Tag Archives: Worth

The Value of Your Name


Last week I mentioned Cran-Hill Ranch. Because of their anniversary Barb and I have had fun remembering a host of wonderful events and experiences there. Some of them go back to the summer Barb and I worked at Cran-Hill Ranch. Being the very first summer it was open, there was a lot to be done. One fun thing that sticks out in my mind was that one of the horses needed to be named. No one knew if she had a name – so in essence she had no name. Someone suggested we call her that – NONAME (pronounced ‘no-nah-me’). Pretty clever! And it stuck. Noname was a great horse – even though her name was no name.

The reality is we are most often associated with and identified by our name. If someone wants to refer to me they seldom say “The man with the balding head and blue eyes…;” they’re more likely to say “Curry Pikkaart.” They identify me by my name. In that sense I am identified by my name; I get worth from my name – what people think of Curry Pikkaart they think of me.

I believe it’s tragic that today so many people, especially young people, have no sense of worth, or no sense of identity. Their name represents lostness, confusion and a lack of heathy identity. I want to shout “When you feel inferior or worthless, remember your name.” Perhaps, at first hearing, this admonition doesn’t mean much. But here’s the thing: It’s not the meaning I give to my name that counts most. It’s the meaning God gives to my name that counts most of all. What really matters is what God calls me, and the meaning and worth He gives to me.

The truth is Jesus values your current name – whatever it is; even if it’s no name. In Exodus 28:9 we read that God ordered the names of the sons of Israel to be on the breast of Aaron’s clothing – so He could be their priest and bring them into God’s presence. Their names would be forever in front of God. Later God spoke through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:15-16):

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” God knows your name and He values you.

Still later Jesus said (John 10:3) “The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” Jesus knows and values you. So “When you feel inferior or worthless, remember your name.” After all, Jesus does!

But that’s not all. Jesus has a new name in store for you, a name reserved only for you. In Revelation 2:17 Jesus said “To Him who overcomes I will give him…a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

That’s fantastic! Jesus has a secret name just for you! What do you think it is? Be confident of this: whatever you are and will forever be uniquely His!

Yet that’s still not all! In Revelation 3:12 Jesus made one more astounding claim: “All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.” Who you have been, who you are, will meld into God and Jesus and your eternal dwelling. You will be one with Jesus! Your identity will be totally absorbed in Him. I can’t even begin to describe or imagine it! But until that time, remember you are already on the way. Get your worth, your identity from Him. With Jesus there is no one with no name – there are no NONAMES. Not even you! So “When you feel inferior or worthless, remember your name.”

Family Time

Christmas means it’s time to remember the family. But not the family that probably first comes to mind. Paul, to a distressed young church in Corinth wrote “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9) Through Christmas God has called us into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ. And make no mistake about it – fellowship with Jesus Christ has outstanding, life-changing benefits.

One of those benefits is that we have a divine position. “To the church of God in Corinth, those sanctified in Christ Jesus…” (1 Cor. 1:2) Paul says we are sanctified which means God has set us apart in Jesus Christ., Paul says the same thing in many of his letters when he refers to Christians as ‘saints.’ We are saints. Too often we think of sainthood as an honor or title for some ‘super Christian’ who has died and is posthumously honored. But the Good News is all who have been set apart in Jesus by God are saints. It refers to ownership, not to an earned right.

Through a manger in Bethlehem God has brought us into fellowship with Jesus. In doing so He has brought us into His family. What’s amazing is that Paul is referring to the Corinthian church. If ever a church was far short of what it ought to be, this was it. Immorality was rampant, a code of ethics was all but non-existent, and her theology was badly tainted. Yet, says Paul, her members are sanctified – they are saints. And so are we! Because of Christmas we have been given the position of being children of God – brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ! At our baptisms, God put his mark, his seal, his brand upon us. He gave us the same royal status as that of His Son!

Did you ever slice an onion? What does the core of an onion look like? What’s the substance of an onion? There is no core or substance. An apple has a core. Plums and peaches have pits. But an onion is merely the sum total of its layers. It is so easy for us to simply become the sum total of what others expect or want us to be. There’s a layer for the boss, one for the spouse, one for the children, one for the coach, one for the church. Soon we lose track of our identity. Never forget who you are! You are a brother, a sister, of Jesus Christ. You are a saint!

