Text: — Nehemiah 1:1 — The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol [NIV84]
The Big Idea: Nehemiah, whose name means YHWH (Bless His Name) comforts, lived out his name in his mission.
We’ve all heard Shakespeare’s famous quote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” And perhaps in the context of the play, this may be true—to a degree. But I believe to some extent what someone calls herself or himself defines who s/he is, be it a nickname or a formal name. …
I have found a fascinating parallel with the names of the prophets and leaders of the Scriptures that often their name sets the focus their ministry. I see this in Elijah, Joseph, and even with Nehemiah, whose name means YHWH (Bless His Name) comforts. Nehemiah lived out his name in his mission and comforted the people by offering clear director through strong leadership.
Lifestyle worshiper, maybe you do not like your name or the nickname(s) you were tagged with. I understand. I had a few nicknames throughout the years that were less than flattering. But just as YHWH (BLESS His Name) gave Jacob the new name, Israel, and the Lord Jesus gave a new name to Simon, Peter, so too He has a new name for you: A name known only to you and Him. A truly personalized name that will not only be a term of endearment between you and Jesus, but will also define who you are in relationship to Him.
I do like my name, Michael, and I know it is the most popular name of my generation, but I also know that I will most definitely like the name the Lord Jesus has created for me. I pray this same confident blessing to you as you start this New Year with a renewed hope!
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
— Revelation 2:17 (NIV84)
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
— 1 John 5:4-5 (NIV84)
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
— John 16:33 (NIV84)
Heavenly Father, I am overwhelmed by the thought that You will give me a personalized name known only to me. The intimacy is staggering; the joy indescribable. I praise Your Name! Lord Jesus Christ, overcome the world in my soul and in my sphere of influence so that I may live out the meaning of the name You will reveal to me. In Your Name, Amen.