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August 1, 1996

What’s in a Name?

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Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory. PSALM 115:1
Names matter. They matter to us, and they matter to God. Adam, Eve, John the Baptist, Jesus. God at times changed a person’s name to emphasize a hidden quality. Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, and Simon became Peter. God the Father spoke directly to Moses and Samuel, calling them by name. And He demands that His name not be used in vain.
Even today, family names are often handed down, regardless of how old- fashioned these names may sound. Expectant parents pore over baby-name books touting sixty-thousand-plus entries. We put our names on business cards, on plaques, and on office doors. Companies spend millions of dollars each year developing brand names and identities—and an even greater amount infusing meaning into those names, building equity so that the mere mention of the name conjures up a whole host of associations. Companies go to great lengths and amass huge staffs for the sole purpose of building and protecting equity in a name.
Are we this serious and committed about “building equity” in the name of the One Who is exalted above all the earth? His name is to be praised and exalted, worshiped and reverenced. To His name goes honor for all the things He has done. Are we making those deposits, building up that account so that the mere mention of His name conjures up a host of associations and memories? In essence, we are all on staff to build (worship, praise, honor) and protect (fear, revere, defend) the name of the Lord.
How do you treat the glorious name of God? Do you handle it with reverence and awe, or do you throw it around carelessly, without a second thought about how your use of it might affect a coworker’s impression of your heavenly Father?

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