Your name is important to you. It distinguishes you from other people, who do not share your name. You are offended when someone misuses your name. However, your name is not like God’s name, which is the greatest of all names. Our names are mere labels, which really tell us nothing about us. Perhaps you have looked up the meaning of your name, and discovered that the meaning does not match your personality. That is not the case with God’s names, because God’s names reveal something about God.
It is wonderful that God has revealed His names, because in this way God’s people can know Him and have fellowship with Him. If God had not revealed His names, we could not worship, for on whose name would we call? We could not pray, because to whom would we offer our prayers? God expects us to use His names and to speak to Him and about Him with reverence. “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1).
The name God means strong or mighty, and it reveals that God is the all-powerful Creator. How foolish and wicked to use His name as a swearword, as so many do today! We must never use the name “God” except with fear and reverence. The name Lord means the Master or Ruler of all things. The Lord has authority over His subjects or servants. God rules over His creatures—including over you and me. Jesus Christ is Lord. One day, every tongue—including yours and mine—will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). Lord is a beautiful name, because a Lord owns those over whom He exercises lordship—Jesus owns His people, because He has bought them with His own blood on the cross. Therefore, the Lordship of Jesus for Christians is not tyranny, but the Lordship of love.
The God of the Bible is also Father. That is the name we use in the famous “Lord’s Prayer”—”Our Father which art in heaven.” That name reveals that God loves, cares for and protects His children. Not all men are the Father’s children, but those whom He has adopted are His own: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him” (Psalm 103:13). Do you fear God with the reverence of love? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, by whom sinners are adopted into God’s family?
The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Do so today.