'What's in a Name?'
by Travis Wiginton
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Many years ago, La Moyne woodburned a plaque for our children. It reads:
You got it from your father, it was all he had to give.
So it's yours to use and cherish, for as long as you may live.
If you lose the watch he gave you, it can always be replaced.
But a black mark on your name, son, can never be erased.
It was clean the day you got it and a worthy name to bear.
When Dad got it from his father, there was no dishonor there.
So make sure you guard it wisely, after all is said and done.
You'll be glad to name is spotless when you give it to your son.
The Wiginton name came to us from my Dad, whose father homesteaded land in Indian Territory in Southwest Oklahoma in 1887 before Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907.
Grandpa Wiginton came all the way from Alabama....
in fact, there is a town in Alabama named 'Wiginton'.
It was not an easy trip, but how grateful we are that he paid the price (and effort) to make that long trip! It has been nice to be able to have contact via e-mail with some 'Wiginton kin' (whom we've never met) who live in Alabama, Mississippi and other states.
Now we have passed that name on to our children and grandchildren.
We hope that they continue to cherish the name and live up to it's heritage.
Someone has well said:
"Heritage is something (or someone) that was passed down at great sacrifice and cost to the giver....and with great responsibility for the receivers."
So YOUR name was not lightly given..
but with hope and prayers for a life well lived and a name without blemish.
We live again through our children...good or bad.
Permit me to coin a few names that describe us as Christians:
1) WE ARE 'COMERS'......
Over 1900 times in the Bible, the word 'come' is used and most of these are God's Invitation to us to come to Him. Isaiah 1:18: "Come now and let us reason together says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Later in Isaiah 55:1 following: "Everyone who thirsts, come to the water and even if you have no money come, drink and eat and let your soul delight in goodness."
Remember the Christian life was 'free' because of Jesus' death....
don't make it 'cheap' by your life.
Matthew 11:28-30: "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke ('team up with me') and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
In these 3 verses, Jesus gives what MUST happen when we come to Him:
1) We identify WITH Jesus
2) We are informed BY Him
3) We are involved FOR Him
Has there ever been a time when you came to Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior and Lord?
Do it before He comes, for the Bible ends with the words, 'Even so come, Lord Jesus'.
2) WE ARE 'BECOMERS'......
John 1:12 following: "As many as come and receive Him, to them He will give power to BECOME the sons of God because they believe in Him. These are born again, not of blood (heredity) nor of the will of the flesh (works), nor of the will of man (self-will), but of God."
The more we know Christ, the better we love Him...
and the better we love Him, the more we BECOME like Him.
Philippians 1:27: "Those who come to Jesus and BECOME like Him, will do those things which BECOMETH a Christian".
A word used by some to distinguish from other Christians is 'Saint'.
According to them, that person may not be a saint until after he/she dies....and then is declared a 'Saint'.
This limits the New Testament use of the word.
When Paul wrote to the churches, he would call the Christians who comprised those churches, 'Saints'.
Recently St. Patrick's Day was observed, but most of the observance seemed to be superficial and little was said about Patrick who helped to get Christianity established in Ireland.
The Bible calls all of us who have come to Christ and have become Christians, 'Saints'.
Whether your life 'looks like', 'talks like', 'acts like' a saint is due to your response to God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
A 'Saint' is one who is 'set aside' at salvation, to become like Jesus and to be a part of the Saints in a good church.
In the New Testament, the word that is used more than 'Saint' (or even Christian) is 'Disciple'.....one who has accepted the Disciplines of the New Testament.
A statement that I've used hundreds of times in my pastoral ministry is:
"God is not in the business of spoiling saints, but discipling Disciples!"
Alexander the Great was discipling a soldier named 'Alexander' and he said,
"You either change your behavior or you change your name!"
We are 'sons of God' by creation, but sin mars the creation....
and we need a spiritual birth that really makes us 'sons of God'.
There are 'possible' sons of God (whosoever).
There are 'probably' sons of God who are raised in a Christian home and church.
There are 'positive' sons of God who know Jesus by knowledge and personal experience.
3) WE ARE TO BE OVERCOMERS.....Don't you like that name?
Jesus said in John 16:33: "All these things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world, you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have OVERCOME the world!"
This is the very chapter in which He promised that He would send the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12:13: "Be not OVERCOME with evil, but OVERCOME evil with good."
I John 5:4-5: "Whosoever is born of God OVERCOMES the world and this is the victory that OVERCOMES the world, even our faith."
Our faith says that what God says, is true.....
then our faith acts on what God says is true.
Victorious faith is the result of maturing faith.
Revelation 2:7,11,17, 26 and Chapter 3:5,12, 21 also speaks to the churches to OVERCOME! Read these and help your church to OVERCOME.
To me the key verse in Revelation is 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me."
Please open the door for all that God wants to give you...and be an OVERCOMER....and help others to OVERCOME!
A neighbor lady was out in front of her home when she saw me from across the street. She came over to thank us.
Her husband of 40 yrs. died last month at 60 yrs. of age.
We and other neighbors tried to comfort as best we could with prayers, food, La Moyne's tape, etc.
She said the Scripture that has helped her the most is John 14:1:
"Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions...if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again to receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
She is OVERCOMING by way of Scriptures, prayers, the love of Jesus, her family and good neighbors.
I suppose the 4th word I could use would be 'BELONG-ER'.
I Corinthians 6:19-20:
'You are not your own, you were bought with a price'.
Therefore, glorify God in your body and your spirit, which belong to God.
A song written in 1943 by Norman Clayton is entitled, "Now I Belong To Jesus":
'Jesus my Lord, will love me forever,
From Him no power of evil can sever.
He gave His life to ransom my soul...
Now I belong to Him.
Once I was lost in sin's degradation,
Jesus came down to bring me salvation.
Lifted me up from sorrow and shame,
Now I belong to Him.
Joy floods my soul for Jesus has saved me.
Freed me from sin that long had enslaved me.
His precious blood, He gave to redeem.
Now I belong to Him.
Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me.
Not for the years of time alone, but for Eternity'
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Another beautiful and uplifing article Travis! "What's in a Name?" You give us MUCH to think about here! This Scripture came to my mind: Eph. 3:14-For this reason I bow my knees to THE FATHER of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, (15) From WHOM the WHOLE FAMILY IN HEAVEN and EARTH IS NAMED. A name for all of us to be very proud of indeed! Blessings, Sharon