Abraham, Part 6 

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). 

Have you ever wished you could change your name? There are numerous reasons people desire a new name. Often it is because they don’t like the name given to them by their parents. Sometimes movie actors want to add more stardust to their names. Would you recognize Marion Robert Morrison? This famous film legend changed his name to John Wayne. 

The legal act of adopting a name different from that of your birth (or marriage or adoption) isn’t too difficult. But there are names that cannot be chosen if you intend to mislead, intentionally confuse, or incite violence. Neither can you adopt a name that is a racial slur, a threat, or an obscenity. Most states in America require a court order, a fee, and posting legal notices in newspapers to change your name. 

When Abram’s name changed to Abraham, it wasn’t because he filled out a request form. God changed his name. Today we often choose names that sound nice, but in biblical times names were chosen to communicate a person’s character and life. While Abram, which means “exalted father,” is a good name, the Lord wanted to reinforce His promise to bless the man who was yet to be a father. Abraham means “the father of many.” 

Perhaps as a child you were called ugly names by family members or by other children—stupid, ugly, worthless. But God does not think of you by these demeaning terms. Like Abraham, the Lord sees in you what He has always intended you to be—precious, beautiful, intelligent, and worthy of His utmost love. 

God changed Abraham’s name because the stumbling wanderer was becoming a steadfast person of faith. So can you. 

Loving Father, thank You for not only seeing the best in me, but empowering me to develop into Your likeness. 

Daily Devotional Verses

For Further Study: Genesis 17; Philippians 2:9, 10; Revelation 2:17

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