Revelation 2:17–He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give…a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
Ever been tagged with an unwanted label? When you were young, did your friends, or even your parents, ever say negative things about you or call you insulting names? “Hey there Klutzy, Fatso, Bean-pole, Bird-brain,” and so forth. Do these names still influence your self-image today? I’ll bet they do. But God’s word can change your inner-identity.
God’s been into changing peoples’ names from the start, you know. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, (“Father,” to “Father of a Multitude,”) Jacob’s to Israel, (“Cheater,” to “Prince,” and others.
My favorite example relates to the apostle Simon. He was impetuous, hot-headed, and unstable. He once told Jesus he was willing to die for him. Later, he denied Christ to save face with a cute girl.
Jesus renamed Simon “Peter,” which means “Rock,” (we’d probably call him “Rocky” today,) and that name-change transformed not only his self-image, but his character. Jesus told him, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…” (Matt. 6:18) And sure enough, when the Church was born on the Day of Pentecost, it was by way of Peter’s preaching. His strength and stability of character changed so radically that he became a foundation pillar for the early church, serving as its chief apostle for some fifteen years. Afterward, he pastored the Church of Rome. He became so solid in his faith that he eventually laid down his life on a Roman cross rather than betray the Christ he once denied.
See yourself the way God sees you. Change your identity from “Weakling” to “Lion,” from “Sickly” to “Healthy,” or from “Insignificant” to “Important.” Receive the White Stone, the identity Jesus has offered you through the promises in his word. Let Christ rename you. Agree with him that you are who he says you are. Others may not see you that way right now. They’re not privy to the name on that white stone. But Jesus sees it, and so can you. And as with Peter, one day everyone else will see it too.
Today’s prayer: God of Truth, I believe your word. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Amen.
*The post above is from David’s 90-day devotional Encouragement Explosion, available here: Encouragement Explosion