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What’s In a Name?

In different cultures and in different times the naming of a baby is no small matter. Names were seriously considered, and then carefully chosen for a number of different reasons.

Some named their children after their ancestors as a way of preserving a family’s heritage.

Others gave their children names that had special religious meaning.

Some gave their children names with a meaning they hoped would come to characterize the child in his or her adulthood.

For example, one of my daughters is named Madeline Ember. Madeline comes from the name Mary Magdalene, the first person Jesus showed himself to after his resurrection. Ember is a small spark of fire. Through her name we wanted our Madeline to know that God values girls just as much as boys and we hope that in her heart her name would be a spark of faith that would grow to be a roaring fire of love for Christ.

Throughout Scripture we see parents give their children names that have some kind of meaning. Sometimes this meaning stems from something good (Hannah named her baby Samuel “… because I have asked him of the Lord.” ~ 1 Sam. 1:20). Sometimes it is not so good (like when Eli’s daughter-in-law found out that Eli and her husband had died and that the Ark of the Covenant had been captured, she named her baby Ichabod saying, “The glory has departed from Israel.” ~ 1 Sam. 4).

Now when it comes to the names of God, it is important to recognize that we do not name God. He names himself.

This is important because it shows that there is something specific he wants to reveal about himself in his names, which means we need to pay close attention.

He transcends time and space. We are told in Isaiah 55:8 that his thoughts and his ways are not like ours. He is exalted above all things and is incomprehensible. And yet he has condescended to make himself known to us in ways that we can understand. He has given himself names to help us see his character. God’s many beautiful names reveal something about who he is and why he functions the way he does.

This is theology–the study of God.

But theology does not end with us simply knowing more facts about God. Theology starts with
truth, but this truth takes root in our hearts and then influences our actions.
“Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” – J.I. Packer
During this study we will be looking at six of the names God has given himself. We will look at the truths these names reveal about God and how this should practically impact our everyday decisions, emotions, and relationships. Come join us as we get to know God more fully. He shows himself to us because of his great love for us, and we in turn should love, worship and rest in Him.


Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

~ Psalm 8:1

Looking to Jesus,





Our {Names of God} study begins November 9th!! Visit this blog post to find out how YOU can make the most of all Love God Greatly has to offer this session!

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