You see them often in large, but very close, families. You hear them among the laughter, the excited conversations, and the greetings when they enter the room. Nicknames. Special names given by people who love them. Nicknames given to special people because they are loved. Everyone in my Dad’s extended family had nicknames. I can still remember as a child wondering when I would get mine. It was a rite of passage in that family. Getting your special nickname showed you belonged, that they accepted you, and that you were loved.
Some were obviously ironic: the really large man called “Tiny.” Some were obvious: lots of athletes are called “Hands” or “Speedy.” Others clearly affectionate: “Jody Babe,” “Honey.” Mine was “Little Joe” because I looked just like my Dad looked.
Nicknames are special names, names for people who are loved and belong, names given from people who love you.
Names like the one God wants to give you.
It is a promise from Jesus given to a group of Christians living in a town called Pergamum. And it is a promise to all those who overcome this world because of their faith in Jesus. God is going to give us a white stone with a new name written on it. A name known only to God. Our secret nickname given to us by someone who loves us.
A name that only believers in Jesus get to receive.
It thrills me to know that God has given me a new name because of my faith in Jesus.
God has picked out a name just for you.
You can get one too. The God that made you, that loves you, and that wants you to belong to him forever has a special name for you. All you have to do is believe in the One who has overcome this world. Believe in the One who died and now lives.
I would enjoy talking with you about how to do that. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit our website at www.hopeforlife.org.