What’s In A Name?

By , September 4, 2013

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

Gordon Rumford Ministries | Daily Devotional | What's In A Name?You can view a PDF version here
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One of the most distressing truths about the Lord is also one of the most comforting. I speak of the fact that God’s watchful eye sees all of us and He is always near at hand to everyone.

The fact that God is so observant upsets some people because they say things and act in ways that they wish were not recorded in God’s memory.

Jesus put the matter this way when He said in John 3:19 (NIV)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world,
but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Sometimes terrorists will wear masks when doing their evil deeds or bank robbers will do the same. These people may succeed in hiding their identity from witnesses to their crimes but the fact remains that God sees and remembers everything we do. In the day when God shall make everyone of us give an account, every single action on our part will be revealed.

The other side of this fact that God sees everyone at all times is the comfort it brings to people who suffer. Often, when asked how they are doing, a person in pain will say “I am fine thanks.” People do not wish to burden others with their sorrows so they do not go into detail of the problem. They make a general statement to avoid the sad facts.

For the suffering Christian, it is a precious truth to remember that God sees them in their distress. Not only does God observe, but He calls each one of us by name. One of the most tender and comforting parts of dealing with a person is to use their name in the conversation.

Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd in the following way: John 10:3 (NIV)

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him,
and the sheep listen to his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

When we see someone for the first time in many years and they remember our name, it pleases us greatly. When someone we know and see regularly forgets our name, it can be upsetting. There is something about the use of our name that makes the relationship warmer and more intimate. Isaac Watts, the father of modern hymnody, put it well when he wrote:

I love my Shepherd’s voice: His watchful eye shall keep
My wand’ring soul among The thousands of His sheep:
He feeds His flock, He calls their names, His bosom bears the tender lambs.

Does the Lord know you by name? Are you one of His sheep? Ask Him to speak to you today from your Bible reading, through your prayers, through providence or perhaps through a fellow Christian. Listen for Him to call your name today.

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