God Can Give You A New Name
5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,[C] having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this[D] is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.–Ephesians 1:5-14,NRSV
My birth name is Anthony L. Nelson. I am the only one of my father’s sons whose name does not begin with a “J”: James, Jonathan, and Jason. I even have a sister, born through my father and my adoptive mom, who has a name which begins with a “J”: Janice. (And most of these siblings’ children have names which begin with “J’s”) I lived with my last name as “Nelson” for much of my childhood. Then, my mother met and married her second husband, Paul David Trufant, who gave my older sister, Ava, and I his last name. He said, after my youngest sister Cleopatra was born (who is several years my junior), he wanted all of the children who lived in his home, under his protection, nurture, and provision, to bear his last name. Hence, the reason why I am currently known as Anthony L. Trufant. Later, however, I learned my last name had never been changed legally, although I had gone by that name for well over 15 to 18 years. While applying for my first passport to participate in a travel-study program to Senegal and Gambia in 1985, I located my birth certificate, but could never put my hands on the official adoption papers which had legalized my name change. My mom mentioned that my stepfather had taken care of that and that the papers had been lost undoubtedly in a tragic fire we experienced when we lived on the West Side of Chicago in the late 60’s or early 70’s. So, while preparing to secure my passport, I simultaneously made my name change legal. Hence, I’m officially, not simply functionally, Anthony L. Trufant. Have you permitted the Father to adopt you and change your name? In his ancient email to the Church at Ephesus, a city to which Paul enjoyed a very complicated yet with fruitful relationship, the Apostle writes members of the community and explains to them that the Father stands ready to adopt them. And, if they chose to be adopted, by accepting Jesus as their leader and helper for the balance of their lives, that they will be entitled to a rich inheritance: forgiveness and freedom, wisdom and hope, and the promise and power of the Holy Spirit. Have you claimed your inheritance yet? If not, why not? My prayer is that you and yours will enjoy all things to which you are entitled as a “blood member” of God’s family. Others–the Government, spouses, and siblings–may try to stop you from claiming your material inheritance, willed to you by your parents, spouse, or siblings. However, no one, except you, can stop you from enjoying your God-given inheritance, which you can sample now in part and later in full. When will you claim what’s yours in Christ?