What's In A Name? Part 1: I'm Ok You're OK 


On Sunday 2nd September at our morning service, we finished our series Are You Sitting Comfortably with the topic Proud or Bowed. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk, please click here. 

Talk Summary
My name is Stephanie. It means “Crowned” Do you know what your name means? Is it accurate? Hopefully we grow into our names. But in the Bible;
both Old and New Testament names are very significant. Place names and people’s names. Names are changed to reflect more about them. For example Abram "high father" becomes; Abraham “father of many"  

Simon "he has heard" Becomes; Peter "stone, or rock."  

God has several names that tell us who he is and reflect his nature. Seven of them are alluded to in the 23rd Psalm which you can read by clicking here

Today’s focus is on the name Jehovah Tsidkenu; which means “The Lord my righteousness.” This is about God given righteousness, not self-righteousness. Honesty tells us that we are all flawed. This name Tsidkenu tells us that God has the desire will and the power to make us righteous before him. The Psalm tells us that “He restores my soul.” We know that sin separates us from God. It creates a barrier. Sin is all the stuff that we do or say that we know we shouldn’t. It also includes the things that we should have done or said that we haven’t. It is even about our attitudes. All of us need to know that we can be released from guilt. It weighs us down and has the potential to destroy us. God our father does not want that. He may convict us about things in our lives that need dealing with, but this is to bring us hope and a way forward. He does not bring things to our mind to make us feel condemned. Jesus came to take all of that rubbish away from us and take the consequences of our sin and give us forgiveness and freedom from guilt and condemnation. All we have to do is accepts and take hold of this forgiveness.

The Psalm then talks about God the shepherd guiding us along the right paths. So we are forgiven and then helped to be the person God calls us to be. He refreshes, not condemns my soul. He leads us along the right path. He doesn’t force. This is the true meaning of repentance. We are sorry and turn around and go in another direction. 

You may find this difficult to accept or take in. But this is the name of God. It is the nature of God. This is not about self-righteousness that we can boast about, but God given righteousness that is a gift to us. 

It goes on to say that even in dark times God is with us. His presence is a sign of that forgiveness and a restored soul. An even more significant sign is the reference to having our heads anointed with oil. The shepherd would use oil as a way to heal up the wounds caused by the sheep butting each other. Surely this is what sin is like. It is like us butting each other and wounding each other. God wants to bring healing from this. Oil is also often used to symbolise God’s Holy Spirit. It is only as we are cleansed that we can be filled with God’s HOLY Spirit. This is the way that we can feel and know God’s presence. It is the way that we can hear his voice and sense His guidance. He is the one that gives us assurance of God’s love. The Psalm ends with the declaration that we will “dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” This is what God wants; for his beloved children to be with him for ever.

You may feel confident that you are forgiven or you may need reassurance. God sent Jesus to bring you that assurance don’t waste his sacrifice. Make sure that your soul is refreshed and restored By Tsidkenu.

Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Having read this Psalm through which word or phrase resonates with you the most? Why do you think that is?
2. Tsidkenu is the name that tells us that God is our righteousness. There is nothing that we can do to earn that forgiveness.
    How do you feel about that? 
3. Do you find it easy or hard to face up to your faults before God? What makes it hard and what makes it easy?
4. Is there something that you feel guilty about and need release from before you can move forward in your life? 
5. Do you find it easy or hard to accept God’s forgiveness? Do you accept that God forgives you but find it hard to forgive yourself?
    If so what can you do about it?
    What do you think that God Tsidkenu wants you to do about it?
6. What is the next step that you will take as a result of this study?

Steph Littlejohn, 05/09/2018