Have you noticed your ears perk at your name? It could be a noisy space, but if your friend hollers your name, somehow your ears tune into that specific sound.

A name is a powerful thing. It tells something about you and becomes a piece of self definition as few other things can.

Maybe you love your name. Or maybe you commiserate with the Christian writer, Frederick Buechner? Poor Mr. Buechner (pronounced “beek-ner”) confessed...

“If somebody mispronounces [my name] in some foolish way, I have the feeling that what's foolish is me. If somebody forgets it, I feel that it's I who am forgotten…. If my name were different, I would be different. When I tell you my name, I have given you a hold over me that you didn't have before. If you call it out, I stop, look, and listen whether I want to or not.”*

What's in a Name

Our names hold power. Why? Because words, especially precious words like names, hold power and significance. Remember the nickname you hated in high school? Your favorite pet name from your parents? That friend who never uses her first name for very specific reasons?

In Bible times names were chosen for their meanings. Think of:

  • Eve – living, mother of life (who is literally the mother of all living)
  • Ruth – compassionate friend (whose loyal, committed friendship to her struggling MIL affected Jesus’ lineage)
  • Esther – star, secret, hidden (who hid in plain sight until she was able to rescue her people)
  • Hannah – favor, grace (who found favor and grace in God’s answer to her cry for a son)
  • Elizabeth – God’s promise (whose long-awaited son turned out to be Christ’s herald)

And our Friend who loves at all times has a “name above all names” (Philippians 2:9), not to mention many other names that tell us what He's like.

Quiet Time Practice

Next time you settle in for quiet time, let your heart ponder Jesus' names. And let the Holy Spirit delight your heart as He shows you more about our precious Savior.

Jesus (Savior)

Matthew 1:21

Bread of Life

John 6:32-35

The Word

John 1:1-5


Matthew 1:23


Philippians 2:11

Light of the World

John 8:12

Resurrection and the Life

John 11:25

Shepherd & Overseer of our Souls

1 Peter 2:25

Author & Finisher of our Faith

Hebrews 12:2

The Way, The Truth, The Life

John 14:6

May we relish the chance to explore more of Jesus. And how each of His names reveals another piece of the treasure who is the Lover of our souls.

Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus, thank You for the power of Your name. Teach me more of your goodness and grace as I find out more about your many names. May one special name imprint on my heart so I come to know and believe You in a deeper way. Amen.


  1. Which name of Jesus encourages my heart in this specific season?
  2. How does the meaning of my name help me notice God's hand in my life?


*Buechner quote