What's In a Name?

On March 5, 1962, my parents named me Jimmy Alan Ladd. I have had a love-hate relationship with that name most of my life. Jimmy was fine as a little boy. It’s all I knew and sounded fine in Texas. Then as an adult, finding my own way in college and beyond, I began to hate it. 


I preferred a more adult, educated name. Jim was great. Some prefer James, but that wasn’t actually my name, so I never considered it. I like Jim.


Jimmy Ladd makes me think of a radio commercial for a used car lot - “Come on down to Jimmy Ladd’s Used Cars! We’ll treat ya right!.” (Not that there's anything wrong with that).


Here’s the deal - your name doesn’t tell me about you - it tells me about your parents. They’re the ones who named you, right? Think of Johnny Cash’s song, “Boy Named Sue” for example.


But God named Himself and that is significant because His name is chosen by Him to reveal Himself to us. 


Our Father, who is in Heaven; Hallowed be your name. Hallowed means “set apart” or “holy.”


It turns out His name is not only Holy, it is powerful and unstoppable. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8). “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10). “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21). 


Solomon built a house for the Name of the Lord and when it was dedicated to His Name, the glory of God filled the temple and the priests could not even stand in it.


Take a few minutes and reflect on the names of God given to us in Scripture:

  • Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

  • Emmanuel, “God with us”

  • I am (I will be who I will be)

  • The King of Glory

  • The Father

  • God my provider

  • God my healer

  • God my banner

  • God who sees

  • God who is always there


And one day, hopefully not too far from now, God will roll up the human experience like a scroll and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord over all Creation. His name will be the dividing line for the eternal destiny of all mankind!


What’s in a name? Everything! He commands us to never take His name in vain, but rather to honor His name as Holy and live in the power and protection of His Name forever!