God Knows My Name
God Knows My Name
God knows you, he knows your name and he has a plan for you.
Do you hear songs when you read or say certain things?
As I write this I can't help but hear the Israel and New Breed song "I am not forgotten, God knows my name!"
God knows your name.
Did you name your kids for the meaning or another reason?* What about your name, was it chosen for its sound, meaning, or some other significance? I've met many people who don't like their names, and others who don't like their meaning, and others who don't know why they were chosen. What I've come to realise is this, he knows our names.
I was thinking about the times that we, or our children, have felt invisible or unknown and unseen. Whether we worry that we are unseen by God or we feel it from those around us. This can often be a common feeling no matter how old we get. But we must go back to the Bible, and listen to what God says about us.
But now says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
"The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."
And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." Exodus 33:17
Whether our given name was purposeful, beautiful, meaningless or uncertain, we can hold on to the truth that God knows us, he knows our names, he loves us, and he can speak to us through our names as well.
Meaning in names
My name means, "Beloved", and interestingly feeling loved and accepted for who I am is one of my life long lessons, knowing that it is only in God where this will be truly fulfilled and satisfied. I am my beloved's, and he is mine.
What does YOUR name mean?
Tell your child or children the significance of their names. Share with them the story of how you chose it, why you chose it, what you love about the name and what your hopes were for their life when they were born. I'm sure it will be a special moment for them to remember and treasure as they learn of their own significance to your world.
Mary, Mother of Jesus:
Mary's name I learnt has a couple of meanings, "wished-for-child" and "bitterness". We can often feel discouraged when our names have a negative quality in their meaning. But as I dwelt upon Mary's name, I felt God say to me that not only did she carry the "wished-for" Messiah, but she gave birth to the Answer, the Healer, the Cure to the world's 'bitterness'. She herself was not the answer but God used her in his great plan to rescue the world. And he can do the same with us. He can turn things on their heads, whether it's the meaning of our name or the way we entered the world, he can bring blessing to the world through us, even if it's in unexpected ways. He knows the plans he has for us all, Jeremiah 29:11, and he can often use our names to give clues to his purposes for us. Just as he invites us to discover who HE is and his names, he invites us to discover who he says WE are and his purpose for us.
Paul and Ananias:
In Sally Lloyd-Jones' Jesus Storybook Bible, she writes about Saul, who had been persecuting Christians, met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus, and was blind for 3 whole days until God sent a messenger called Ananias to pray for him:
"Suddenly Saul could see again, but he saw everything differently. He wasn't mean anymore. He even changed his name from Saul to Paul, which means "small" and "humble" - the very opposite of proud. And do you know what Ananias' name means? "The Lord is full of Grace." Grace is just another word for gift - which is funny, because that's just what Paul's message was all about from then on." The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones.
God's abundant grace to the world, giving us free gift of Salvation.
God can use our names and their meanings in unexpected ways, with unexpected people.
You will need:
1 White crayon (or yellow if like us you couldn't find one)
**Or old colouring pens. Watercolours are best for this craft but don't worry if you don't.
We had a whole load of pens that had run low so we dipped them in water! Voila!
After you've written out "God knows my name" for them to paint over, have them write out their own names with white crayon on a piece of white card/paper, and then bringing it to life with beautiful watercolours.
Subject: God knows your name.
Question: When have you felt unseen or unknown? If they're little they may need some context or examples.
Teaching: pick a Bible verse mentioned above. Explain that God knew you before you were born, knows you now and has great plans for your life.
Questions: What do you think Father God thinks of you? What do you think God's plans are for your life?
Pray: (As you paint over your invisible name) Thank you God for seeing me, knowing me and loving me. Thank you for my name. As I grow up please teach me more about who you say I am and how you want me to live my life. Holy Spirit please reveal the deep thoughts of the Father to me.
Give time to hear what he says to y'all.
*Your child's name - if you feel this activity could cause pain, pray about it before you do it. Ask Holy Spirit to "reveal the thoughts of God" to you about your child's future, who he says they are, and how he will weave them and their story into his great big story. Include this in your discussion, telling them you've been praying for them and listening to God to hear what encouragement he has to say.
Isaiah 49 says,
Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands..." ... Says the Lord.
As ever, get messy and have fun!