History books tell us of an incident in the life of Napoleon. A man once approached the French emperor and said, "I am very pleased to meet you! You see, my name is the same as yours."
Knowing that the man had a poor reputation, Napoleon was incensed and exclaimed: "Either live up to your name or change it!"
Not only do we receive salvation when we call on the name of Jesus, but we also receive His name!
We may not take names very seriously in our culture, but in the Middle East, a person's name is given either in honor of a beloved relative or because it has been in the family for generations.
In Bible times, a name was chosen very carefully and very deliberately in order to indicate what kind of person the child would be. A name was also reflective of a person's character, personality, and abilities.
This is why some of the names of the people in the Bible were changed. Peter's original name was Cephas, but Jesus changed it to Peter, meaning "the rock." Abram was changed to Abraham, which means "the father of many." From God's perspective, a new name is consistent with a new mission.
God's name, however, never changes. He is Jehovah, which means "the self-existent one." He is self-sufficient. He does not need anything or anyone in order to exist. However, He desires our worship, praise, and fellowship. He loves us with an everlasting love.
The more we learn about Him, the more we understand His faithfulness, justice, and mercy. When we grasp the depth of God's sovereignty, we also realize His wondrous gift of grace was given with a purpose. Not only do we receive salvation, but we also receive His name! We become members of His family—joint heirs with Christ. Now that is worthy of all our praise!
Prayer: Lord, there are so many beautiful facets to Your nature. Thank You for the many names You have that testify of Your goodness! Continue to reveal Your nature to me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name" (Psalm 103:1).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Empowered by Praise, Part 4: LISTEN NOW