"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:...'I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead.' " (Revelation 3:1a, 2)
The church in Sardis had the right name. Everyone thought they were full of life. But, through the Spirit, John wrote to them the truth of how God saw them: dead. Ouch.
There is a man mentioned in Acts that had a name, too. (I know that sounds funny, but read on.)
"Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet." (Acts 4:36-37)
You have to admit that Joseph is a great name. It means "He adds". The first reference to this name is seen in Genesis. (30:24) Rachel's firstborn son. And, of course, it was the name of our Lord's earthly father. That name carries some honor, I would say.
The apostles saw something more in this man, though. They knew his personality, so gave him a fitting nickname: Barnabas, the son of encouragement. I don't know about you, but if I were a man, I would be honored to be given that moniker!
What does our name mean to those around us? When they hear your name, what is the first thing that comes to their mind? When my family and friends hear the mention of my name, is their initial thought pleasant, or...well...not so pleasant?
When people look at our lives, seeing how we live, treat others, speak, react in tough situations, etc.....what nickname would they give us?
I would love for them to call me Barnabette! A daughter of encouragement! It doesn't sound too pretty, but that's fine with me! :0)