Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Joy in Being Named by God

Currently, I've been studying one of my favorite books of the Bible, Ruth. I have been joining for their daily online Bible studies. Let me just say, I love it! It keeps me accountable at getting in my time with God each day. In the past, I'd start and then stop studies. What has helped is that I buy their study packs and since I spent the money, I also want to get my money's worth so I stick with it. Plus, let me tell you. The 8x10 prints that come with the study packs are amazing! I buy inexpensive frames for them and decorate my house with them. I love to decorate my house with scripture. My love for it comes from these verses in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

In our study, we read about how Naomi changes her name to Mara which means bitter. Because of the current circumstances she was in with losing her husband and sons, she was in a grieving process. With her faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth, by her side, she heads back to her home of Bethlehem now that the famine was over. When they arrived, the women of the town were talking and asked if this was Naomi.

Ruth 1:19-21 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"

"Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."

Through the study that we did, we were reminded that circumstances may change but God doesn't. And so often, we give ourselves names based on our circumstances, not necessarily names that God would give us. So as part of a writing assignment, I am answering the below questions that go with this study.

Is there a discrepancy between the names by which Jesus calls you and the names you give yourself? So often, I give myself names that reflect my circumstances. It's true. I am guilty of naming myself:
  • Failure for when I don't think I've done enough
  • Awkward because I can be timid sometimes
  • Crazy for when I have mood swings (as women, don't we all)
  • Chicken for the things I'm afraid of
  • Unlovable (sad, but so often I see it as true)
  • Unworthy (another sad reality of something I've said and thought)
  • Ugly (for the days I feel unattractive and play the comparison game)
But Jesus doesn't think these things about me. He calls me:
  • His branch that bears fruit (John 15:5)
  • His sheep (John 10:14)
  • holy and dearly loved (Col. 3:12)
  • a child of light (Ephesians 5:8)
  • God's handiwork (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Blessed (James 1:12)
  • Chosen (Ephesians 1:4) (1 Peter 2:9)
  • His disciple (Matthew 28:19-20)
And so much more...

It is time take out the "un" part of some of those words that I name myself. Instead of unlovable, I am loved. Instead of unworthy, I am good enough. Instead of undeserving, I am chosen. And most importantly, I am HIS!!!

Are there circumstances in your life to which you are giving undue power, power that rightfully—and in reality!—belongs to our sovereign God alone? In the past 3-4 years, my husband and I have been through a lot of hard circumstances. Between health problems, loosing people close to us, and lots of various changes, we were feeling overwhelmed. But as we look back, because of the way things have happened, we were blessed with twins, a wonderful home, having him around more (less time deployed), and a closer relationship with each other, not to mention with God. Sure, things have been hard. It's an understatement, really. But all the good God has blessed us with along the way was His reminder that He took care of us. It was His doing to give us those blessings and continue making sure we were able to eat, have a place to sleep, etc. He always provides! He always wants the best for our lives! He always loves us no matter what!

Sister, who names you today—your God or your circumstances? GOD!!! I have been slowly giving those feelings of negative self-worth or what society says of me over to God. It's refreshing. I have given up on allowing others to control my happiness and I've let go of those who bring me down. Life is dynamic. We don't know what will happen from one day to the next. All I can do is look to God for hope and a future. It is so amazing to let go and let God be in control of all things. I am choosing to be His no matter what.


  1. Fantastic post! Thank you for this, it speaks to my heart more than I could verbalize. The names I call myself on occasion......ones we all do from time to time, but as I am trying to encourage our 16 year old daughter, I need to remember what God calls me. My words to her are nothing, if I don't walk them out for me as well!

  2. Thanks for adding the section of names that Jesus calls us. I think that this would be great as a poster/print type thing. I know I need the reminder daily!!

  3. Oh yes, I can relate to nearly all of your "ugly" names - in fact this could be my own list. Thx for the juxtaposition of the beautiful names God calls us! And His list will always be longer than mine. :)

    Love from Germany <3

  4. I'm so glad to read your post for she shares truth. Your visit to my blog and encouraging comment were such a blessing to me, as is this post. Keep on believing what He says about you!

  5. mmmm I get it. I go there. Why do we do that?! Praise God for His unfailing, never ending love.

    Thanks for sharing!