New Name — January 28, 2014 (Tuesday)

Today’s Verse:

Revelation 2:17

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Today’s Questions:

Have you ever been called names by a bully or enemy? What about by a voice deep inside of you? What names?

Does anyone in your life call you a pet name that reflects their love for you? What is the name they use?

What name, if you saw it on a white stone given to you, would make your soul soar with the sense of being known and loved?

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, I am a child who longs to climb upon your lap to feel your arms wrapped around me and to hear your words of love. Sometimes I believe my name is ashamed, embarrassed, sin-filled, worthless, unloved, alone, or afraid. But I know you see something so different, Lord. You see all of me, and yet nothing could keep you from calling me created, chosen, known, beloved, daughter, forgiven and redeemed. Thank you for seeing me for what I am becoming, what you made me to be, and who I am in Christ. Help me to act consistent with my new self in Christ instead of the old self whose security was in things that pass away.

Go A Little Deeper:

Read Psalm 139 to understand the care with which God made you.

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New Name — January 27, 2014 (Monday)

Today’s Verses:

Isaiah 62:1-3

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.

The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

The words in this passage are Isaiah’s, a prophet speaking to the people of Judah and Jerusalem between 740 and 680 B.C. Most scholars believe that Zion and Jerusalem refer to the church formed after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Today’s Questions:

Have you lived through a period in your life that you might describe as “desolate and deserted?” What was your relationship with God like during that time?

What words do people in our culture most associate with the church today?

What do you believe the church could characterize or represent in our culture?

Usually, we know a crown is made for the head of a king. What do you make of Isaiah’s statement that the Israelites would be “a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand?”

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank you for the privilege of being part of your church, the collection of people you hold in your hand like a prized possession. Thank you for the restoration, healing, and light only you can bring to my desolation, broken soul, and dark desires. I wait in anticipation of the day you come again and pray that you find your church standing firm in faith, steadfast in hope, and unyielding in love. Guide my steps for the remainder of my life so that I carry the character and nature you long for your church to embody.

Go A Little Deeper:

Read Matthew 16:18 for Jesus’ promise about the church.