The AMI QT Devotionals from October 30-November 5 are provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology. He is married to Annie. They will soon leave for E. Asia to serve as missionaries.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
It’s all in the name
Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Growing up, I disliked my name Emerson because it was so different. I wished that my parents named me John, Kevin, or even Michael, like my other friends. In elementary school, I convinced my entire class to call me “Em,” because I was so embarrassed by my full name. One day after school, I asked my mom why she named me Emerson. She took out a baby name book and explained that Emerson meant courageous and strong. When I was in her womb, God told her that her son would walk in courage. After hearing her story, I slowly began to appreciate my name.
Names are an important part of our society: they help us address our friends as well as identify people. However, names carried much more meaning in the Old Testament. More than just for addressing, names determined the identity, status in society, and their relationship with God.
In this passage, Abraham’s name was changed from Abram, “Exalted Father,” to Abraham, “Father of Many Nations.” This name change was a turning point for Abraham, because it altered his destiny from a prince of Ur to a patriarch of God’s redemptive plan.
Our destinies, too, have been changed and altered through a name—the name of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:12-13 says, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Because of the name of Jesus, we are set free from the bondages of sin and are able to walk in complete freedom.
There will be times where we will feel discouraged, depressed, and hopeless. However, the Scripture reminds us that when we go through these difficult seasons, all we need to do is cry out to the Lord. He shows up in different ways: through His Spirit, His word, or His Church. Let’s continue to call upon the name of the Lord.
When you go through tough seasons, is your first instinct to call upon the name of the Lord? If not, what hinders you from crying out to Him? If so, reflect on those incidences. As believers, let’s continue to call upon the name of the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that Your name has power and authority. Help us to remember this so that when we go through hard seasons we can cry out to You. Only You can deliver and save us! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 23
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 8: Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them[f] with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Questions to Consider
- Name three reasons why the psalmist praises the name of God? (v. 2, 3, 4-9)
- What literary device points to the psalmist’s love for the name of God?
- First, God humbles the proud and gives grace to the humble. Infants and children are considered weak, yet God uses them to be victorious over His enemies. Second, the psalmist is in awe of the nature that God created. The beauty of the moon starts to point to the glory of God. Third, God has given man the authority and dominion to govern over all creation.
- We see that the psalmist repeats, “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Repetition promotes the purpose why this Psalm was written.
In light of today’s sharing, were there any situations when you needed to cry out to the Lord? If not, please take a moment to reflect on the past incidences where you cried out to the Lord and He saved you. Take some time to thank the Lord for His faithfulness in your life.