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Called by Name

Picture yourself in a room with a hundred others. Doors are locked. Not to keep you in, but to keep the enemy out.

Through the windows, you see your opponent outside. His weapon? Words. He shouts insults at the nervous crowd inside. Placards declare, “Worthless!” or “Loser!” in bold print.

You have been advised not to check your phone for emails or visit social media sites. But the curious take furtive peeks. The messages hurl abuse or try to persuade the recipient to leave the security of the building.

Fortunately, your leader has a plan. A plan to instill truth in your heart and protect you from the poison of lies.

This is a picture of our lives. Our enemy throws lies at us. But our leader, Jesus, asks us to resist falsehoods and cling to truth. His truth.

In John 10 Jesus compares our relationship with Him to sheep with their shepherd. Verses 3-4 beautifully describe how Jesus speaks truth into our lives. “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

When Scripture says that Jesus calls us by name, does that mean He uses our given name? Is He illustrating that He knows us personally? Perhaps.

But I believe it goes deeper than that. Throughout Scriptures, God calls His children names born out of His love for them—chosen, treasure, beloved, accepted.

Here is what God does to counteract the lies:

When my enemy says I am trash, the Good Shepherd says I am treasure. When my opponent calls me worthless, the King calls me worthy. When the Evil One labels me a pest, the Righteous One pronounces me as precious. When the God of this Age whispers that I’m a victim, the God of Eternity declares I am valuable. When the Adversary says I am a fraud, the Friend of Sinners calls me friend. When the Father of Lies classifies me as cheap, the One who is Truth claims I am chosen. When the Tempter says I am less than, the Father of Mercies says I am blessed.

Which of these is most meaningful to you and makes you feel the most loved?

The next time someone hurls falsehoods your way or your own thoughts condemn you, remember this. Your leader, Jesus, gently asks you to listen to Him, to dwell on the names He calls you. He asks you to fill your mind with truth.

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