"What's in a Name?"
October 23, 2016
Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Family and friends in Thailand seldom call each other by their given names.
Almost all Thai people use nicknames. Because Thai people are very polite and respectful, they usually use titles, especially when addressing someone older or who is in a higher position. Common titles that are attached to their names include Mr., Mrs., aunt, uncle, teacher, and older brother or sister.
To a Westerner's ear it sounds strange to hear a title used with a person's nickname.
The use of nicknames in Thailand is interesting because the nicknames usually have no connection to the person's given name. Sometimes nicknames are given for humorous reasons. Other times there seems to be no reason why a certain nickname was chosen. Ae is a common nickname for girls and boys, as is Be. However, it was a bit unusual when one father named his three daughters Ae, Be and Cee.
Throughout his life one Thai man has been called by his nickname, Moo. He married a woman whose nickname since childhood is Oot. Translated into English Moo means pig and Oot means oink. Another Thai man's nickname is Gai. Gai means chicken in English. Having a good sense of humor, Gai gave his daughter the nickname Kai Gai or chicken egg.
Names are an important means of identification.
The local Thai name for Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand is "Journey Into Light." Thai people often ask what that name means, and that offers us a chance to share the Gospel.
When the Son of God was born on earth, He was given the name Jesus as a clear identification of who He was. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that he was to name his Stepson Jesus, which means "the Lord saves," because He will save His people from their sins.
In today's devotion text we are told the Name of Jesus is above every other name. All power and authority belong to Him. In Acts 4:12 we read, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
What's in a name? In the Name of Jesus there is power to save us from our sins and there is the gift of eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Gracious God, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross to take away our sins. We praise Your Holy Name. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Dennis Denow, a missionary in Thailand with the LCMS Office of International Missions. Pastor Denow is the husband of LHM-Thailand Director, Monta Ekwanit Denow. He volunteers to teach English classes for the LHM-Thailand staff and to assist with their school outreach program.
Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand focuses on sharing the Gospel and making contacts with local people through various community radio programs, Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelism training, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), print, Internet, and Gospel text-messaging. The staff also conducts special children's activities and does presentations in many government schools.
In this country of 67 million people, LHM-Thailand is known in-country at Journey into Light. It was established in 1991 in Bangkok where it has its ministry center today. It broadcasts three different 25-minute radio programs and follows up with listeners who respond for assistance or more information. Through "listener gatherings" it brings people together and helps build a sense of community. Relationships with school children and educators are established through presentations delivered at public schools. Staff members and volunteers also connect with people through music, camp-style activities, and by teaching about Christianity and culture.
Read how LHM-Thailand is helping one woman learn about the Christian life through its Bible Correspondence Course. You can do this when you visit its blog by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries