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What’s in a name?
Ann Jahns
by Ann Jahns
August 25, 2023

One of the most exciting parts of getting ready to welcome a child into the world is choosing a name. Names are a big deal! Names stick with you for the rest of your life. Expectant parents pore over baby name lists or think about family members they’d like to honor.

And how about the Bible for name inspiration? There are so many fantastic names that are rich in spiritual meaning and history. 

For example, check out the “heroes of faith” in Hebrews chapter 11. How about the name Jacob? Oh, wait. He overtly favored one of his sons, sowing the bitter seeds of jealousy in the others. Okay, what about David? Hmm. He impregnated the wife of one of his soldiers and then had that soldier killed to cover it up. Or maybe the name Rahab? Oh, boy. Rahab was a prostitute with a checkered past.

But that’s the beauty of God’s grace, isn’t it? He used tragically flawed human beings to carry out his salvation plan. Yes, they often failed, and some in quite spectacular ways. But he used them anyway. Just like he uses you, just like he uses me. And just like he will use that newborn believer with the name of Samuel or Sarah or Noah. 

God assures you, “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 ESV). No matter the name on your birth certificate, by God’s grace your real name is Child of God. That’s the only name that matters.