Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
II Corinthians 5: 16 (NLT)

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar…
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?”
Psalm 139: 1-2, 7 (ESV)

“The nations will see that you are right and good. All kings will see your shining-greatness. And you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will give.”
Isaiah 62: 2 (NLT)

Fifteen, I believe. Maybe seventeen.  Every week. 

Looking back now, it’s hard to remember. 

But since gas was a lot cheaper then, we decided I could do it.

I had just completed my service enlistment in the USAF with an Honorable Discharge a few years before, and we had the GI bill to help with attending college, part-time jobs, and some money saved from unused Air Force vacation time. 

So, Lynda and I agreed we could afford for me to drive all around the St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay area to attend every church service held any day during every week.

Lynda and our young son, Nathan, would go with me to a service on Sunday.  

And looking back, it was clear that God, the “Hound of Heaven” Frances Thompson refers to in his poem by that name, was after me. 

The God who created me was following me, poking me to turn around. To look up. To see that He was there—all the while. To turn to Him and let Him in. 

All part of the Grace of God, I realized later, chasing after me until I finally turned to Him years later and accepted Him as Savior and Lord.

Raised in the Catholic church as a child, attended Episcopal churches, and then Methodist churches, but I only knew about God. 

I never had a life-changing moment where I knew Him within. Not then. 

It’s a moment and testimony to share another day, but the God who always saw where I was, always patiently stood ready to take me and poke me to where I should be. 

And one day I got it.

And He changed my name—from lost to found.

From too far gone, to saved by grace.  

From what was, to all that can be.

From living out a temporary worldly journey, to an eternal journey guaranteed to be with Him forever.

Matthew West offers a bit of his journey, mine, and many others, in his song, “You Changed My Name,” as he shares these words—

“My name was lost till Your love reached down,
You rescued me, now my name is found.
I was a slave to my sin and shame,
But those chains fell off when You changed my name.
You changed my name, You changed my name,
From too far gone to saved by grace.
And now I am forever changed, all because You changed my name.
Now I don’t have to answer to any name that the enemy tries to call me.
I don’t have to answer to any name but chosen child of God…
It’s all because You changed my name.”

So, where are you in that journey? 

How about that family member you love? Or friend you care for? 

What about that person God put before you, you never met before?

Maybe it’s time for a “name change,” or more. 

Just a thought. 

But it’s a forever thought that could assure eternity with God.

In His Name–Scott

Be blessed, encouraged, and eternally reminded as you listen to Matthew West share “You Changed My Name.”