I was talking to a friend a few days ago about her nephew, Anthony. We often pray for our kids and our nieces and nephews. That day was Anthony’s day.
When we hung up the phone, I looked up the meaning of his name. Anthony means “Praise-worthy” or “Priceless one.”
Praise-worthy, priceless? How wonderful. I wondered if Anthony knew what his name meant.
When I was younger, I used to wonder why some parents would get angry when others would give their children nicknames.
Names are important because they hold meaning.
In the Bible, here are a few reasons names were given.
- The characteristics of a person like Esau who was red and hairy. In another context, Esau means doer or maker.
- How the parent was feeling at the time of birth. For example, Jabez means he grieves, or he will cause pain.
- Don’t concern yourself if you feel the meaning of your name is unpleasant. God heard Jabez’ pray about his name and He’s in the business of changing names too.
1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV reads,
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
- Perhaps a name was changed to determine a person’s destiny.
Abram’s name was changed to Abraham. He went from “exalted father” to “father of a multitude of nations.”
Are you living up to your name, or calling out to God like Jabez did?
Proverbs 22:1 NIV says,
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
No matter what your name is, you have been adopted into the family of God.
And God has a Name above all names.
Philippians 2:5-11 NIV says,
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name…
Our goal is to become more like Him. Working toward living up to His Name …now that’s the point of purpose. See you next time.
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