“I think God will give me ‘Bubba’ as a new name,” says Andrew, age 11. “’Bubba’ means like a good friend. I think everybody will have a good name in heaven because there is no evil there.”
If there’s a southern section of heaven, Bubba should work just fine.
It’s “Scooby Doo” for Drew, 7. “He’s my favorite character, and he’s always funny.”
“My name will be ‘Glitter’ because my halo will glitter if I live the life that pleases God,” says Jesse, 7.
Please notice the word “if” in Jesse’s statement. Eternal life is a free gift received by all who trust the Lord Jesus as their savior, but kingdom rewards are earned by faithful service. Those who live in dependence on God experience the power of Christ’s life in them. God has reserved new names on white stones for those who live overcoming lives.
“To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it” (Revelation 2:17).
Victorious athletes in the ancient Greek games received a white stone. In this case, God writes on a white stone a new name only the recipient knows.
The most famous athlete of our generation is Michael Jordan, otherwise known as “Air” Jordan. Anyone who has ever seen Jordan’s gravity-defying hang as he glides for a dunk knows why he’s called “Air.”
Except for a radically different value system, will it be any different in heaven? I seriously doubt that anyone’s new name will relate to athletic prowess. I wonder if the widow who gave two mites (copper coins) to the temple treasury will be called “Mighty Mite.” We can only imagine.
Husbands and wives sometimes develop endearing names for each other that they reserve for private moments. God has intimate, personal names for faithful believers.
“If God gave me a name, it would have something to do with horses because I love them,” says Jordan, 9. “They are so beautiful. So I would be called ‘Wild Stallion.’”
God created us to run free like wild stallions. God wants us to run free in the sense of being unfettered in our love and devotion to him. God gave us the desire for intimacy, beauty and adventure. All attempts to fill these desires apart from God end in frustration.
We may think we’re running free when we run away from God, but we’ve been bridled by the evil one. “The Hound of Heaven” is how one poet described God’s pursuant love. “Eternity in our hearts” is how the Bible labels this longing for more, which we all experience.
If God issues new names commensurate with our character and overcoming experiences, why not aspire to something interesting? How about names like Fireball, Burning Heart or God Chaser? An aspirant to such a name won’t be sitting entranced for hours a day in front of the TV.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire” (Jeremiah 20:9).
“I think God will give me a new name like one of the fruits of the Spirit,” says Rebecca, 9.
Think about this: Your new name will be with you forever.
Memorize this truth: Revelation 2:17 quoted above.
Ask this question: If God were to give you a new name today, what would it be?