What’s in a Name?

Scripture: Genesis 17

Very often the first thing you learn about someone is their name. And we can form judgments about people very quickly. Over time those judgments accumulate, so the first piece of information is especially important. It can lead you in a positive direction or a negative direction. If you knew someone named Mark who was unfriendly or not trustworthy, you naturally apply that opinion to new people you meet with that same name. Cindi and I had the hardest time with baby names. Even if we like a particular name – people with that same name changed our feelings.

This morning, as we continue our origins series in Genesis: the book of beginnings, we will see that God gave Abram and Sarai new names and a new sign of His promised covenant. God not only knows your name, but He knows exactly who you are. Your true identity related to Him is what matters most.

God’s Name: El Shaddai – God Almighty

Abram’s New Name: Abraham – Father of Multitudes

Sarai’s New Name: Sarah – Princess

Your New Name (as a believer): Righteous

“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

God calls me His child and He sees me righteous or forgiven.

Do you know God at this personal level? Have you called out to Him and accepted what Christ has done on your behalf? He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine. When we accept that gift of salvation God adopts you into His family and He calls you His son or daughter and we can call Him Abba or Daddy.

If you have already trusted Jesus as your Savior, do you see yourself as God does? Have you accepted your new name, your identity in Jesus Christ? You are forgiven. You are accepted. You are no longer enemies with God. And it is all because of what Jesus did for you, not your own attempts.

“to put off your old self, your former manner of life”  Ephesians 4:22 ESV

Have you cut out the sin from your heart? Have you humbled yourself to remove the pride and stubbornness from your life? God calls us to walk before Him and be blameless as He called Abraham.

Take a step of faith in the right direction today.