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