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The Joy and Worth of Your Name

 

Psalm 83:18 says, “May they know that you alone — whose name is the LORD — are the Most High over the whole earth.” (CSB).

 



My Aunt Sue enjoys her coffee black, plain and simple. She doesn’t need to enhance it with anything in order to enjoy it’s rich, satisfying taste. Sue is an all-day coffee drinker just as I am. Tea will keep her up at night, but she can indulge in coffee at any time. Knowing all this, it is no wonder she is the person I was named after. Her home always smelled of coffee and pipe tobacco, a combination that I will never fail to remember. Her mugs are all stained brown. There is always sugar and heavy whipping cream available once you sit down, as she will always offer you a cup. Again, it’s more than obvious, why I am named after her. Somehow my mom knew I would love coffee just as much.  Knowing that I am named after her has always provided me joy as she is a phenomenal, uplifting, God fearing woman, and I desire to be like her in every way.


The name we are given is very important. The testimony that goes with that name is more vital than the name itself. Families spend a lot of time deciding what to name their children. They pour through books, research family trees, look for meaningful titles or nicknames all so their child will find meaning and importance in their name later in life. Names carry deep personal, cultural, familial, and historical connections. They also give us a sense of who we are, the communities in which we belong, and our place in the world. Names carry a significance for our lives and when we relate to the world, our name may be what will help us lead others to Christ.


The name of God is a joyous and worthy name. There are so many monikers for God in the Bible each having a meaning that people may relate to. We can call Him Lord, the One who is above all. He is known as King, in control of all. Yahweh, translated from the Hebrew verb, “to be”. Jehovah, meaning “I am the One Who Is”. El Elyon signifies “God Most High”, or El Shaddai, “God Almighty, The Overpowerer”. Psalm 83:18 says, “May they know that you alone — whose name is the LORD — are the Most High over the whole earth.” (CSB). In each of these names we are able to see how important the titles of God are and how important the meaning of His designation. He is given these identifiers based on the testimony of His great mercy, grace, and love.

People have provided Him with these honors based on what He has continued to show and provide us.


Yahweh brings joy to our lives and blesses us beyond our wildest dreams. He gives us a joyful and sincere heart and it is truly what He desires for us. The Lord is with us all the time, watching over us, providing guidance for our lives. He is there during difficult times. He is there when there is not enough money to cover the rent, the car breaks down and you have no ride to work, your children are sick again and you have no sick time left. During these times we can turn all our troubles to Him and He will provide a way out. It may come in the form of a check you weren’t expecting. Maybe it is a neighbor who gives you a ride and asks her husband to take a look at your car. El Shaddai and His grace could appear as a calm peace in knowing that even though you have no more sick time, the cut in pay will be covered another way. The King of Kings brings the gift of life every day. He is with you are in the operating room having your ankle operated on for the fourth time. El Elyon is the one who sends you scripture and a song the day before surgery that let’s you know He has everything handled even in your struggle.


God simply tells us His name is “I Am” (Exodus 3:14 CSB). We give Him all the other names based on His testimony, He sums it up in two small words, “I Am”, because what else is there.


Your testimony and the name that was given to you is just as important to this world. This month I will be sharing my testimony with you and helping you see why your testimony is so important to sharing Christ with this world. The Oxford Dictionary defines testimony as “a formal spoken statement”, or “a solemn declaration”. Your testimony about coming to Christ and your relationship with Him is a type of evidence considered by people when they are trying to make the ultimate decision to follow Christ themselves. If we compare this to the examples of God’s “testimony” given above, these are the reasons we want to follow Him. When people see evidence of Godly things in your life, and hear how the King has shaped your life, they too, will be excited about and interested in wanting to live this type of life as well.


