Names are special to me. Thus, I like to name things and put a fair amount of thought into the process. One of my favorite things about writing my devotionals is I getting to name them.
My passion for naming things is legend around my house. In fact, since my husband and I could not agree on a name for our first child if it was a girl, I decided to show him, and had a boy — whose name I picked out.
I have even named all of our family dogs: Freckles, Sassy, Brandy, Sienna, Blanca and Ruffles. Each name was special as it was a descriptive moniker chosen just for that dog. Where we ran into trouble was when my husband drew the line at letting me name the cat. I wanted to name him Ringer, because it was a unique and descriptive name for a cat with big rings around his tail. My husband insisted on naming him Hobbes, which in my opinion showed no imagination and didn't do the cat justice. I mean, what self-respecting feline wants to be named after a cartoon cat? But, to keep peace in the family and the fur from flying, I did capitulate, since, in the big scheme of things, it wasn't CATastrophic, just a faux "paw."
So I was thinking …
Names are very important to Jesus, as well. His name alone means "The Lord is salvation." Also, names were important when it came to His dealings with people. Have you ever noticed how often Jesus initiated contact with someone by first calling them by name, even before He had "met" them? He even changed the names of some of His followers to better reflect who they had become.
One of the most moving stories in the Bible, to me, is when Jesus initiates the reconciliation with Peter after he had betrayed Him three times. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him, each time prefacing it with Peter's name. How much more personal can you get than that?
Jesus desires to have a personal relationship with each of us. After all, as Christians, we are called by His name.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep." John 21:15b-17