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When I was growing up, I loved watching the progressions of my nicknames. I love nicknames. I love making up nicknames for people. A name means something. People are known by their names. Often times someone’s name said a lot about the person.

I love when my friends and I start referring to one another with nicknames. That tells me that the intimacy is entering the friendship.

Throughout the bible, you can see the value of a name. Names had deep meaning. Our name is a big deal to God.

Joseph named his son Manasseh. Manaessh means “God has made me forget all my troubles.” Moses was named as “one delivered from the water.” Peter means, “the rock.” Nathaniel was described by Jesus as “one without deceit.” Jesus, the name above all names, “son of the most high.”

Names are important. Names come with identity. I am sure we can all recall a time(s) when we have been called names that have left wounds. You might even still attribute these names to yourself.

I have experienced names that have left marks on me. I have been called stupid, not enough, ugly, tom-boy (as a negative), and prideful. I have felt the not so clearly defined names as, worth abandoning, unloved, nothing to offer, and unworthy. Those names are hard to shake.

Jesus came and redefined our names. He cares about those names that are on repeat in our hearts and minds. Jesus came and reminded us that our names have always been beloved, loved, worthy, beautiful, forgiven, child, pursued, found, and worth dying for.

One truth I try and sub into the loop in my mind is, “I have called you by name and you are mine.” We are his. In him is where we belong.

Identity means everything. Our identity in him never changes. Nothing we say or do changes that identity. We belong. We are his.

What names are on repeat in your heart?

What names do you need to sub in?

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