Known By Name

KNOWN BY NAME

There is something special about a person’s name. Even if you take a cursory glance over Scripture, you will soon realize names hold great importance to both God and people. In fact, of 10 commands God enumerated for His people, the third one revolves around His name. God’s name represents Who He is (signifying His character and accomplishments), and to take His name in vain is to show disrespect for Him. For this reason a stern warning is issued within the 10 commandments letting us know that God will hold those who use His name in vain accountable (Exodus 20:7).

Names are important to people as well. After God names Adam (an act which shows His authority over him [Genesis 1:26[1]]), Adam is then given the responsibility to name the animals (in turn showing Adam’s authority over creation [Genesis 2:19]). Interestingly, it is even Adam who gives his wife, Eve, her name (Genesis 3:20).

It has been said that the sweetest word to a person is his or her own name. A precious passage to believers is found in John 10 where Jesus describes Himself as “The Good Shepherd.” In that text Jesus says that those who belong to Him (His sheep) hear His voice and He calls his owns sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3). God knows us intimately and individually calls us by name.

This past Sunday we had the joy of ministering at Steam Valley Bible Church.img_1365Something Sarah and I noticed right when we came through the door was that the pastor and congregation had worked hard on memorizing not just my name, or Sarah’s, but the names of each member of our family. From the moment we stepped in, Pastor MacAvoy pointed to each of our children and said, “So this is Micah… Kiersten… (slight pause)—Lydia and Jonas!” There is nothing sweeter to a person’s ears than to hear their own name! But Pastor MacAvoy was not the only one who knew our children’s names. Many members of the church could do the exact same thing. You could tell they had been prepared for our coming and were excited to have us there. Our conversations with the folks made us feel like we were talking to old friends. We were so grateful to connect with this wonderful group of believers.

In the evening, we were able to present our ministry at Bible Baptist Church (Shickshinny, PA). We were glad to see the work God is doing within this congregation, and the excitement of their new Pastor (Randy Boston) as he leads this flock. I have known Pastor Boston for a number of years, and am grateful for the Lord’s leading within this congregation to give them a faithful pastor to preach and teach them God’s Word. We had a great time presenting our work and were truly glad for the opportunity.

It was another wonderful Lord’s Day, and we are excited about all that God is doing in our lives!

[1] As a note the proper name “Adam” is the same as the noun, “man” or “mankind.” Context helps one differentiate the two usages.

4 Replies to “Known By Name”

  1. I enjoyed reading your post!

    Love ya, Mom Muth

    On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:52 PM, The Valiante Family wrote:

    > valiantes posted: “KNOWN BY NAME There is something special about a > person’s name. Even if you take a cursory glance over Scripture, you will > soon realize names hold great importance to both God and people. In fact, > of 10 commands God enumerated for His people, the third o” >

    Like

  2. Dear Bro. Tim,

    Yes, people’s names are very important to them. I try to use them as often as I can. I am “in the community” many times throughout the week. I try to notice peoples’ name tags and call them by name–even to say, “Thank-you”, to a cashier as I leave a store.

    When pastoring, I made a special effort to memorize the names of all missionaries’ children. One family, with 11 children, was a particular challenge, but I did it again and again–every 4 or 5 years!! 🙂 It made a lasting impression on the parents as well as on the children, who remember “that preacher who knew my name”. The missionary told me that I was about the only pastor in their supporting churches who called his children by name; and, to this day, he considers me to be one of his closest pastor friends–because he knows I care!! (Or, at least my calling his children by name made him THINK I care!! LOL!!)

    I did tell that missionary to never “just drop in”!! He must always give me time to study the names on the back of the missionary prayer card! One time he called me from downtown Shickshinny and asked if they could stop by!! That gave me about 60 seconds to find the latest missionary prayer card and review the names!! I did it successfully–mainly because he only had the youngest 4 with him that day!! (To check my memory, I rehearsed the names of the 11 just now in my head, I got all of them except number 9! His name starts with a “J”! It’s not Jonathan, Jeremiah, or Joshua, which are the names of the other three boys whose names start with “J”!)

    Now, for the “downside”: Just so you don’t get too excited, I need to tell you that now that I am not the pastor of a church, I no longer strain my brain to remember the names of missionary kids! At Bethel Bible, keeping track of the 5 A’s is hard enough!! 🙂

    Hope you enjoyed this! I DO know your wife is Sarah!! Is that pretty good??

    Sincerely, Daniel Potter

    On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:52 PM, The Valiante Family wrote:

    > valiantes posted: “KNOWN BY NAME There is something special about a > person’s name. Even if you take a cursory glance over Scripture, you will > soon realize names hold great importance to both God and people. In fact, > of 10 commands God enumerated for His people, the third o” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, that is such a neat testimony. Yes, memorizing the names of 11 missionary children would definitely take some work! It is easy to see why this would have made such an impact on the parents (as well as the children)!

      Like

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