“…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
I have a brother who was called ‘Gangbanger’ when he was in the world doing his own thing. Today he is called ‘Preacher’ as he teaches and preaches the word of God. He got a name change when he turned his life around but he also has a ‘new name’ written on a white stone in heaven when he meets his Savior.
We or others attach names to ourselves according to our professions, behaviors, or attitudes. Some names we are called could be nurse, accountant, teacher, drug dealer, prostitute or gangbanger.
Or worrier, complainer, liar, deceiver, manipulator, rebellious, stubborn, or disobedient.
The names may define our profession or character but they are not who we are. We may work as a singer, mother, artist, writer, or doctor but is that really all that you are – a singer, mother, artist, writer, or doctor?
I think not.
We are a composite of characteristics and behaviors – the most important one being ‘a child of God.’ When we become children of the King, Creator of heaven and earth, we get a name change in heaven. We are no longer known by our past or identified by our profession. We are new creations in Christ Jesus and get renamed according to God’s standards.
Two name changes pop into my head immediately – the patriarch Jacob’s name being changed to Israel and the Apostle Paul’s name being changed from Saul to Paul after they had encounters with God. Just like God changed Jacob’s name from deceiver to prevailer and Saul’s character from arrogance to humility, he has changed our names and behaviors.
Jacob and Saul were told their new names immediately. Most of us will have to wait until we meet Jesus face to face to learn our new names. But the labels such as hooker, thief, addict, murderer, convict, home breaker, or adulterer can be removed immediately, as with my ‘gangbanger’ brother; when you become part of the family of God.
Do you have a new name written in heaven?
“The gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name”……………………….Isaiah 62:2 NJKV