More Than a Name

In a recently released interview excerpt with the HBO show Uninterrupted, Lebron James went in depth in talking about his life away from the court and more specifically his role as dad to his children. He said that making a more concerted effort to be in his kids’ lives in the past year has started to transform him.

However, Lebron goes on to say that one of his greatest regrets in his life was naming his son, Lebron James Jr., after him. He felt that it put a greater burden on Lebron Jr. to try to live up to the globally sized shoes of his superstar icon dad.

While Jr. is a phenomenal basketball player in his own right (he’s considered the 10th best 8th grade basketball player in the country), the chance of him not measuring up is huge. Lebron is easily one of the 5 greatest players to ever play basketball and is a once in a generation talent. The watching world is looking to Jr. to exceed the legacy of his dad, which seems nearly impossible.

At the end of the segment, Lebron does explain why he named his son after him. Lebron’s dad was never around when he was growing up and he pledged that when he became a father he was not going to do that to his kids. He was going to give his kids everything that he never had growing up. According to Lebron, “It is my job to give my kids the blueprint and it is up to them to take their own course when the time comes.”

There’s quite a bit of pressure when your dad is the greatest basketball player on the planet. Yet, there’s also a ton of benefits when that’s your dad: inherited genes, the experience of seeing the NBA game up close and having a 4 time NBA MVP dad that you can ask advice from.

There’s blessing and burden that comes from the name that you carry, whether your dad is a NBA superstar or not.

The weight of the name Christian (literally “little Christ”) carries a weight beyond comparison than what LBJ Jr. has to endure. We carry the name of Jesus Christ – the one who believed God perfectly, obeyed God perfectly and loved God perfectly. Those a gargantuan shoes that no other person can fill.

But that’s the point. We didn’t earn the name Christian – we were graciously given that name through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. We didn’t earn that name and we never will so that we have no ground to boast and every reason to serve and love the One whose name we carry.

So the next time you feel like you’re crumbling under the burden of “not being good enough,” look to the beauty, power and benefit of what Christ has won His Bride by the work of the Cross:

1) Christ has given us eternal hope

There are many dark days when the enemy whispers to me, “You’re not good enough. God doesn’t love you and your sin filled life.” That is a lie that Satan whispers to all of us at one point or another, but the sacrifice of Christ covers all our sin. There’s not a credit limit on the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

He’s ransomed moral people and He’s ransomed those who hated His name and persecuted His church – people like Paul. It is Paul who reminds the Colossian church:

He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:13-14

The new life He has given us is secure. The transfer from darkness to light is irrevocable. He has given us a new life, new name and new hope that are entirely secure.

2) Christ has given us an eternal inheritance

While we look with hope at what is to come, we can look around at the inheritance and treasure we have as believers now:

In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed.The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14

When we take a step back and think of the inheritance we have waiting in heaven, it almost boggles the mind. Yet we have also been given treasure in this life through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to be a source of our comfort and encouragement. He is our Teacher (John 14:26). He is our Intercessor (Romans 8:26). He is the evidence of God’s love for us (Romans 5:5). He is producing the evidence of His presence in our life (Galatians 5:22). We have been given so much through our salvation.

3) Christ has brought us into an eternal relationship with a loving Father

At the end of the day one of our deepest desires is to be loved, and there is no better news for the believer than to know that in Christ we’ve been adopted into the family of God.

You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father! ~ Romans 8:15

God has brought us into His family and now we look to Him as our eternal heavenly Father. The same One who created the world and sustains it with His righteous right hand is our Heavenly Father. The One who avenges and judges is the One that we trust our lives to. The one who created us in His image and for His purpose is the One that we look to as Daddy. His love for you and relationship to you is the most secure truth on the planet.

4) Christ has given us eternal purpose

We want our life to matter. We want to impact the lives of others. We want to change the world. There’s no better way to change the world for the better than to make an impact that last forever. That only comes through kingdom work and carrying the gospel with us in every aspect of our day to day lives.

We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:10

Our very lives are not to be about us – they are meant to reveal the character and person of Jesus in the ways that we walk, talk and love.  God knows our longing for love and purpose and He fulfills both in us as we carry the name and the gospel of His Son wherever we go.

 

No matter the pressure or the feelings of inadequacy, Christians have a Father who has graciously give us all things. As comparisons fly around us and as accusations are whispered to us, may we look to our Daddy who loves us, is with us and who has brought us into His plan to redeem the world.

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