Scripture: Revelation 2:12-17
Journal: What name do you think will be written on your white stone? What name do you long to be on it? How does it make you feel that God has a name picked out specifically for you? What other things said to the church at Pergamum speak to your heart or life right now?
Reflection: One of the constant struggles in the life of faith is to pay attention to the right voices and ignore the wrong ones. That would be especially true if you lived in a place like Pergamum. It was the heart of Enemy territory. The capital city of Evil. It was a place of indulgence, immorality, and deception. It was a place where the wrong voices abounded. And one of the chief strategies of the Enemy is to try and make us believe things about ourselves and about our God that simply aren’t true.
In an environment such as this it is vital to hold fast to the truth, lest we get sucked into one of these deceptive ways of thinking. For the truth is our greatest defense against the deceptions of the Enemy. In fact, John tells us in one of his earlier writings that when we come to know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Maybe that’s why in this passage Jesus uses the image of a double-edged sword (his word) as the means by which he will wage war against the Enemy. His truth is our main offensive weapon. It is the thing we can use to destroy the lies of the Deceiver and hold fast to the truth of our Creator. When we hold fast to the truth about our God and about ourselves we will be free men and women.
That truth being that our God is so filled with love for us that he has a special name picked out for each one of us. A pet name, if you will. It is a name of deep affection that will bear our true identity. One that will immediately let us know how incredibly valuable we are to Him and how extravagantly loved we are by Him. It is a name written on a white stone that he will share with us when we are united with him in the heavenly realms for all of eternity. It a name that is the truest expression of who we are in him. It is a name that is just too good to be true, yet it is both too good and too true. And I am convinced that when we hear it, a deep “yes” will rise up from the core of our being. I can’t wait.
Closing Prayer: O Lord, our God, thank you that you have a name picked out especially for us. One that has been hand-picked by you with us specifically and uniquely in mind. When I am tempted to believe the lies about who you are and who I am in you, give me a little hint about that name; that I might know the truth that will set me free. The truth that you love me more than I could dream about in my wildest dreams. In Christ. Amen.