Devo :: Your Name
Do you know who named you when you were born? That’s right - your parents! But did you know that God has a special name that he calls you also? Names are important because they have meaning, we also call this an “identity” - and God has a special name with a special identity for each of his children. In the Bible it says,
This is what the Lord says —
he who created you, Jacob,
he who shaped you into who you would become, Israel:
“Do not be afraid, because I have saved you;
I have called you by a special name, because you are my child.”
God gave Jacob a special name in the Bible - he named him Israel. Israel means someone who triumphs with God. God gave his children many special names …
He called Abram “Abraham” (Genesis 17:5) - it might seem like a small difference, but Abraham means a father of many nations, and that’s the identity God had for Abraham!
He called Gideon a “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12)
He called Peter a strong “rock” (Matthew 16:18)
When God named Eve in the garden, he chose a name that meant mother of life, because he knew that she would be the mother to every living thing in the garden and all life would come from her!
Names and identities are very powerful words about us, and they come in all sorts of different types.
Some identity names identify our role in life ::
son, daughter, sister, student, mother, police officer, ice skater
What are some identity names that describe your role in life?
Some identity names identify our true identities and personalities that God created in us ::
sweetheart, kind, patient, beautiful, loving, brave, strong, creative
What are some identity names that describe your heart and who God created you to be?
Some identity names are not true about us (they are lies!), and it is hurtful when people call us those names ::
dumb, worthless, ugly, scaredy-cat
Has anyone ever said identity name lies about you?
Do you have any nicknames that your parents or friends call you? What names do you love being called? Are there any names that you don’t like being called?
Pray and ask God what name he calls you - ask him what your true identity name is and write down what he tells you or shows you!
Note to Parents ::
We are going to take a look at your child’s given name during this activity. If you chose their name for a specific reason, this is a wonderful time to tell them the story of their name and how you decided to give them that name.
If you don’t know their name’s meaning, take a few minutes to research it before this activity. Names can have a lot of different meanings in different contexts and languages. Spend some time exploring your child’s name and see if something special sticks out.
If you are having a hard time identifying the meaning of your child’s name, it might be a great time to ask God about your child’s identity. Speak and pray your child’s identity over them. If God tells you a specific name/identity for your child, share that with them also while you are looking at their birth-name.
**If you yourself are exploring this idea for the first time, please take some time to pray and ask God about your own name and identity. What a powerful example this will be for your child!
Reinforcement Activity ::
Your Name //
Like God gave names to Eve, Abraham, Gideon, Jacob and Peter, he does the same for you and your child. He has given us each a name and identity.
- Take some time to tell your child about how you chose their name.
- Look up what your child’s given name mean -- look for ways to uplift/speak identity over the child.
- Use paper plates to write your child’s name and the meaning of their name.
- Allow the child to decorate their “nameplate”.
- Once finished, post the plate in a prominent place in their room/house.
Optional variations ::
Older kids might enjoy using a different surface rather than a paper plate. Be creative and let them help you choose! Some ideas include painting their name on a rock or using a piece of scrapbook paper and framing it.