Have you ever wanted to have a different name than the one your parents gave you?
At times as a kid, I remember not really liking my name Amanda. It just sounded so…straightforward and official, and just a little boring.
I experimented with all sorts of names, and after a while I decided that the best possible name that my parents should have named me was “Samantha.” (Sorry, Mom.)
Isn’t Samantha a great name? It still has three syllables, it rolls off the tongue, it can be both friendly and sophisticated. Then the cool people and my friends could have called me Sam.
Now, the name Amanda means “Worthy of love.” Perhaps one reason I didn’t really like the name is that I didn’t feel worthy of love. I felt like I had to earn it, or be a “good girl” in order to be recognized and appreciated. And since most people called me by my full name only when I was in trouble, that underscored my felt unworthiness even more.
But like a slow and steady sunrise, God taught me about my freedom in Christ as His beloved child.
We learn more about this freedom when we read John 10:27-30. In this passage, Jesus tells His followers:
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
That sounds pretty secure to me!
This truth assures believers of God’s unconditional love for us. He gives the freedom to live, love, and serve without fear of losing Him or His love. In this knowledge, we can be free from fear and insecurity.
Free from fear that would keep us from obeying God’s call to serve. Free from fear that would keep us in a constant state of exhausting service, thinking that we could earn favor or approval in that way.
Secure means secure.
We are saved through Christ’s perfect work on the cross. Now, if we can do nothing to earn our salvation, then we can do nothing to lose it. Once saved, always saved. And that, dear friend, is good news!
Another meaning of the name Amanda is “Beloved.” I like that meaning a lot, because, in Christ, that is who I am.
And that is your name and who you are too, if you are God’s child. You are His loved, beloved child—He tenderly calls you His own. And that is who you can be, if you place your trust in Jesus’ atoning and saving work on the cross.
I am sure of this, dear friend: He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. Your name is “Beloved.” Go ahead and fact-check me: read Philippians 1:6 for yourself, and live like it’s true!