When I was young and other kids called me names, I was encouraged to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Well, that’s not exactly true. Names can hurt emotionally. It does hurt when others make fun of you, or wrongly accuse you.
The name of Christ is wonderful to those who believe in Him. But it is also true, that the name of Christ is a reproach to much of our ungodly world. To be known as a “Christ-one,” or Christian, is to put your life in jeopardy in many parts of the world. In some Muslim countries it is a crime to be a Christian, and in India, Hindus regularly persecute Christians. Yet the Lord wants us to be called by His name – to be unashamed of our association with Him.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” In this well-known Old Testament verse, God asks His people to humble themselves – to recognize that they are called by His name.
The word “called” is a strong word meaning “to call out or proclaim.” It’s a vocal word, not a silent word, and it means “to call aloud; to address by name.” When I was a kid, I would be out playing in the neighborhood, and my mom would call me for supper. In a loud voice she would call out, “Danny…come home!”
Well, that is the idea here. To be called by the name of the Lord is an out-loud, public thing. This is no closet Christian hiding his association with Christ so he won’t be ridiculed or persecuted. This is someone who is readily known as a person who belongs to the Lord.
So – are you called by His name? Are you known around the community and at work as a Christian? “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves…” Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Remember: Christians are those who are called by Christ’s name. Wow! What a privilege!