Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Devotion 3.31.16

My name points to my being. It conveys who I am, more so than documentation or a number.  My mother was deprived of knowing much about her name because she was orphaned at an early age, not knowing her father (killed in an oil field explosion close to her birth) nor her mother (taken from her by leukemia at the age of 6).  That left  her knowing little about her name.  Yet, she would cling to that name.  It held importance to her.  Unfortunately, a search in an ancestry website left me with little to tell her as I began to search a few years ago.

God's name is very important, and to examine God's name, we go to the Old Testament.  In Exodus, Moses is met by God in the burning bush.  Moses asks, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name? Then what shall I ask them?'"  God's reply is significant, "I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites:  I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:13 - 15)  This is significant for a simple reason:  God exists and stating "I AM" speaks to his being.

God guards his name jealousy.  He commands us to not misuse his name in the second commandment.  He instructs Moses in Exodus 20 has he gives him the 10 Commandments:  "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."  We are to take his name seriously (Jews today still do not spell out God, rather, using "G-d" in writings.).  Yet we misuse his name and ours as well.  Our name is abused by our sins - our actions, our thoughts, our words and our inaction.  The non-response.

Our name is our claim to our own existence, and yet that existence is tarnished by sin in our lives.  God's name is untarnished, yet he wants us to use it with respect and reverence which, of course, we don't.  To redeem us from this mess, he sent his Son, and Mary and Joseph were instructed by an angel:  "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:20-21)

The name Jesus cleanses our names in God's eyes and restores our name, which God knew in advance.  We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the name Jesus and what that name means to us and does for us.

Hope Men's Ministry

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