Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
God Knows Your Name

God Knows Your Name


Have you ever felt the urge to hide? Maybe you messed up so badly that you didn’t want anyone to know. Or you were so beaten down emotionally that you felt worthless. All you wanted was anonymity—to find a place where no one knew who you were or what you did . . . or maybe what was done to you.

Perhaps you want the opposite instead. Maybe you’re seeking a place where you are known and welcomed. A place, as the title of one television program theme song declared, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.”

I recently finished teaching a Bible study on the gospel of John. I have long been drawn to the names and attributes God has revealed for Himself throughout Scripture, but this study reminded me He also knows our names.

Why is that significant?

Vertical Intimacy

It’s a bit mindboggling to realize the Creator of the universe knows your name and mine. Think about this for a moment and rest in the significance of this truth.

Several thousand years ago, the prophet Isaiah noted God’s relationship with the nation of Israel was so intimate that He called them by name:

“This is what the Lord says,
He who is your Creator, Jacob,
And He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1 NASB).

In the New Testament, Jesus said He calls His sheep by name, too.

“Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But the one who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep listen to his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:1-3 NASB).

Although Christians now enjoy the privilege of this intimate relationship, an even deeper level of intimacy is coming. The world is growing darker and the time will come when it will be more difficult to persevere in faith. But Jesus said that for those who do persevere, the name by which we are known will be replaced by a new one. This new name is so personal and intimate that no one else will know it:

“To the one who overcomes, I will give . . . a new name written on the stone which no one knows except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17 NASB).

A name chosen by Jesus, just for you!


Horizontal Intimacy

Eleven years ago, I walked into a new church—new to me, that is. Hesitancy slowed my steps as I walked from the car to the church building. I had been part of another fellowship for 14 years, and I did not relish starting over in developing relationships with a new church family. But all that changed when I stepped through the front door.

The lovely greeter, Jeanie, welcomed me as if we had known each other for years. Multiple introductions were made and I confess that when I drove out of the parking lot that first morning, I didn’t remember most of the names I learned. But what really touched me was when, a few weeks later, I attended a social event held off the church premises. At that event, one of the church elders approached me and warmly greeted me by name. I didn’t remember his name at that time, but he remembered mine. In that moment, I shifted from feeling like an outsider to feeling as though I belonged.

Do you have a safe place where everyone knows your name? If you don’t already have one, find a church fellowship where you will be known.


Nothing compares with personally knowing and being known by the Creator of the universe, and knowing and being known in fellowship with His people.

How well are you known? How well do you want to be known?

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