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A New Name

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name;

You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

Nor shall the flame scorch you.

For I am the Lord your God,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I gave Egypt for your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

Since you were precious in My sight,

You have been honored,

And I have loved you;

Therefore, I will give men for you,

And people for your life.

Fear not, for I am with you;

I will bring your descendants from the east,

And gather you from the west;

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’

Bring My sons from afar,

And My daughters from the ends of the earth—

Everyone who is called by My name,

Whom I have created for My glory;

I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

Bring out the blind people who have eyes,

And the deaf who have ears.

Let all the nations be gathered together,

And let the people be assembled.

Who among them can declare this,

And show us former things?

Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;

Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”

“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,

“And My servant whom I have chosen,

That you may know and believe Me,

And understand that I am He.

Before Me there was no God formed,

Nor shall there be after Me.

I, even I, am the Lord,

And besides Me there is no savior.

I have declared and saved,

I have proclaimed,

And there was no foreign god among you;

Therefore, you are My witnesses,”

Says the Lord, “that I am God.

Indeed, before the day was, I am He;

And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;

I work, and who will reverse it?”  -  Isaiah 43:1-13

Many people change their names at least once during their lifetime. They may have a name change because of adoption, because they get married, because they move to a country that speaks another language, or perhaps just because they need a fresh start. Personally, I became “Jimmy” because my Hong Kong elementary school English teacher said we all needed an English name in addition to our Chinese name. While it takes time to adjust to a name change, we gradually grow used to it.

There is one name change that is not recorded on our passports, driver’s licenses, or any other identification. Yet, it is the most important name change of all. At the moment when we receive Jesus into our heart as Lord and Savior, we receive a new name: Christian - because we have become a follower of Christ.

Today’s reading in Isaiah says that this change was planned a long time ago because it is God who created us, formed us, redeemed us, and has summoned us. Indeed, we were chosen by God even before we were created, to be saved through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:3-8).

This name change not only comes with protection, honor, and privileges; it also brings tremendous responsibilities. “‘You are my witnesses’, declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’”

The devotional message, “A New Name”, was written by Pastor Jimmy Tai-On Lin and appeared in “Today”, www.today.reframemedia.com; July 21, 2016.  Used here with permission from the website.