Several countries have had to outlaw certain names that parents have tried to inflict on their children -- names that various courts have determined "cause offence to a reasonable person or that make a fool of a child.
For example, in New Zealand, you can't name your child Violence. If you have twins, you can't name them Fish and Chips. In Sweden you can't name your child Metallica. In Portugal, UFO is a banned name. In Japan, you're not allowed to name your child after the devil.
These restrictions aren't random or arbitrary. Each has been tried and denied at some point. Amazing, isn't it? It begs a question.
Which names has God banned for you and me? Some come to mind.
What A Waste.
Should Give Up.
These are names that we sometimes attach to ourselves, based on what's happened in the past -- maybe even as recent as yesterday. But the Bible shows us that he calls you by a different name, not based on who you were, but based on who you are in Christ, and who you can be through the power of his grace.
By which name does he call you? One brief passage of the New Testament gives three good examples.
He calls you New Creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
He calls you Ambassador. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
He calls you Righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Our challenge today is to live up to the name he has given you and me.