Since it’s Holy Week, a post honoring Jesus Christ is in order. He’s known by many names and titles that describe his purposes and roles. Here are 50 of them. I pray you’ll read the list slowly, perhaps with your children, and think about who He is for you. I pray, mostly, that He is your Savior and Lord. That you have trusted Him to save you and to be your source of all joy and peace. I had thought of asking you to choose your favorite names or to ask your children to do this. But then I tried. It’s impossible! Because Easter is approaching, I’m drawn to Resurrection and the Life. Then Savior. Deliverer. Immanuel. Our Hope. Sacrifice. Truth. Wonderful Counselor. Every name matters because of how much Jesus matters. If Jesus isn’t your Savior and Lord, or if you’re not sure, I get that. I was once lost, too. Please take a few minutes to read “What is the Gospel?” by my friends at EvanTell. Be blessed as you get to know Jesus better through these 50 names: Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1 Almighty One – “…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13 Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 Authority – “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 Beloved Son of God – “And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 Bread of Life – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35 Bridegroom – “And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15 Chief Cornerstone – “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Psalm 118:22 Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 The Door – “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9 Faithful and True – “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Revelation 19:11 Good Shepherd – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 Great High Priest – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14 Head of the Church – “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22 Holy Servant – “…and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30 I Am – “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58 Immanuel – “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” Isaiah 7:14 Indescribable Gift – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15 Judge – “…he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:42 King of Kings – “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14 Lamb of God – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 Light of the World – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 Lion of the Tribe of Judah – “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5 Lord of All – “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 Mediator – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Messiah – “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41 Mighty One – “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 60:16 One Who Sets Free – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 Our Hope – “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Timothy 1:1 Peace – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14 Prophet – “And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4 Redeemer – “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 Resurrection and the Life – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25 Risen Lord – “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Rock – “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4 Sacrifice for Our Sins – “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 Savior – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 Son of Man – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 Son of the Most High – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32 Supreme Creator Over All – “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…” 1 Corinthians 1:16-17 True Vine – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 Truth – “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 Victorious One – “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21 The Way – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 The Word – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
Perhaps you have heard the saying, God doesn’t call the equipped He equips the called? I’m not sure who first coined this phrase but it sure is the truth. Is there any role that this applies to more than the role of parent? I think not. The moment we find out that another life has been entrusted to our care the questions begin and the questioning of our ability takes on a life of its own. The thing is, those questions and the “questioning” never really end because parenting never ends. Whether you are raising one child or fifteen, a boy or a girl, an infant or a teen, a child who excels or struggles, the question of personal competence rears its head and threatens to overtake us if we don’t believe what God tells us in Philippians 2:23. It is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Raising His children is clearly His good purpose.
I don’t know about you but man do I struggle to remember this at times. It wasn’t too long ago that I was sharing with one of my sisters a bizarre parenting revelation I was discovering. My children are several stages ahead of my nieces who have not yet hit the teenage years. I had been thinking about how many young parents “dread” the middle school years believing they will not be “equipped” to handle all that comes in that season. As my second child launched from our home and my third got her driver’s license this epiphany hit me…….wait a minute, I thought this was supposed to get easier and the fact is I am exhausted and I’m not sure I know what I am doing.
Why? Why was I so tired? They are driving themselves, living in other cities, able to do their own laundry, and cook their own meals……. what’s up with being out of breath half the time? And then it occurred to me…. once they get their driver’s permit, the new stages begin to come at you at the same pace as toddlerhood. From the moment they are born we physically watch them change before our very eyes and the developmental markers start to unfold: sleep through the night, roll over, hold a bottle, sit up, crawl, pull up, steps, climbing, running, and on and on it goes. Everything new.
Can I do this? Am I equipped?
Then the preteens and teens bring the stages of emotional marathons. Should I tell her she has bedhead and risk her thinking I am saying she isn’t pretty or should I let her go and risk someone making fun of her and then the wrath that will come from not mentioning it? Why is he so moody? Boys don’t have periods! Nobody told me that their hormones are raging, and they get just as moody as girls.
Can I do this? Am I equipped?
And then the stage of launching. Just when the physical and emotional endurance begin to ease the pace of new seasons picks up for them and then THEY start to ask questions. Lots of them.
Can I drive to a church event tonight?
Me: On the highway?
Can I have the car for a date?
Me: With who? Do you like someone? What does “date” mean these days?
Do you think I should go to school in Texas or California?
Me: How will we get your belongings there and back?
Can I work for a camp this summer?
Me: What about family vacation?
How long do typical engagements last?
Me: Are you about to get married?
E V E R Y T H I N G is a learning curve. Again.
Because every child is different, every stage is different, and every circumstance is different.
So here is the good news. No, here is the great news: God equips us when He calls us and if He has given you a child He has called you to His purposes. He has gone before you. He will come behind. He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and His promise is that He doesn’t leave you. He walks with us and when we seek Him, He says He will answer.
We all want to know that we are parenting well. We all want to contribute to the lives of our children in a positive manner. We do. That is the heart of a mama. We will all mess up because we are imperfect. But…….but God. God is our Heavenly Father and He wants to help us. The children He has entrusted to us belong to Him. He has a plan for them, but He has one for us too. We are each one of His children and He wants to encourage us and equip us. He loves us! Because He has you…… you have this! You are competent!