Ephesians 3:11-15

Scripture: from verse 14 and 15

I fall on my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its character.

Observation:  That word translated “character” is another tricky one.  It’s derived from the Greek for “name.”  At the time this was written, people believed that names had power.  Your name was the sum of yourself – your thoughts, authority, personality, everything – and to know someone’s name gave you understanding of them and control over them.  There are several times when demons, meeting Yeshua, screamed that they knew His name, probably in an attempt to assert power over Him.  And this idea is still powerful today – it’s a common part of magic in fantasy, and even without a magical component we attach a great deal of meaning and and thought to our names.

And here we learn that every family in heaven and on earth receives their Name – their identity, their character, their role and authority – from God.  From the context I’m sure that this was meant to be about Jews and Gentiles, but it’s also about my family, and my husband’s family, and the family that we’re building together.  It’s about your family.  It’s about the Jews and the Irish and the Chinese and the Arabs and the people across the street.  All of them, individually granted a unique identity by God.

Application: To love my name.  To love my family.  To love my married name, which has always been a bit of a struggle for me.  To know that God has a calling for all of us.

Prayer: Father, thank you for my name.  Thank you for my family name, for your calling on us.  Thank you that we are not all the same, that we are not like others and they are not like us.  Help us to work together to glorify you.  Amen.

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