God was involved in your naming. He knew what you were, who you were, what you would be, where you would go, who you would become. El Elyon made you especially for Him. He created you in His image (Genesis 1:27 NIV). When we give our souls over to Him, our lives no longer belong to us, we have given them over to God for His boundless grace to be poured out on and His remarkable plan to be played out. This is why our testimony, shared with others, is so important. Our praise to our notable King, is to share what He has given us and to let others know they can experience it as well by truly being in relationship with I Am.


Romans 12:1 urges, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship". When we sacrifice ourselves by sharing our testimony, God uses us in His world. He avails Himself to everyone in our little circle of life by us imparting our testimony to them and revealing the glorious life of joy and peace our friends and family can have if they will turn their eyes to Him.


It is important for us to realize the value of our testimony. This testimony includes your life before Christ, your story of coming to know Christ, your journey of struggle and/or peace in your life while living under Christ’s authority and the greatest news of all, the story of your eternal rest in heaven when your time on earth is over.

For me, it wasn’t always easy to share my testimony. But, God has always provided me the courage and strength, and words to say when, the time to share presents itself. The Holy Spirit will always nudge you and let you know when it is time to share with someone who really needs to hear it from your voice only. God will put us into positions, often, to share. For example, I was able to share my testimony at the gym with a beautiful lady who is now one of my closest friends and a Christ follower. I have shared with my son’s wife, whose testimony is being played out right before my eyes. I have been able to share with several close friends and be present at their baptisms. I didn’t have to stand on a street corner and yell through a megaphone. I didn’t have to meet with people I didn’t know outside of a grocery store, I simply shared when God asked me to. One of the easiest ways to reveal my testimony to others is simply through the way I live my life. Now, I am not perfect, I can act ridiculous, have out of control behavior, speak a bit offensively, but I live my life loving people and helping them feel joy. That is my testimony and it is only because of the love and joy that I have received from my Savior Jesus Christ that I can do this. I have a friend who still is not wanting to believe that my joy and peace come simply from Jesus. He is not ready yet. I will give him time, and will continue to love him and share Jesus with him.  He WILL know Christ some day I am sure of it and Christ tells me he will. I also try to keep my social media presence centered around my testimony. I share family, fun, joy, and scripture. People who know me expect that my posts will be positive and will glorify God. They know that even in my difficult struggles I will post about the goodness of God in it all.


Your testimony is needed. Your story of relationship and connection with the Christ who walked this earth has to be shared with others and they are crying out for it everywhere you look. The people in your lives who might think you are crazy and a little different, need to just see how you have changed since you found Christ and they will be curious. The friend you meet with for coffee once a month needs to hear you talk about how Christ is working in your life. You don’t have to quote scripture or read Bible passages to them. You don’t have to play worship music while you drive them to the doctor. That’s all surface level. Either tell them your story, or let them see it played out in your life and they will want what you have.


The world needs to know your name and hear your story because the world needs to know God and His names and His abundant story. Your story is unique, yet someone out there needs to hear exactly what you have to say. Your story helps people see that they are not alone and will give them strength and courage to thrive. People need you and your story as a resource for them to move forward in their lives.


Meeting for coffee with someone is always a great place to start if you are feeling led to share your testimony. Pray for God to give you the words to say and to open the heart and mind of the person you are sharing with. Share the grace and mercy, joy and peace, you have be given by the God of all the universe. You will change the world and you will change as well.

 

A Prayer For The Day:


Lord, I thank You for the testimony I have because You have changed my life. I thank you for putting people into my path who need to hear my testimony in order to get to You and to know You more closely. You, Lord, are the testimony I want to follow, the testimony I want my life to imitate. I pray for opportunities to be opened for me to share You and Your great mercy, joy, and peace with others.

 

Today’s Challenge:

Pray and ask God to open up opportunities for you to share your testimony with others. Look for areas in your life where you can show your testimony and ask God to reveal areas you need to work on in order to live out your testimony. Share your testimony with a close friend or family member who you feel safe talking to, so you have the story planted in your mind when the time comes to share.

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