Called by Name

The best thing that I can tell you to do if you are facing hopelessness is to listen to Jesus. Hear Him call your name. Like the woman who couldn’t straighten up, don’t quit. 
—Tony Evans, Kingdom Woman

Fans crowded into stadium bleachers were going wild. The high school basketball game was tied, and there were only fourteen seconds left on the clock. If the home team could sink just one more basket and keep their crosstown rivals from scoring, the varsity girls team would end their season undefeated. With eight seconds left, the home team’s star player was fouled while shooting. As she stepped to the free throw line, she heard the crowd begin to chant. It wasn’t wild, as it had
been in the heat of the game. In fact, it was a pulsing whisper. The crowd was saying her name.
Knees bent and eyes ahead, the girl pounded the ball on the ground twice to center herself; then her whole body uncoiled as she thrust the ball toward the basket. Swish! The crowd went wild. Then she did it again. And one minute later, fans burst onto the court still screaming her name. While they’d been cheering for the team most of the game, nothing compared to hearing the sound of her name at the end.

Beloved, this is how Jesus addresses us. He doesn’t holler, “Baptists!” or “Methodists!” Rather He calls, “Zacchaeus!” He grins and says, “Mary!” He hasn’t called your family or your congregation. Jesus has called you by name.