I met a man named Kyle this week at a men’s prayer group. He’s the fourth Kyle I’ve met in the last few months.
There’s an old riddle that asks, “What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?” The answer is, of course, “your name.” Not only are our names mostly used by other people, but for the most part, we don’t even get to pick our own names either. Someone else gave us our names when we were born. We may be fine with the name on our driver’s license, or we may wonder what our parents could possibly have been thinking the day we were born.
Most of us have names that are not especially unique—there are many people named John. (And Kyle, apparently.) As a software developer, I’ve been to a number of conferences and tech meetings over the years. One thing that I noticed at these meetings was that there was usually at least one other person there named Scott, even at some of the smallest events. In fact, my own sister married a man named Scott who also works in the technology industry. This doesn’t at all get confusing when we get together. Sure, many people have fairly unique names, but most of us have met at least one other person who shares the same first name.
It doesn’t matter, though, that Kyle didn’t pick his own name, or that other people use Kyle’s name much more often than he uses it himself. It also doesn’t matter that many other parents had an equal fondness for the name Kyle on the day their sons were born. That man’s name is Kyle, and he has a right to be called by his own name.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “So what. I know how names work. I’ve had one my whole life.” I’m getting there.
Your parents aren’t the only ones that have given you a name. God has a practice of handing out names too. In the beginning, He named Adam. He changed Abram to Abraham. Jacob to Israel. Saul to Paul. Each time someone took a name, it came with meaning.
There is one name in particular that I’m writing about today. On many occasions, the Word has given out this name. There’s a good chance that God has already called you by this name. So what is it?
Let’s look at three stories to see if you have a new name that you might not even know about.
The Repentant Cheater
Malachi 3 describes those who have cheated God by withholding their tithes and offerings, and it compels them to turn around—to repent. This popular passage promises God’s favor to those that return to Him with their tithe. The windows of heaven will be opened to them, and God names them “Blessed”.
“Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Are you a tither? Are you a former cheater that has returned to the Father to live the life of abundance that He wants for you? Hello, Blessed, it’s nice to meet you.
The Wise Bride
The Proverbs 31 woman is noble and trusted. She is strong and unafraid. She is generous, wise and kind. She makes such an impact and is so well respected, that her children and husband praise her and call her “Blessed”.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
As the church, we are the bride of Christ and He is our bridegroom. It is our responsibility to make an impact, be generous and kind, and to guide others to grow into mature Christians themselves. By modeling our choices after the wise woman described in this chapter, our groom will call us “Blessed”.
The Expectant Mother
When Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she began to realize the magnitude of what was about to enter the world. She was about to give birth to the Messiah—to her promise. She was about to become a major character in the story that would change the world forever, and because of her part in that story, she would forever be called “Blessed”.
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
Has God given you a promise? Is there something you’re holding on to that you’ve only seen with your mind’s eye? Has He planted inside you a seed that can change someone’s world forever? Your name is Blessed.
I honestly couldn’t tell you how many other times the Word has called someone Blessed. I really don’t know. I do know that Jesus preached a whole sermon on a mountainside where He gives the same name to countless others. So even if you don’t see yourself in one of these three stories, if you’re building a relationship with Jesus, I’d wager there is a good chance that He has already called you Blessed.
Simply because He has given us this new name, whether or not we feel blessed, we are. We must not refuse the name He has given us because we do not recognize the blessing on our lives, or because we are not satisfied with what we see. We must also be careful that we don’t compare the blessing we may not yet see in our lives to the blessing we do see in someone else’s life. God has named them, too, so we must be joyful in calling them Blessed. The favor of the Father is not limited. He has more than enough blessing for all of His children. Think about it: none of my four Kyles would try to get the others to change their name, would they? Why would we be jealous that we see someone else’s blessing before we recognize the blessing on our own lives?
It doesn’t matter that we didn’t decide on our own to be called Blessed. It also doesn’t matter that God has decided to give the same name to a multitude of others. Our name is Blessed, and we have a right to be called by our own name.
God has called us by the name “Blessed”. We just have to respond.