Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A New Name

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Last week was Spring Break for our family, so the kiddos got to stay up a little later at night and sleep a little later in the morning.  Since we had a few extra minutes in the evenings that weren't filled with choosing clothes for the next morning or finishing up homework, I decided to spend extra time reading to my three youngest kids each night.  (My thirteen year-old seems to think he's outgrown this kind of thing...)  We started the book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

It's one of my favorites and I've read it to all four of my kids now.

But no matter how many times I read that wonderful story, when I come to the chapter when the White Witch kills Aslan, I can barely continue reading out loud because my throat tightens and my eyes fill to the brim with tears.

And I have a rule: No matter what time of evening it is, we absolutely CANNOT stop with that chapter.  We simply must read on to hear how Aslan defeats the evil and comes back to life, stronger than ever.

Such a beautiful retelling of how our Savior, Jesus, defeated our enemy and rose from the grave.

But that's not the only part that gets me.

Every time I read the chapter that describes how Aslan crowns the four children as Kings and Queens of Narnia, and then a few pages over where Lewis tells of the new names the Narnians have given their royal family, the tears just can't be held back.

Peter the Magnificent.  Susan the Gentle.  Edmund the Just.  And Lucy the Valiant.

New names describing their character as Kings and Queens of Narnia.  Character that was developed only after their very close and very personal encounter with the one High King, Aslan.

Names are important, you know.  Names in the Bible were often chosen for their meaning, sometimes because of a specific promise regarding the child, sometimes because of how the parents felt regarding the birth of said child.  Several times God bestowed new names on His children because He had a new purpose for their life.

The story of Jacob lately has captivated my mind because of what God did when He changed his name to Israel.  I mentioned in my last post, Wrestling With God, how the Lord changed Jacob's name -- which meant "deceiver" -- to Israel, which meant "one who persevered with God."  From that point on this man was no longer called or known by his weakness -- the sin of deception; now he would be known for his strength -- holding on to God.

We once had a name that bespoke our character: Sinner.  Romans 3:23 says that we have all sinned.  But the day we entered into a covenant relationship with Jesus, He gave us a new name: Beloved.  And He shared even His own name with us: CHRISTian.

We were once known for our weakness: our sin.

Now we are known for our strength: Christ.

When Satan tries to call you by your old name, remind him that you no longer answer to it.  Remind him of what we are told in Ephesians 1:13 -- that God has identified us as HIS by placing His own Spirit within us.

The name "Sinner" no longer applies.

My friend, you have been given a beautiful new name by the King of Kings.  No, you are probably not a King or Queen in this world, but you are the child of the King.  He has crowned you as His royal prince (or princess!) and has named you according to the purpose He has for you.  No longer shall you bow your head in defeat, but you shall raise your head in triumph as you carry His Son, the Christ, into the world.

Go, and wear your name well Christian!

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