December 29, 2010
... The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. Acts 11:26b
Have you ever wondered if Shakespeare was right? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?
Apparently, names mean a lot to Douglas Allen Smith, Jr. According to the Associated Press, at least they used to mean a lot to the man who once upon a time was called Douglas Allen Smith, Jr.
You see, there no longer is a Douglas Allen Smith, Jr. Douglas Allen Smith Jr., had his name changed. Yep, he went to a judge and asked that he no longer be saddled with the name Douglas Allen Smith, Jr. Instead, he wanted to be called Captain Awesome.
The Oregon judge questioned Smith to see if he was sincere. Smith was and he is now known by his new moniker: Captain Awesome.
Oh, one other thing. Captain Awesome also asked for and was given permission to change the way he would sign his name. When Captain Awesome marks his X on most legal documents, it doesn't look like: Captain Awesome. No, it looks like a smiley face.
I say most legal documents because the bank won't accept that kind of signature. The banks say it's too easy to forge.
In truth, it doesn't make much difference what the man wishes to call himself. As long as, amongst all the other names he carries, he is also known as a Christian.
When a person is brought to faith in the Savior; when he confesses his sins and receives the forgiveness Jesus has won for him, it makes a difference -- a tremendous difference, an eternity's worth of difference.
You see, when people become Christians, they are saved. No longer will sin, death and the devil have the final say in their lives. Since Jesus is their Savior, they know the victory Christ won with His innocent life, His sacrificial death and His glorious resurrection has become theirs.
This is, you should forgive me for saying, awesome!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we are not, nor have we ever been, worthy of Your Name. Even so, You have sent Your Holy Spirit who has called us by the Gospel. Because of Your work, we are saved, we are Christian. In this New Year, may we live our lives worthy of that name. This I ask knowing You will hear. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries