Saturday, July 30, 2011

I've Got A Name.....

Jim Croce had a great song entitled "I've Got A Name" released the summer Terry and I met.  We both loved Jim Croce and his music.  From the first time I heard this song, I loved it.  A very dear lady used to say to me all the time "Diane, remember whose child you are".

Genealogy is important to me.  I enjoy history and love finding out where I came from.  I have always believed that we can't be who God really created us to be unless we know where we came from.  Now, for some the degree of that knowledge is less important than to others.  To me, the more I know the better I like it; even if the things I learn aren't necessarily good things.

I have spent time pondering that over the past few days.  I want to bring honor to my family name, to all the names attached to my family tree, and to those I inherited when I married Terry.  That is important to me.  When future generations read about me, I want them to be proud to know I am a part of their lineage.

I began to think about that in the context of my Christian walk.  Remember whose child you are.......what is my Christian lineage?  I particularly hate reading those parts of the Bible that says so-and-so begat so-and-so, and on and on, just seemingly mindless reading.  (See Matthew chapter 1)  Then, I began to try to concentrate on the names I was reading and who those people were. 

What is my Christian lineage?  I am a child of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe.  As God the Father, he has no lineage, yet as the Son, he has a very specific lineage.  "Of the house and lineage of David" (See Luke 2:4).  I've always loved the Christmas story, but often wonder if we really stop to think about the story.

I don't know about you, but David is one of those Old Testament heroes of the faith that I look forward to getting to meet face-to-face in heaven.  I want to know what made David tick; I want to hear him tell the story of facing Goliath in his own words.  I want to hear about the faith it took to do such a thing!

I often think of Rahab the harlot, who was the great-great grandmother of David and who is also in my Christian lineage.  What must it have felt like to be a woman of such station in life to have the God of the universe declare your faith as worthy?  Worthy not just for you, but those who follow in your lineage?  What a joy this woman must have felt to know that the Lord of Heaven had counted her faithful!

I think of Abraham and the faith it took to keep believing God when everything reasonable said His promise was never to be.  Of Sarah, when the years of childbearing were past and yet she continued to believe in the promise.  Yes, they wavered, who am I to judge?  I waver almost daily.  Yet, their faith was so strong that these thousands of years after their entrance into their reward, we continue to talk about their walk with God and to be encouraged by their story.

Then, I think of all those people who influenced my life as I was growing up.  Some were badly misled in their beliefs, but they served the Lord with a zeal none could question.  Did they make mistakes?  Certainly; who am I to judge, I make mistakes daily, sometimes minute by minute.

Yes, I've got a name....a name countless numbers have given their life to proclaim; a name given by a Savior who shed every drop of His precious blood in order to pay my sin debt.  My Christian lineage is marked with saints and sinners, those who loved God with their whole heart, who made mistakes, who sometimes wavered in their faith....yet, here we are, still believing in that same God and still willing to serve Him.  Those folks who came before us must have done something right, wouldn't you say?

As I think about it, that's the thing that impresses me the most.  They did SOMETHING right!  Jesus tells us that faith so small as a grain of mustard seed can remove the mountains that interject themselves into our path.  (See Matthew 17:20)

What are your mountains?  Hopelessness, anger, doubt, fear, a prodigal child, an unbelieving mate, an abusive person who stole your joy, a struggle with substance abuse that has you captive, a broken marriage, a church that has hurt you....the list could go on and on.

The important thing is not what your mountain is, rather who your faith is in.  A minute amount of faith placed in God the Father, the Creator of the universe and His Son, Jesus Christ can give you new life and new hope.  Will your problems be automatically solved?  No, but you will a have resource not yet tried.

You will have a name, a name passed down by generations of others who faced just such as you face and who remained faithful through every battle.  Your problems won't end, there will be no easy answers.  You will make mistakes, your faith may grow weak, trails will continue to come your way.  When those things beset you.....remember whose child you are and that you've got a name. desire and strive to be like Christ...I've got a name!

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Phillippians 2: 5-11  (NLT)


Crown of Beauty said...

Thank you for this post Diane, so full of faith and confidence. Your life has taken you through valleys, mountains, rivers, and forests, but through it all, as the song goes, you've learned to trust in God.

Yes, the name Christian is the name we carry with us, over and above our family names. We are protective of our earthly family names, but like you I believe that the name that Jesus entrusted to us should be guarded faithfully.

I am touched by the conviction with which you write this post.


Trish said...

Yes, I've got a name...Jesus makes this all possible!
I love you Diane!

Mrs. Mac said...

.. and we are of the same lineage my dear sister through Christ Jesus. How amazing is that.

Margie said...

loved this post!!!!! so thankful to be His!

Felisol said...

Dear Diane,
This is the only way I can reach you and tell you how much you mean for me, your words of encouragement and prayers have been so precious to me.
Now Terry tells your Dad is gone to his eternal home today. I am truly sorry for your loss and will keep you in my prayers. You have so many heavy losses, and words just become shallow and empty. I know one who exactly knows your pain, and who has promised to bring comfort to his suffering children.
I leave you in his hand and shall not stop remembering the Lord of his promises.
Yours Felisol