by Sis. Beth Ralston
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…
When I was born on September 28, 1970, my parents named me Beth Ann Mouser. I did not have anything to do with choosing my name. No, my parents did not even ask me my opinion. We may not be able to control what name is given to us, but we can control what people think when our name is mentioned. My name maybe Beth, but I am also known as mom, wife, Sis. Beth, sister, daughter, and Beth Ann (usually when my husband or parents want my attention).
I remember the first time I heard the Lord call my name. I did not hear an audible voice, but I definitely knew He was calling my name. I was 12 years old and attending Camp Peniel. I felt His presence and began weeping as I felt His love for me. That was 36 years ago, but I am still so thankful for the day He called my name, and all the times since He has called my name. The times I am discouraged, about to make a bad decision or even fail Him, He calls to warn, encourage, and forgive.
Throughout the New Testament, there are examples where Jesus called different individuals by name. I wonder if one reason the disciples were so willing to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, even before the miracles, was the way He called them by name. In John 1:48, He calls Nathaniel and reveals things that only God would know. He not only knew his name but also knew where he had been. He also called Peter by name on many occasions. In John 1:42, He said: “ Thou art Simon the son of Jonah, thou shalt be called Cephas.” Jesus knew Peter would be a rock and help establish the early church. He warned Peter in Luke 22:13, “ Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat.” Jesus called Lazareth by name in John 11:43, “ Lazareth come forth.” His dear friend had been dead four days, but death was no match for when Jesus called his name.
There is no dead situation or dilemma that Christ can not resurrect. Jesus called Mary by name in John 26:16. She came to the tomb with a broken heart and so many unanswered questions, but she left with hope and renewed faith in her risen Savior. Jesus called Judas by name in Luke 22:48, “ Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” This would be the last time Jesus would call his name.
How sad that Judas was so close to the Savior, but kissed his only opportunity for eternal life goodbye.
Jesus called Thomas by name in John 20:29, “ Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe. “ Thomas was full of doubt and fear. He wanted to believe but did not want to get his hopes up that Jesus was alive. Jesus took the time to make himself real to Thomas.
If you ever have doubt and disbelief, Jesus will make Himself real to you. The list could go on and on, but we see that we serve a personal Savior that knows us by name. He shows up on time, every time.
Jesus has not forgotten you.
You may feel so insignificant, like no one knows your name, and no one cares, but Jesus is calling your name today. Can you hear Him?