This year (2020) every member of our church was given the book Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith, either in book form or online. It was part of an encouragement for all of us to pray more this year. Who knew what challenges we would have so early in the year? Honestly, I’m not big on devotional books. I tend to walk away from them feeling frustrated. But that is me. They are helpful to many. I’m certainly not going to try to ban them or anything.
I will recommend this one. Yes, I’m smiling. Who knew this old dog could learn a new trick? It has been a helpful way for Ron and me to connect in these days of schedules that are upside down and crazy when it comes to getting to bed. This past month our nights have been very weird. But we have often been finding this book as a way to connect with each other and together with GOD in prayer. The topics for prayer are varied. But they are surprisingly right where we live.
This book has been stimulating my thinking in new directions including how I pray.
Although this didn’t come from the book directly, the Scripture did and it started my mind thinking about a topic that relates to our Monday theme. It has to do with the names we are called. Not our given names, but the names we are given like, lazy, boring, good-for-nothing, etc. Maybe they came from an unhappy parent, a mean teacher, a spouse who wasn’t paying attention to who you were or a boss who was disconnected from his employees.Imagine the new name you have been given by GOD. My Delight, Fruitful, Loved and Accepted, Adored, Gracious, Beloved Daughter, Forgiven, Guilt-Free, Embraced... Click To Tweet
It doesn’t make any difference who it was really. The fact is, that name has stuck in your head. You hear it all the time, especially when things aren’t going well. Somehow, you think it must be your fault that they aren’t going well. You may even try harder to make the relationship work or the job work or whatever it is. You may even take the blame. But it just won’t work and it rarely improves.
It there is improvement, it is short lived at best. And that voice in your head keeps playing your name, or that series of names…over and over again! You may have some positives, but they are so minor in light of your names…lazy, too ___, careless, and the list goes on.
Listen to this beautiful word from GOD:
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna.
I will also give that person a white stone
with a new name written on it,
known only to the one who receives it.
Revelation 2:17 ESV
The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah, (my delight is in her)
and your land Beulah;(married)
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62:2-5 ESV
Imagine the new name you have been given by GOD.
My Delight, Fruitful, Loved and Accepted,
Adored, Gracious, Beloved Daughter,
Forgiven, Guilt-Free, Embraced…
These are only a few of the possible names you have been given. No, you aren’t invisible. Not at all! To GOD, you are not only not invisible, you are extremely valuable and loved.
Action Step: Think about the names that you have heard in your head for much of your life. They automatically come to mind when things don’t go well. Now, think of the name(s) GOD has given you.
It would be wise for you to write out the name(s) you come up with and the Bible verses you base it on. Keep it handy so you can read it at times you are thinking of your old names. They are gone. Now you are in Christ. He has embraced you and forgiven you. You are His beloved Child.