"What's in a name? Have you ever wondered just what it is?"
I borrowed and changed a line from the old song from the 80's generation,by Gilbert O'Sullivan "What's in a kiss?" or in this case, "What's in a name?" Let me tell you that it makes a world of a difference to be known by your name, it gives some personal worth to the person. I will link this story to my previous post where I shared that I was born again in 1983 and, since then I never had the proper growth in Christ due church-hopping or changing churches every year or two. Why ? Because, coming from a poor background, I was deprived of self-worth even by my own family. I personified what JESUS loved, the last, the least and the lost all rolled in one. This list is first in the heart of JESUS, and for this reason HE came.
As a baby Christian, I began attending a Southern Baptist fundamentalist church, where I seemed to be invisible, nobody knew me,let alone, my name. Later on, I realized it was partly my fault because I was being sensitive,or I expected much from people or, I didn't come regularly to church, back then, I wasn't yet fully aware . . . I kept on changing churches until GOD planted me in Icfrome here in Italy. The growth took so long and so much,but it was worth it. Actually it's not ICfrome per se,that made the difference.It's the fact that Christ is my personal coach, that I wasn't aware of before. That HE literally trained me to open up more,everytime. It is the first time in my church experience that I have been called and known by my name, our Pastors, associate Pastors, ministry leaders,ministry teams, know me by my name.The LORD,also opened up opportunities for me to serve in the hosting/welcome team, and recently I got enlisted also in the kids ministry.Thankfully. In the same token,I've known these wonderful ministry leaders in icfrome,their smiles bright as they are, couldn't do justice to the wisdom of CHRIST that emanates from them ,and their passion in serving,in humility. They are actually the first church people that called me by my name,along with our lead pastors.I thank GOD for them.
First time, since 1983 that the Word of The LORD in Psalms 92:13 manifested in my personal relationship with my Lord JESUS. To flourish,to grow.
"Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God."
Let it be clear, it's all HIS work in me or, in us, and only all of JESUS.Even,the strength,the will to do HIS will in our lives,everything is about and from HIM.
So what's in a name. It's the person that CHRIST loved very much,that HE died for and accepts into HIS family. For this reason, in the gospels, JESUS personally knows people and personally calls them by name;
'Martha, MArtha you are troubled about many things..' (Luke 10:41),
Lazarus come forth! (John 11:43), '
Zaccheus come down,I must stay at your house today.' (Luke 19:5),
Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me? (Acts 9:4)
The Lord called Samuel and he answered here I am (1 Sam. 3:4)
Tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you..' (Mark 16:7)
Jesus teaches us the importance of knowing and calling people by their name. It is our name that carries our identity,our person.
And I have learned and still learning,to know and call people specially, the newcomers and visitors in our church, by their name.More than that,I smile and try to reach out to people because I understand how it feels to be ignored and rejected. (I used to be an ultra-shy person, having suffered from inferiority complex)
I'm really in awe about this GOD Who is All in All, and rightfully so, HE is the Great I AM.There is absolutely no way to explain and describe this GOD; Holy yet humble, All-Powerful yet loving, Sovereign yet merciful, All-knowing yet faithful . . .and that HE is madly in-love with the last, the least and the lost.
WORD of Wisdom:
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,you did for me.