God knows your name.



What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;
You may have heard or read this phrase before, anyone know where it comes from?
Shakespear - Romeo and Juliet - Juliet is trying to convince herself after meeting Romeo that if he only had a different last name, it would be okay to love him.
His name though, gets in the way.
A persons name signifies their identity, their character, perhaps even their purpose to a point.
In earlier days, peoples names would often reflect their profession.
This morning I wanted to go a bit of a different direction with our time together as we are doing something a little different this morning.
As I said I got this idea from Pete Wetendorf, the director of RMBM.
Something he used to do at his church.
It can be easy to come week to week and not really get to know one another which is really the complete opposite of what church is about.
Yes we gather to worship, honor, and glorify God.
We gather to grow in our own personal relationships with the Lord.
But another important aspect of the church is our relationships with one another.
This begins by knowing one another’s names.
This does not come easily for many people, myself included.
I really have to work to remember someone’s name.
It takes time and effort, but knowing someones name is extremely important.
Knowing a persons name is the first point of contact, the first opportunity for growth in relationship.
In the Bible, names are not merely labels, but they often carry deep meaning and convey important theological truths.
Beginning with God’s own name.
For example, God revealed His personal name to Moses as "I AM WHO I AM" as he was preparing to go to bring the Israelites out of slavery.
Exodus 3:14 ESV
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
God giving his name in this way speaks to His eternality and self-existence.
As we read our bibles, In the OT, we see parents often giving their children names that reflected their hopes, their dreams, or based upon circumstances surrounding their birth.
For example, Jacob's name means "heel-grabber," reflecting his character as a cunning and deceitful person.
Genesis 25:26 ESV
26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Later, God renamed him Israel, which means "he struggles with God," representing his spiritual transformation and growth.
In Gen. 32 we see Jacob wrestling with an unknown assailant.
Genesis 32:28–29 ESV
28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.
Another example that comes to mind.
The prophet Hosea marries Gomer out of quite a terrible situation.
The children that she bears, the Lord instructs Hosea on what to name them.
Hosea 1:4 ESV
4 And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
Hosea 1:6 ESV
6 She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all.
Hosea 1:8–9 ESV
8 When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. 9 And the Lord said, “Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”
God used Hosea and the names of these children to send a message to the Northern kingdom of Israel.
In the New Testament, names are similarly important.
In Matthew, when the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph, he gives him the name Jesus.
Matthew 1:21 ESV
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus, whose name means "Savior," embodies the mission and purpose for which He was sent.
In Acts, the name of Jesus is invoked as the means of salvation, as Peter declared,
Acts 4:12 ESV
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Names also play a significant role in understanding the identity and purpose of God's people.
Believers are called by various names in Scripture, including "saints," "disciples," and "brothers and sisters."
These names speak to the believers' status as God's chosen people,
their commitment to following Jesus,
and their unity with one another as members of the same family.
As we have seen, names are significant throughout scripture.
They are often not only labels but convey important theological truths.
Names in scripture reflect God’s character and his purpose for His people.
Names are still important today.
Your name identifies you.
I want to pose the question to you this morning, have you ever thought about the fact that God knows your name?
Our God is a personal God who cares about us each deeply.
The intimate nature between God and man is fully displayed in the relationship between the Father and the Son and how Jesus related to God on his followers behalf.
We read of how Jesus related to God on earth,
John 14:16–17 ESV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
God is not only personal, but he desires to be in relationship with His people.
There are many examples of this in scripture but one that really sticks out is the example David provides in Psalm 139.
Psalm 139:1–4 ESV
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
All of this Psalm is intensely personal.
When we examine David’s life, he had a personal relationship with God.
Psalm 139:13 ESV
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
This sort of personal relationship continues with believers today.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God knows your name?
God knows you in a personal way.
All of mankind has been created in God’s image.
We all have names.
It is significant that God knows your name for a few reasons.
God knowing our names demonstrates His personal relationship with us.
The first time we see specifically God calling someone by name comes in His covenant he makes with Abram.
Genesis 15:1 ESV
1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
It is here in this chapter that God promises Abram
Genesis 15:5 ESV
5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
God made that personal promise to Abram, if you have trusted in Jesus as your Lord and savior, you are part of that promise!
I also think of Moses and the burning bush.
Exodus 3:4 ESV
4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
God knew Moses by name and called out to Him.
God does this in a similar way with Samuel as a young boy.
You can go read of this story in 1 Sam 3.
God calls out to Samuel and at first Samuel thinks that it was his master Eli calling to Him.
Each time Samuel laid back down the Lord called to him, until Eli realized what was happening.
This is not a normative thing, not every person in the OT heard God speak their name in such a way.
But, this same sort of personal relationship exists between God and believers today.
We read in the book of John.
John 10:1–5 ESV
1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Jesus is calling, and he is the door of the sheep.
John continues
John 10:8–9 ESV
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
The fact that God knows your name shows that he has taken an interest in you as an individual.
Names often are used in the Bible to refer to a persons identity and character.
Abram’s name is change to Abraham - father of many nations.
Saul’s name, meaning asked for or prayed for is changed to Paul - meaning small or humble.
Paul being the apostle to the gentiles, sheds his Hebrew name and becomes better known as Paul.
God often calls individuals by name to carry out his plans. For example.
In Exodus 33:17, God says to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
This demonstrates that God had a specific plan for Moses and that Moses was chosen for a specific purpose.
God has a personal relationship with each believer, and that he knows them intimately.
God knowing your name demonstrates that he has a personal relationship with you, has chosen you for a specific purpose, and knows you intimately.
Another reason that it is significant that God knows your name is that it signifies your inclusion in His family.
Through adoption, we do not lose our identity, but rather are given a new identity in Christ.
One where we have the right to call God our father.
In Revelation 2:17, Jesus promises to give a white stone to those who overcome, with a new name written on it that no one knows except the one who receives it.
to receive the “new name” (2:17) is to receive Jesus’ victorious, kingly “name … no one knows except himself”
In the ancient world and the OT, to know someone’s name, especially that of God,
often meant to enter into an intimate relationship with that person and to share in that person’s character or power.
To be given a new name was an indication of a new status.
And when God’s name was applied to a place in the OT (e.g., the temple),
it often indicated that his presence was there.
This new name signifies the believer's inclusion in God's family and their identity as a child of God.
The third thing that God knowing your name does is that it demonstrates His sovereignty and omniscience.
God is all powerful and knows all things.
God knows each of us intimately and has a plan for our lives,
While written to those in exile specifically, there is a concept in Jeremiah 29:11 which is true for all people.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God is aware of every detail of our lives, including our names, and uses that knowledge to accomplish his purposes.
This is not a promise to avoid trials or struggles.
The ultimate welfare or good is life eternal with Christ.
Our hope and our future are found in Christ.
That is what Jeremiah was seeking to point the people in exile to.
Jeremiah 29:12–14 ESV
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
As believers today though, we can have comfort and assurance that God is in control and has our best interests at heart.
Singer Don Moen tells a story of how he was on a tour one time.
He was visiting a rest home.
He was going from room to room visiting patients singing a song, or giving a word of encouragement when he came to a room with an old man in one of the beds.
He was all crunched up, sitting in the bed.
There were boards above the beds that had the peoples names on them but on this man’s board was Mr. No Name.
He asked about the man and nurse said, we found him on the street, we don’t know what language he speaks, we don’t know how to communicate with him.
So he took the mans hand and said “Nobody knows your name here, but I know somebody who does know your name.”
God knows your name.
And I want to remind you of that today.
I want to remind each of us of that today.
God knows where you have been because He is the God of the past.
He knows where you are today because He is the God of the present.
He knows what tomorrow holds because He is the God of the future.
And you can trust Him with your future.
Let us put our trust in the Lord today.
He knows our rising up and our going down.
He knows our end from our beginning.
Put your trust in the Lord today.
Be encouraged by the fact that He knows your name.
God has not forgotten you.
He will never forsake you.
Call out Jesus. because He knows you, He loves you, and He desires to have a relationship with you.
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