In the town of Stepanavan, Armenia, there was a woman whom everyone called ‘Palasan’s wife.’ She had her own name but townspeople called her by her husband’s name to her great honor. Palasan was at work when the devastating earthquake struck Armenia in 1988. He rushed to his son’s elementary school. The façade was already crumbling, but he entered the building and began pushing children outside to safety. After Palasan had managed to help 28 children out, an aftershock hit that completely collapsed the building and killed him. So the people of Stepanavan honor his memory and his young widow by calling her Palasan’s wife. Sometimes a person’s greatest honor is not who they are but to whom they are related. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13) We are related to the one who died for us, Jesus Christ. We are saints! We are brothers and sisters of Jesus!

There’s a wonderful story someone wrote about her grandmother and aunt. “My grandmother sent the wherewithal to Holland for her sister Greta to immigrate to America. Thrilled at the prospect of seeing my grandmother again after twenty-five years, Greta booked passage on the first steamer leaving Rotterdam, settling for accommodations in steerage rather than waiting for another six months to travel in the grand style that her relatives had planned for her. A thoughtful purser, familiar with this common choice among families anxious for reunions, discreetly offered the hospitality of the upper decks of the ship during the day. Greta declined this privilege, however, and remained sequestered in her dark, rancid, and noisy quarters for the fourteen long days of her journey. My aunt called this ‘minding one’s place.’ She never presumed that there was anything more to sailing across the menacing Atlantic Ocean than enduring volcanic tosses from her mildewed perch until reaching land safely on the other side. Only on disembarking in New York Harbor did Greta behold what she had been missing. On those upper decks that she had regarded as off limits were tapestries, chandeliers, wood-carved cornices, oriental rugs, silver, gleaming crystal, and buffets laden with exotic and plentiful food and drink. Most alarming of all, though, there were people just like Aunt Greta, stranded in fourth-class sleeping accommodations, who had accepted the invitation of the venerable steamship company and had toddled above to enjoy the treasures daily. ‘Imagine,’ my aunt would gasp. ‘It could all have been mine, too, had I only said yes.”

God, through Jesus Christ, has put us in His family and invited us to live in royalty. Will you live in the dingy, damp, dark basement quarters, or will you say ‘Yes’ to Jesus and enjoy the royal rooms? We are Christ’s. As Christmas approaches let’s remember that we are His family. That will make a lot of difference not only in our attitude but in how we live.


I was humored and saddened recently when I heard the NFL players complaining about their salaries. Their basic complaint seemed to be that NBA players were getting higher salaries and fatter contracts; they felt it wasn’t fair. They talked about striking when their current deal with the team owners ends – which is still a few years away.

I was humored because it’s hard to listen seriously to multi-millionaires complaining they do not get paid enough. I was saddened because it reminded me again of the insidious power of greed.

So how do people become greedy? How do you and I become greedy? There are three common misconceptions about possessions. One such misconception is that having more will make me happier. “If only I had more money, a bigger car, more house, more clothes…” Think about it – the more you own, the more space, repairs and maintenance will be needed; there will be more requests from others for money and donations necessitating still more time and money. Many adults today have more than their parents ever had yet are enjoying it less and are deeper in debt. They live on a treadmill trying to keep up and get ahead. It’s like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with marbles – it will never happen. There just aren’t enough marbles. Having more will not make us happier. Rather, the reality is that it’s like drinking salt water when you’re thirsty – the more you drink the thirstier you will become.

No wonder the wise preacher of Ecclesiastes wrote: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). Or as the New Living Translation puts it: “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth-except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers?”

A second misconception is that having more will increase my worth. Yet in reality, greed is buying things with money we do not have to impress people we do not know or like. Why? Because we tend to think our net-worth is the same as our self-worth.
That’s why Jesus said: “…a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). You are not what you own! You are what – or who – owns you! Who or what owns you? Can you say with conviction that you are not your own but belong, body and soul, to your faithful Savior Jesus Christ? There’s your net worth.

The third misconception is having more will give me more security. Of course, that security disappears as soon as the stock market turns down and insurance rates go up! Solomon, in Proverbs, wrote: “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf” (11:28).

So how do we lessen our greed? One of the best cures for greed is to develop a giving lifestyle. In 2nd Chronicles 31:2-10 we are told that King Hezekiah “…ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD. As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the first fruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything…Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.” Jesus said: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?… Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Lk. 9:25 & 12: 33-34).

These thoughts come from chapter 5 of 7 Habits of Highly Healthy People (Antidotes for the 7 Deadly Sins) by Pastor Curry. For more information go to https://www.pastorcurry.com/books/ . Or contact Pastor Curry for discounted copies of the book.