If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
We go to a fairly large church. It is not a mega church, but it is big enough that I often find myself turning to our “church directory” to figure out someone’s name. There are many members who we have never met. Some, we recognize their faces, but do not know their names. Others appear to be strangers to us, but after conversation, we find we have been attending the same church for a long time. We just never run into each other. Because we have our regular routine on Sundays, from car to Sunday School class to balcony to car again, there are still others who we know, but do not see very often because they are serving in a different part of the building. It is always a pleasure to turn a corner and find them there. Even though time has passed, we still greet each other as friends, really even better, as family. One of our ministers once served as our youth pastor, but is now in administration. We took a group of our youth to Venezuela on a mission trip several years, and as fellow survivors of that experience, we have a special bond. You get to know someone very well when you are in the middle of a foreign country with two dozen teenagers. I think he was surprised to find out how cranky I can be, but I was delighted to learn how organized he was! I always enjoy talking to him and try to be an encourager to him when I can. One day, I was in the church office during the time of preparation for a special event. Everyone was scurrying around trying to get their assignments accomplished. The entire church was in a state of organized chaos. As I looked for someone to answer a question, I came across this minister’s preschool age son. He was “helping” in the office and when I greeted him by name, he looked startled. “How do you know who I am?” he asked. I responded, “I know who you belong to, so I know who you are. Your name is the same as your dad’s.” He seemed satisfied with my response and helped me to find his father. It reminded me that we are also called by our Heavenly Father’s name and that the people around us should know Who we belong to as well. However, I wonder if our actions, our live style and our speech set us apart from those around us. Do they really see our Father in us? Are we any different from the world? Consider today what God has said are characteristics of His people: humility, worship, prayer, obedience, and repentance. These are very opposite of the ideals of the world we live in where prestige, power, self-indulgence and sin are the hallmarks of our culture. If we are to lead others to God, we must model His character. What about you? Does your name reveal to Whom you belong?