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Are You a Christian in Name Only

Send out a message by your words and actions that can only be labeled with the name of Jesus.

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from Acts 13:9, ” Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him. “

Background

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a little problem with wives who don’t take the name of their husband when they get married. That even goes for the ones who go the route of the hyphenated last name. They’re pretty much the same thing in my book. And I don’t think it has anything to do with male chauvinism. I think the name change presents a beautiful image of the wife coming alongside the husband as his help mate, committing to follow his lead as God’s appointed head of the household. And so, when I see a couple with different last names, I am prone to think that there is some sense of autonomy and independence that is being held onto, even as the two are living their lives together, supposedly committed and sacrificing all for the other. But if it were up to me, I’d go a step further regarding the names. In keeping with the sense that God intended the two to become one flesh, I would have the new couple take on an entirely different last name, one that carries forth the mission that they will embark on together. Far more powerful than the lighting of a unity candle during a wedding ceremony, coming together for the rest of their lives under a new last name would speak volumes as to the new identity that the man and woman desire to have as one. Imagine the message that would have been sent if the son of a Rockefeller or a Kennedy or a Vanderbilt would have abandoned his family name, and the heritage that came with it, for the sake of his wife and the life they would build together.

Application

Most Christians are familiar with mega-evangelist Paul and his earlier life as Saul, the persecutor of Christians. I don’t think Paul officially changed his name at conversion as much as he began to go by his Roman name as he took the gospel to the Gentiles. Whatever the reason, it was never unclear as to who Paul was compared to who he used to be. And that is our challenge. Name changes are significant and impactful, but is there more to you than merely calling yourself a Christian?

Charge

As we seek Him today, send out a message by your words and actions that can only be labeled with the name of Jesus.


AuthorRich Holt | BCWorldview.org 

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