A New Name

And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken. Isaiah 62:2b-4a 

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Revelation 2:170.b

Imagine it. God gives us a new name when He adopts us. Most will not hear that new name until Christ calls them by it in heaven but what joy it will be to hear and even recognize it as ours. During their earthly journey, Abraham, Israel, Peter, and Paul are examples of some who received new names upon their encounter with the Lord. It was a calling out of these men to greater work then they had ever done before. Even the Son of God upon His earthly birth received a new name revealed by an angel to his mother and adoptive father. It was not ‘I AM’ as it had always been, but “thou shalt call his name Jesus” was God’s command.

When we gave a new name to our adopted child it created, and immediately enhanced, the bond and identification of being a part of our family. This new name was the beginning of teaching them that they were a “new creation” in Christ, even before they were saved. It taught them to “lay up for themselves treasure in heaven,” not treasures of this world. It declared to them that they have a future not incumbent upon their past.

A name gives value and blessing. How much you value something determines how or if you will name it. When our four children came from Russia, we gave them teddy bears. We asked them what the bear’s name was and they looked totally perplexed. Name a toy! Why? It had no value. This was something they had to learn to do. We taught them to add ‘value’ to their belongings and claim them as their own just as we had given them names to claim them as our own.

When we adopted our two sister beagles, we chose names for them to reflect our family’s old fashion names. So they went from being Lucky and Clover to being our dogs named Gertie and Betsy. Also, many people will name their cars. Our fifteen passenger van is called Mike and our 6×8 travel trailer is named Charlie. When a parent names a child it gives them identity, a sense of purpose and worth. It is a form of blessing them as only a true parent can. We do not know why our children were given their birth-names though we think they are beautiful. But we can always emphatically state to them why they have their given-names from us. A powerful tool when calling a child out to be a godly man or woman!

The feelings of abandonment and isolation from the natural order of life (a mother caring for her child) are present in every adopted child from the new born infant to the married adult with their own children. It is real and foreboding. But it is not who they are! Nor is it who they will be. It is only who they were. The question is not whether they would like to be called by the only names they have ever known (birth-name). The question is what does their heart need? They need to know in their heart that they belong to their adoptive parents as surely as if they had been born to them and that they are Christ’s child. This is the Dad and Mom who had prayed for them, who opened their hearts and home to them though they were strangers, who teaches them of the providential love of God which placed them in their family and of His Kingdom purposes for their lives.

As every Believer knows, adoption by God does not negate our past but defines it. It was ordained before time began. We are all merely living out God’s plan which ultimately is to glorify Jesus. The child’s new name will always remind them and testify to them of their future every time they hear it or write it.

Copyright © 2007 Robert Sanford. All rights reserved


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