“…call his name Jesus…”  (Luke 1:31)

What’s in a name?  Everything!  In fact the preacher said, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” (Proverbs 22:1)  Young parents will spend hours looking through lists of names, praying and deciding what a new baby shall be called.  Today we often name children after parents, grandparents or someone we think highly of.  Why?  Because a name says who you are, it speaks of identity and character (or the lack of it).  Not many would name their child Judas!  Why?  Because the name reminds us of one who became a traitor.

In His letter to the early church in Rome Paul calls many by name and those names speak to us even today; listen and remember who you are.  Here are six names and six characteristics in the life of a Christian.  (Romans 16)

Phoebe:  Meaning shining and pure – one who is sent to bring light into the world.  “You are all sons of light…” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Andronicus:  Meaning spiritually ambitious – “…run the race to win the prize…” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Keep on persevering, don’t let up and don’t quit.

Herodian:  Meaning civil and courteous “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt…” (Colossians 4:6)

Aristobulus:  Meaning the best counselor.   Be slow to speak, but quick to listen.

Phlegon:  Meaning eager to do good – “…full of good works and charitable deeds…” (Acts 9:36b)  The reason Jesus went about doing good was because God was with Him.

Olympas:  Meaning Heavenly – “…partakers of a heavenly calling…and have tasted a heavenly gift…” (Hebrews 3:1, 6:4)

You probably would not wish to be called by these names, but what of the characteristics?  They are yours as an inheritance when you choose to make them so.   Keep shining, keep running, keep listening, keep doing good, and keep receiving.  You will overcome and have a new name!

Related Reading Psalm 1