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A New Name

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62: 1-5 (NRSV)

Mike Medeiros, from California, got into a lot of trouble in school, and his report cards always included comments about his bad behavior. Because of his actions, those comments described Mike in ways that were not positive, though they were frequently deserved.

Surprisingly, one teacher though Mike was redeemable. She named other traits in her comments and in person that revealed his positive attributes. Naturally, his self-esteem increased. In time, others began to see these positive traits in Mike as well. This one teacher gave Mike the confidence to live a new way and cast the old identity aside. This wasn't merely a change of perspective but a transformation from God.

The prophet Isaiah documented a similar situation with Israel. They had sinned but God was gracious, welcoming them back and providing hope. God gave them a new name. "Forsaken" was changed to "My Delight Is in Her" (see Isa. 62:4).

Israel's righteousness was only possible because God saves and redeems. We are described by God's grace rather than the labels of our own sinful condition. Just as Mike's teacher gave him a new identity, God also restores us so we can reveal God's amazing attributes.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for naming us and calling us your own. Help us to live in a way that brings you glory, in Jesus' name. amen.

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