A New Name

and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.

Isaiah 62:2b

For months, the pastors at Orchard Hill Church have been teaching on the book of Isaiah…chapter by chapter. “Sing a New Song of a New Name” was the title of today’s sermon. At the beginning of the sermon, the importance of a name was discussed and how that assigns value to a person. The pastor mentioned nicknames having an effect both positive and negative. While I can be a very critical and negative processor of thoughts, immediately my nicknames came to mind. My parents nicknamed me specifically to shorten my full first name and avoid other nicknames of the full name that they did not approve of. I may have been their princess too. To friends, I was known as enigma, sweet pea, skittles. To my husband, I am daisy. I reflected on how the nicknames changed and how I was known by different people…the nicknames reflected the relationship in many ways. I smiled because the memories allowed me to connect with today’s scripture teaching and the new name God gives. The sermon went through several names that were God-given. My favorite was the fourth one that derived from Isaiah 62:12: the redeemed of the Lord. The pastor went on to say that this name described our worth… we were bought. Our lives are worth what God was willing to give up… His Son. That is my new name… redeemed. It can be your new name too. The very end of the sermon brought about the “why this matters to us today”. God gives the new name and then we change and grow into it. He doesn’t wait for us to do things perfectly or make a change first. No, He loves us too much for that. He names us first. I thought about the Bible study I attended yesterday morning and even in the book of Mark, there was this theme of God’s name and reflecting who He is. I remember my parents sending me off to school (or anytime I was going somewhere without them) with their finger making a cross on my forehead. They would say, “Go with God and He will go with you.” Then, they would urge me to reflect their morals/standards as I went out in the world. They would remind me of everything they taught me by reminding me that I represent their name. That stuck with me in my own parenting. I always give a cross on my girls’ foreheads. When they are going to be somewhere without us, I remind them that they are God’s and they reflect His name. 

There is belonging in His name. There is forgiveness and healing in His name. There is worthiness and love in His name. There is redemption in His name… through arms stretched wide on the cross.

He came for one purpose and that was to give us ours. I pray my life shows His light. I know I fall short but I desire to reflect God wherever I am.


Clean

 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 

Mark 5: 27-30

The image above was captured from a video Bible study series. I have been studying the book of Mark using Lisa Harper’s book and the video series The Gospel of Mark. It has been just a few short weeks but I am learning so much. Last week, I shared some thoughts floating around my brain about what healing has meant to me and how slow the process can be as well as rewarding in this relationship with Jesus. These thoughts only increased after last Saturday. One week ago, I watched the video series and there it was…a dramatization of a woman who was labeled “unclean” with a blood issue. She was covered, head to toe, in garments and hiding from the crowd…she pressed in to just touch the fringe on Jesus’ prayer shawl. She was IMMEDIATELY healed. He felt His power leave Him and she felt healed. IMMEDIATELY. The image…the scripture…the woman’s hope, courage, faith…Jesus’ reaction…have stayed. in. my. mind. I shared with the other women from the Bible study that the song Healer has been near to my family’s heart throughout my mom’s battle with cancer. Shocker I know, but God spoke to my heart through another song this week by Natalie Grant called Clean. I will post the lyrics below. What an amazing God. What struck me most so far in this study is Jesus. Lisa Harper emphasized that He is both omniscient God and personal Savior. I don’t know that I take the time to really reflect on that… I mean, yes, it is a known fact but it is that fact that changes everything.

Clean  (Natalie Grant)

I see shattered, You see whole. I see broken, but You see beautiful. And You’re helping me to believe, You’re restoring me piece by piece.

There’s nothing too dirty that You can’t make worthy. You wash me in mercy. I am clean.

What was dead now lives again. My hearts beating, beating inside my chest. Oh I’m coming alive with joy and destiny. Cause You’re restoring me piece by piece.

Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice. Your blood flowed red and made me white. My dirty rags are purified. I am clean.

Healer (Bethel Music)

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, I trust in You

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe

And I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus You’re all I need

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, Lord I trust in You

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
Oh, I believe

I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus You’re all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands