Growing up I was totally blessed with two of the most amazing grandmothers any kid could ever hope or ask for- GramE and GramO – ‘E’ for Ella and ‘O’ for Okla. While Ella is a name you are probably familiar with, Okla may be off the beaten path a bit and the actual story of her name is pretty unconventional as well.
Apparently, my great-grandfather had lined up for the Oklahoma Land Run in April of 1889, anxious to be a part of the thousands of hopeful settlers rushing to stake claim to a piece of Oklahoma land, when he received word from his home in Arkansas that his wife Sarah had just given birth to twins, a girl and a boy. He was so ecstatic about being part of this growing new territory that he sent word back to his wife to name the girl Okla and his new son Homa – and that she did. Thus GramO!
So what comes to mind when you hear someone’s name? More than likely an image of that person mingled with emotions of your good or bad relationship with them! Names can be so powerful. Proverbs 22:1 tells us that if you must choose between great riches or a good name, take the good name. Such great advice! Think about it – is here enough money in the entire world to buy back Adolf Hitler or Benedict Arnold’s name? The answer is not on your life, no!
Someone once said that Jesus has the perfect name. I would agree mainly because of His sweeping and limitless mastery of heaven and earth! No wonder the writer of Psalms wrote: “Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised.” But why do you think that is?
For starters, the Bible reveals that there is no other name given to mankind by which we can obtain salvation, and that everyone who calls on that name will be saved! Kinda a big deal! In addition to that, as Christ-followers, we can use that powerful name to heal the sick and set people free. The mind-blowing thing often missed here is that the word “Christ” literally means “the anointed one.” So being Christ-ians, we are under His authority to also be “anointed” to heal, etc – in His name! Another big deal!
There’s an old story of a king who one day called in a faithful servant and gave him an exquisite golden pen. The king told his servant that he was giving him authority to use the golden pen to write the kings name on whoever was sick and they would be miraculously healed. The servant was thrilled to be of such heroic service and off he went – writing the name of the king and healing everyone he came in contact with.
But one day, a group of people began to thank and praise the servant for their healing instead of the king, and this time the servant failed to correct them, instead, taking all the glory for himself. Day after day he amassed a growing number of tributes and accolades until one fateful day, instead of writing the kings name, he penned his own.
The king, of course, heard about all this and called in the unfaithful servant. With great sadness he retrieved the golden pen. The following day the king called in a faithful servant and gave him an exquisite golden pen…
It’s so imperative we grasp what an amazing privilege it is to be in fellowship with our King and the responsibility of using His powerful name! That He would even involve us in Godly matters at all is a total head-scratcher to me, but every time we call ourselves Christians we are invoking the name of the Lord and functioning as Ambassadors for Christ. Really, how incredible is that?! I like how evangelist Leonard Ravenhill put it: “Smart men walked on the moon, daring men walked on the ocean floor, but wise men walk with God!”
You may never again hear the name Okla, but my hearts desire is that everyone I come in contact with will hear the name of Jesus, the Rock of our Salvation. God so loves the world that His desire is that none be lost! Not one!!
Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information you can visit them at DPCityChurch.org.
Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle