new name. The account of his life reveals him as a fisherman known for his rash ways—a shifting-sand kind of guy. Peter disagreed with Jesus (Matt. 16:22-23), struck a man with a sword (John 18:10-11), and even denied knowing Jesus (John 18:15-27). But in Acts, we read that God worked in and through him to establish His church. Peter truly became a rock.

If you, like Peter, are a follower of Jesus, you have a new identity. In Acts 11:26, we read, “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” The name “Christians” means “Christ-ones.” You now are one of the Christ-ones. This title lifts up who you are and calls you to become what you are not yet. God is faithful, and He will complete His good work in you (Phil. 1:6).

— Poh Fang chia

Dear Father, thank You for the incredible privilege
of being called Your child. May we understand
more fully what it means to be identified with Your
Son, Jesus Christ. Work in us and through us.

Source: Our Daily Bread