New year, new name

Having had his name changed by Jesus Himself, the disciple Peter knows the meaning and value of receiving a new name. In his writings, Hellohe invites all of Jesus’ friends to receive new names from their Lord.

Instead of labeling ourselves as unnoticed or anonymous, Peter invites us to call ourselves “a chosen people.” In Peter’s time, Jews believed they were the only chosen people because they could trace their ancestry back to Father Abraham. Peter reveals to us that anyone who is in Christ, who is in the church is part of God’s chosen people. He chooses us out of grace.

Instead of labeling ourselves as ordinary or commoners, Peter invites us to call ourselves “a royal priesthood.” We do not have to be descendants of great King David to consider ourselves royal. God is King and we are His adopted children through Jesus, which means we are part of the royal family. We add to royalty the concept of priesthood: We do not need human mediators to connect us with God. Because of Jesus, we have direct access to the King.

Instead of labeling ourselves as bad or disconnected, Peter invites us to call ourselves “a holy nation.” Peter is not thinking of a “holier-than-thou” attitude, but rather being touched by the holy love of God and letting it work through our lives, making us more Christlike. What’s more, when we are in Christ, we are part of something big – God’s Kingdom. His Kingdom transcends geopolitical boundaries, what it says in our passports, and where the firstfruits of our labors go. His Kingdom will endure forever as will its citizens, God’s people.

Instead of labeling ourselves as boring or worthless, Peter invites us to call ourselves “God’s special possession.” Sometimes a regular old item becomes ridiculously valuable because of its owner. One of the Starfleet uniforms worn by Patrick Stewart in the Star Trek movies sold at an auction for $7,200. Napoleon’s toothbrush allegedly went for $21,000. JFK’s wood golf clubs netted $772,500. People paid this kind of money for these items not because the items themselves were so Hope Again by Charles R Swindollremarkable, but because the people to whom they belonged were.

“Are you ready for a surprise? We fit that bill, too,” writes Chuck Swindoll in Hope Again. “Think of the value of something owned by God. What incredible worth that bestows on us, what inexplicable dignity! We belong to Him… The price paid for us was unimaginably high – the blood of Jesus Christ [shed on the cross] – but now we belong to Him” (p. 71).

Chosen people…
royal priesthood…
holy nation…
God’s special possession…
Do any of these names resonate with you? In this new year, I want to hear God give me names like these. And I say “like these” because I think these four are just the tip of the iceberg. Listen to this song originally by D.J. Butler to see (hear!) what I mean…

2 thoughts on “New year, new name

  1. Good stuff brother!


  2. Stanley J. Groothof says:

    Thanks, Rick! God’s blessings to you and your family in 2013 as you discover some special names He has in mind for you… Stan


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