Thursday, June 17, 2010

2010 – June 17 – What’s In A Name

Study from God’s Word Hosea, Chapters 1 – 3 … Passage for Reflection: Hosea 2: 23 … NIV 23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. [Hebrew Lo-Ruhamah]'
I will say to those called 'Not my people, [Hebrew Lo-Ammi ] 'You are my people';
and they will say, 'You are my God.' "

My Journal for Today: The book of Hosea is an incredible study into the faithfulness, long-suffering, and yes, the justice of our God as well. And the way God teaches the lesson of His Jehovah character to Hosea is both tragic and powerful. Mankind learns best from experience; and God teaches Hosea about how much He loves and is merciful to Israel, despite her disobedience and unfaithfulness, by having Hosea marry a woman, Gomer, who becomes a prostitute. Yes, that most certainly is a life picture of Israel; but poor Hosea certainly had to go through a horrible life lesson with his wife to be able to empathize with God’s message which would be conveyed by Hosea to God’s unfaithful bride, Israel.

And in the process we see that even the names given to Hosea’s children with his wife Gomer communicated to Hosea and the world a lot about the nature of God’s relationship with his off-spring, Israel. Hosea’s second child, named in Hebrew “Lo-Ruhamah,” meant “not my loved one,” speaking of God’s regret and grief over the way His children in Israel rebelled against God’s way. And the third daughter, “Lo-Ammi,” was named to mean “not my people,” also communicating God’s dismay over how his disobedient and prostituted bride (Gomer) had treated her relationship with her bridegroom. What a picture, through names, of God’s long-suffering, yet His grief over how these children represented Israel’s disobedience and disaffection for their faithful Bridegroom.

Names are important in Scripture, aren’t they? Remember how God had Sarai’s name changed to “Sarah” to reflect how she’d become the “mother of many.” Peter’s name, meaning “the rock,” certainly was not apt for him while he was a disciple of Christ; but God knew what Peter was going to become, “a rock” of witness for the new Church, … the Bride of Christ. Have you ever done a study into your own name? Mine is WILLIAM; and in many languages it means “the helmeted one” or “warrior.” And God seemed to know something about me, which I couldn’t sense in myself for many years; because I rebelled in sin for over 22 years of my life, rejecting Christ as a non-believer. But then God drew me to Himself; and I took on more of the character of my given name, ultimately being called and becoming a warrior for Christ in a ministry called “BattlePlan Ministries.” Yes, … now I’m becoming a “William” in the Godly sense of my given name. Go figure!! And this is saying to me here about how many of us, who take on the name of Christ, calling our selves “Christian,” either do service or disservice to our Bridegroom by the way we live.

We who are called “Christians,” either reflect, by the way we live, the Name of Christ, or we profane His image by our life choices and behavior. If any of us go by the name “Christian,” we must continually take note of how our name, Christ’s Name, is being witnessed into the world by the way we live. And if we can be seen by others appropriately as the Bride of Christ, wearing our Bridegroom’s Robes of Righteousness, especially in the way we exhibit God’s love (see John 13: 34-35), we live up to our name, “Christian.” However, as with the names of Hosea’s children, when we exhibit our rags of sin to the world, refusing to wear our Groom’s grace-offered robes, the name “christian” becomes that of disobedience and reflects anything but our Savior to the world.

I must ask myself today, “ ‘William,’ are you a warrior for Christ, living up to your given name; and are you aptly reflecting the name of ‘Christian’ into a world which desperately needs to see and receive that Name for their eternal future?” I will pray that I do.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, make me a true “William” for your glory; and help me to show off the name “Christian” in a way which reflects Your glory for all to see. Amen

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