Names are sticky things, you know. Whether good or bad, when they are applied to us they tend to stick, even if only on the inside. That’s why it’s important to choose them wisely.
Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — where I have a name for you this morning, and I hope you’ll like it. Thanks for joining me for a few minutes as we start our day together. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description.
One day a teacher had her students list the names of the other students in the class on a sheet of paper, instructing them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. Over the weekend, the teacher wrote down the name of each student at the top of a separate sheet of paper, and then listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” she heard whispered, “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much,” and several similar comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. The teacher never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. She had stuck names upon the student that made them see themselves differently. That group of students moved on.
Several years later Mark, one of the students, was killed in the line of duty. At a luncheon after the funeral, Mark’s mother and father made a point to speak with his teacher. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.” Opening the billfold, he carefully removed a worn piece of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. It was the paper on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.” All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Eric’s wife said, “Eric asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.” Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.”
Today’s verse says THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU.
It comes from a conversation between Moses and God that took place on Mt. Sinai. God was giving instructions about how the priests were to bless the people. “Say to them, ‘May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance toward you and give you peace.'”
Then God says something very interesting about the blessing. He says, “So shall they put My name on the people.” God goes on to say, “Whenever the priest blesses the people in this way, I Myself will bless them.”
God has made a list of the good things He says about you. He says to those who come to Him that you are blessed by Him and kept safe in Him. He says that when He looks upon you He wants to light up your life with His grace and His love. He says that He will lift up His face towards you, like a Father holding a beloved young child up above his head and gazing up at them. And He says that in all of this, He will give you His peace. All of this comes as He places His name upon you.
That word “place” is interesting, you know. In the original language its the image of sticking something in a position where it is intended to remain. It is a word that points to something being established and solid, even fastened on so it cannot be removed.
God wants to place His name upon you and have it stick.