May 01, 2014

What's in a Name?

Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name … .’”
—Matthew 6:9


In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet asks, “What’s in a name? … That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

She’s certainly right. The person we love is far more valuable than his or her name. Still, names are important. Names today don’t reveal much about us, but names in Bible times often did. For example, Adam’s name comes from the Hebrew noun adamah, meaning “ground” or “earth.” People are truly earthlings. Throughout the Bible, names tend to reveal something about the person they name.

If the names of the people in the Bible reveal something im-portant, how much more do the names of God, the main actor in all of Scripture! God has graciously stooped to reveal him-self to us. He reveals his personality and character through his actions and his names. This month, as we look at God’s names in the Old and New Testaments, we learn who he is by reflecting on the meaning of his names.

Learning God’s names challenges us to take him seriously in all areas of our lives so that, as Jesus taught us, we can pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it in heaven.”

Father in heaven, thank you for graciously revealing yourself in the Bible and in our lives. Help us to say with our mouths and our lives, “Hallowed be your name.” For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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