He’s Going to Give You a Nickname

Story of the Day for Friday December 30, 2011

He’s Going to Give You a Nickname

            To the one who is victorious. . . I will give a white stone with a new name written on it – known only to the one who receives it.                                                                                         Revelation 2:17-18

 “Hello.  Am I speaking to. . . Martin?”

Whenever someone addresses me by my legal name, they don’t know me.  My friends and family call me Marty, or Mart, or . . . well, never mind.

When I got in trouble as a kid, my mom would reel off my full, formal name – as if she was reading it off my birth certificate. But this is a parent’s way of saying that bad behavior has injected an icy chill in the parentchild relationship.

 

Do you have a nickname?  If not, you’ve at least noticed how people who don’t know you will address you by a title – Mr., Mrs., or Ms. – and then call you by your last name.

We express relationships by how we name each other.  My daughter has a friend, Katherine. Because I know her, I call her Katie.  But because my daughter is a close friend, she calls her Kate.  I would feel silly calling her Kate, because I don’t know her that well.  We use nicknames to express a relationship.  Rich Mullins, the Christian musician, sounds better than Richard Mullins, doesn’t it? His nickname makes him more approachable. But Rich had a secret name, a private name that only his family and very closest friends called him. His “inner circle” called him Wayne.

 

You find an even deeper level of naming in intimate relationships. I call my wife “hon” (or “pumpkin gut” when she was pregnant.) She calls me “dear” (or “you massive hunk of masculinity” when she wants me to take out the garbage.)  These are names we only share with each other.

 

In Pergamum, a hill rose 1000 feet above the city.  At its summit stood one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” an enormous temple dedicated to the mightiest of the pagan gods, Zeus.  In the book of Revelation, the Lord commends his brave followers in that city, saying, “I know where you live – where the throne of Satan is.  Yet you have remained true to my name.”

Because of their loyalty to the name of Jesus, he gives them an encouraging promise, “I will give a white stone with a new name on it, known only to the one who receives it.”

 

Heaven is described in the Bible as a numberless throng.  That’s an inspiring image.  But you can also feel insignificant and unnoticed in crowds.  The promise for the faithful at Pergamum is also meant for you.  Jesus will give you a new name , a secret one – shared only between you and him.

We identify prisoners by a number. We address strangers by title or formal name.  But, Jesus promises you the warm comfort of a close relationship with him. He’s going to give you a nickname.

                                                                 (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

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