What’s in a name? For some it denotes family heritage. Like me for example. My middle name is Sevier. I’m not named after the county (at least directly). My middle name comes from a long, historical line of family members. I’ve traced that ancestry back to Valentine Sevier, the immigrant. Valentine had several children. Two of his boys are important- one is important to me and the other is important to history. Both boys fought in the American Revolution and had both survived the Battle of King’s Mountain, both would have likely gone into politics. As it was, Robert Sevier was wounded at the battle and died nine days later on the trip back to Sycamore Shoals in present day Elizabethton, TN. The other son, went on to serve with the likes of George Washington, get into a near duel with Andrew Jackson, and oh yeah, became the first Governor of Tennessee. His name was John. Before Robert died, however, he already had a passel of children and if you follow the lineage down the line, you will come to my son Michael, the 13th generation with a middle or last name of Sevier. Michael’s middle name is Sevier, as is mine, my dad’s, and my great grandad’s before us, and on up the line. Needless to say, to this historian, the name Sevier is important.
For Christians, the name of God is important. In Exodus 20, the third commandment teaches us not to take the Lord our God’s name in vein. We should not swear by it. Why you may ask? What’s the big deal? To invoke God’s name to a promise or swear that something shall be done in His name, is to take the risk of human error smudging that name. It’s more than a name. It’s the name above all names. As I sit here typing this, the clock on my computer says it’s 11:14 on Christmas eve. My boys are asleep, my wife is wrapping last minute presents, and I am reflecting on the next 45 minutes. Soon, midnight strikes and then 24 hours of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior will begin. I think about the troubled world I live in and how there are times I wish Christ would go ahead and come get us. I think about how badly we need a king. I am also reminded how Isaiah prophesied a King to come. A King, unlike Ahaz. A King that would rule, unending from the throne of David. Isaiah gives a description of the King to come when he prophesied the very night Jesus would be born into this world:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The Alpha and the Omega. He was called Wonderful Counselor, imparting heavenly wisdom in leading His people. He was called Mighty God, a powerful warrior. We sometimes forget that in the midst of our loving Savior, He was a force to be reckoned with and when He returns, it will not be to love the world to Salvation, but in stark contrast, He will come to judge the world and no force will stand in His way. He was called Everlasting Father. Christ will lead us like a father leads His household, compassionately caring for and disciplining His children. He was called the Prince of Peace. Every knee of every nation will bow and confess Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Theses names only serve to fulfill prophesy of the ultimate name of Jesus. This name is incarnate of why Jesus came and who He was through and through. Matthew 2:23 says “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means God With Us).”
When you read this, it will be Christmas. As you go through your day, will you celebrate that name? Will we celebrate the name above all names? Will we live each and every day keeping that name on our lips? Immanuel, God with us? WOW!!! How fortunate are we that we get to call out the name of our Lord God almighty? How awesome of a privilege is it to worship a God among us, a God that is not dead. That name, Immanuel, sets Christianity apart from every other religion. We serve a God that is living and living among us, first as the son, then as the Holy Spirit, and always as our Father? What’s in a name? Salvation came in the form of a baby, salvation is found in the name of Jesus.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach