“I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
We all like to protect our name. In fact, most people would do anything to stop their name being misused or abused. While I understand that sometimes my name may be mispronounced or not spelt properly, it always makes me happy when it is done correctly. The satisfaction is even greater when someone that I may have met only fleetingly, remembers my name.
I have at times faced some level of embarrassment when the name of a person I’m talking to eludes me. On a few occasions, I have even struggled to remember the name of a person I was praying for at the altar!
How comforting it is therefore to understand that Our God knows and calls us by name! He says, ‘I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Yes, He knows you by name.
Let’s look at some Biblical examples to clarify this:
- A senior Citizen had most probably given up on his youthful dreams and ambitions and settled down to a quiet, nomadic life in the desert; until he had a life changing encounter with God. The sight before Moses in Exodus 3:1-6 probably reflected a modern day television as he saw a picture of a burning bush, with a voice speaking from within the bush! What were the first words God spoke to Moses? I have often asked this question when preaching or teaching from this passage. Many times, people have responded incorrectly by saying that God first asked Moses to remove his sandals. The correct answer however is that God first called out his name and that twice! He said, ‘Moses! Moses (verse 4)!”
God knew Moses by name and He knows you too.
- In 1 Samuel 3:1-10, a young boy serving in the Lord’s temple was probably trying to figure out what his future in ministry would be like. He was surrounded by leadership examples that were quite disappointing (Read chapter 2). Then God spoke, and God called him by name! In fact, God probably called him by name at least 5 times that night! Samuel went on to become one of Israel’s greatest Prophets.
God knew Samuel by name and He knows you too.
- Peter denied the Lord at the most crucial hour and was handling a failure that could have haunted him for the rest of his life. He may have even considered giving up ministry. When Jesus rose from the dead however, an angel told the ladies at the tomb, “But go, tell His disciples and PETER, He is going ahead of you into Galilee.”
Peter was identified by name and so are you.
- A military leader was praying to a God he didn’t know too well, but still feared. He had also been very generous towards the poor. In response, God sent an angel one day to greet Cornelius and to prepare the way for him to hear the Gospel through Peter, resulting in a revival breaking out. It is interesting however that the first word the angel spoke to Cornelius was his name! (Refer Acts 10:3).
Cornelius was called by name; you are too.
So friend, be assured that God knows you by name. The fact that He knows you by name, shows how personal His love is towards you.
“Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)
Closing Thought – Your name is precious to God!