John the Baptist was a man with a God-plan for his life. Before he was born, God had chosen him to announce the coming messiah — even his name. “But the angel of the Lord said unto him, Fear not Zacharais, for your prayer is heard; And your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John,” (John 1:13). He was unique from other people. He lived in the wilderness, ate locust and honey and dressed in rough clothing. He preached boldly a message of repentance and the coming of the Messiah. He humbly baptized Jesus and pointed Him out as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:24).
John is a common name in America. I have several friends named John. But, when it refers to John the Baptist, it is a name that has meaning, the picture of a man willing to humbly serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a wonderful Christian home. Our parents were people we could be proud of. There were four boys in our family and we were each given a Bible name — David, Stephen, Paul and John. In turn, we did the same thing with our children. Often our dad would remind us that we carried an honorable name — Bouler. We have a heritage that is worth emulating. All of my uncles were veterans of World War II. My dad won the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Our dad told us we would carry our family life for our entire lives, be proud to do so. When I left home to join the Marine Corps he said, “David, remember you are a Christian and you are a Bouler, live up to your name with honor.”
Friends, let’s make sure our names mean something for Jesus and those who follow us. Live so Jesus and your children will be proud of you, and that bearing your name will bless and inspire them.
A name is truly a valuable thing.
Dr. David Bouler of Global Faith Ministries, Chattanooga, Tennessee, contributed this column to the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.