What’s in a Name?

Author: Allison Wilson Lee — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: August 14, 2022

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
What’s in a Name?

My mom taught first grade at a local elementary school. One year, the group of students in her class included a girl named Rosa. But Rosa struggled to pronounce the letter R. When she introduced herself, the other kids thought she’d announced her name was “Wosa.” Throughout the early months of that school session, the other first graders referred to this little girl as Wosa. I don’t think they intended to tease or embarrass her; they were simply confused.Eventually, Rosa’s patience wore thin. She’d tolerated the mispronunciation of her name for far too long. So, during class one day, she passionately declared, “My name’s not Wosa—it’s Wosa!”Our names belong to us in a special way; they’re closely connected to our identities. When our names are misused or misspoken, it feels personal, maybe even insulting. And when others use our names intentionally to connect with us, we take notice.The Bible tells us that God calls His people by name—and He even calls them His own. The Lord’s voice beckons us into relationship with Him. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, summons His sheep by name to follow Him. When we turn to Jesus as our Savior—the One who died in our place and rose from the dead so we can have forgiveness—we begin a relationship with Him. We can recognize the voice of our Savior and follow where He leads. The Lord calls us to be joined with Christ and become His own—and He never mispronounces our names. • Allison Wilson Lee• Can you think of a time someone misspoke or misused your name? Jesus knows you by name, and He speaks your name with love. How could this truth encourage you? • If you’ve put your trust in Jesus, you have been enfolded into the people of God, grafted into the family tree of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—who God named Israel (Galatians 3:27-29). Take a look at Isaiah 43:1 (below) and try replacing Jacob and Israel with your own name. Then read it aloud slowly. What do you notice? Now this is what the Lord says—the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel—“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (CSB)


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