Have you noticed how many names are omitted in stories recorded in the Bible? Multiple times Jesus performs miracles for specific people whom we know only as a man or a woman. I want to suggest that this may present us an opportunity. God wants us to do more than read about these individuals. He desires us to personalize these stories. He is inviting us to insert our own names into these situations.
In John 4:1-16 we hear the conversation between Jesus and a woman – a woman from Samaria to be specific. Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water. However, He offers her Living Water. The woman asks Jesus who He is while He already knows who she is. Jesus answers her question in verse 26. The New Living Translation says, “Then Jesus told her, ‘I Am the Messiah!’”
If you do not know Jesus as the Messiah and your personal Savior, this is a good starting point. Even though you may have a personal relationship with Jesus, are you thirsty spiritually? Your physical thirst may be satisfied but spiritually you are parched. Is there a situation in “some area” of your life that is depleting your supply of Living Water? Jesus is calling you by name and offering the Living Water of the Holy Spirit to satisfy your thirst.
Mark 3:1-5 records the healing of a man with a withered hand. We don’t know this man’s name, but Jesus does. He knows his name and his need. Jesus tells the man to stretch out his hand and He restores it.
Have you allowed a talent or a gift to atrophy because you have not used it for God’s glory? You may have to stretch your faith to ask Jesus for help. He is willing. He knows your name as well as your need.
In Luke 8:40-48 we read of another women without a name. We only know her as a woman who has been suffering with constant bleeding for 12 years. In desperation and in faith, she reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. Her bleeding stops immediately. Jesus tells this woman in verse 48, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Did you notice that Jesus now gives her the name of Daughter? She is not nameless to Jesus.
The King James Version describes her problem as being an “issue of blood.” Is there some “issue” you have been struggling with for an extended time? Reach out in faith to Jesus. He will sense even a timid touch. Then He will touch you with His healing power.
We encounter a man by the pool at Bethesda in John 5:2-9. This man has seen sick for 35 years. Jesus approaches him and asks if he wants to be healed. His first response is that he has no one to put him in the pool, However, he must finally answer positively because in verse 8 Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and walk.
What is paralyzing you from walking in God’s freedom? Do you want to be set free? Hear Jesus calling your name and start walking in your new freedom.
Within each of these stories, we find a person identified by his/her problem rather than a name. However, God sees each individual as a person, not a problem. He sees you in the same way.
You can insert your name in additional verses throughout scripture. Sometimes a pronoun speaks your name.
I encourage you to insert your name into Isaiah 43:1. “But now, this is what the LORD says– He who created you, ______, He who formed you, ______: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” I intentionally left a blank where the names Jacob and Israel was written in scripture.
The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.” When Jesus hung on the cross with nails piercing His hands, He bore our sins. Our personal names were on the palms of His hands.
We all know John 3:16. But, do we take time to personalize it? Read the familiar words while replacing “whoever” with your name. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. How does this make you feel?
I have started to rewrite Romans 8:28. Now you can insert your own name. And I know that in all things God works for the good of (your name) who loves Him, who has been called according to His purpose.
Hear Jesus speak your name in Matthew 28:20. “Surely I am with you always.”
Where are you in the Bible? I know you are there. God knows you are there. He wants to help you just as He helped the men and women in the stories I have highlighted. Which person is an example of you? In which scripture passage do you hear the Lord calling your name? Max Lucado has said, “We have to admit who we are before Jesus can help us.”
God does not identify you by something you have done or some tragedy you have experienced. He knows your name. He sees your needs. Allow Jesus to have an active part in your life. He is calling your name.