New Name Written Down in Glory
written by Jonathan Waggett, Worship Pastor (August 1, 2023)
As we prepare to worship together this coming Sunday, I want to introduce what may be a new song to you: New Name Written Down in Glory. I fell in love with this song when I had the opportunity to lead worship at the NC Baptist Annual Meeting last fall and I believe it is a song that will encourage God's people as we worship Him. I often provide my own take on new songs in my blog posts, but the co-writers (Charity Gayle and David Gentiles) of this song did such a phenomenal job providing the back-story and the biblical foundation for this song that I'm going to leave you with their words.
New Name Written Down in Glory is a beautiful blend of the treasured hymn and a fresh sound. It brings all generations together in praise and glorifies God for every person born again with their name written in the Lamb’s book of life.
It is a declaration of identity in Christ and a joyful sound of redemption.
There’s something about the songs we grew up singing in church - the ones that every time we hear them, it brings us to a place of remembrance and thanksgiving to the Lord. I remember my grandparents would sing that ol’ hymn and it never failed that they would have a smile on their faces and their hands clapping and rejoicing! I pray that this song becomes that for you. That it makes you glad and thankful. That you sing it with your children and grandchildren and that God is glorified!
In 2016, my wife Emily and I began a journey to grow our family through foster care and adoption. We had been wrestling with infertility for many years and felt affirmed by the Holy Spirit that we would walk through the Texas foster care system to build our forever family. Little did we know that our lives would be eternally altered when an 8-month-old little boy and a newborn baby girl were placed in our home. We fell in love at first sight. We didn’t know what the next days, months, or even years would look like, but we had a sense that the Lord would make us a forever family one day. Many who have walked similar roads like ours would tell you that days like these can be filled with joy, fear, anxiety, excitement, tension, release, defeat, and victory.
On July 26, 2018, something miraculous happened. Something only God could do happened. We officially welcomed Royal David Gentiles and Bethel Joy Gentiles into our family through the miracle of adoption. With family and friends, we stood before a District Judge and covenanted before God and the State of Texas that we would receive these two children as our own for all of our lives. We would receive them “as if” we had borne them ourselves. We would accept them fully and intentionally to forever love, care for, and affirm as “ours”!
Then we gave them our name! Gentiles. The Gentiles Family name. Such a powerful thought that the name that gave me identity, history, heritage, holiday memories, family vacations, and a place to belong to, is now their name. Even more than that, I gave Royal my name, David, as his middle name.
Royal - David - Gentiles.
Our children have our name. My son has my name.
Your New Name
If you have given your life to Jesus and decided to follow him as Lord and Savior, you also have a new name. You’ve been given the family name of the most high God! He is the Alpha & Omega, The Lord of Lords, The Creator and Sustainer of all things. He holds your very breath in his hands and has welcomed you in as a son and daughter!
We know this because the apostle John shared with us in the first chapter of his gospel that: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name..” (John 1:12).
What’s more incredible than that revelation is the reality that if you are in Christ, God will also give you a new name that only you and He will share in eternity. He simply says, “To him who overcomes, .. I will give a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ (Revelation 2:17)
This picture of the white stone is so powerful!
In the ancient law courts, white and black stones were used for registering the verdicts of juries—black for guilty, white for not guilty. You and I are found guilty under the penalty of sin without the work of Jesus breaking sin’s power and applying the perfection of Jesus’ sacrifice upon our sin to redeem us from death and liberate us to eternal life!
But if Jesus is your Savior and Lord you can be confident that you have a white stone with your new name waiting for you in eternity. “There is a New Name Written Down in Glory” and it’s yours!
In the co-writing writing session with a group of students, Charity Gayle, and Denita Gibbs, I remember so vividly the moment these words and melody came:
“I am who I am because the I AM tells me who I am…”
We were in the middle of talking about how our identities were changed from enslaved to free, broken to whole, orphan to adopted, and abandoned to son and daughter of our loving God. It was like a truth train came storming down the tracks of our hearts. I could see the electricity in these truths in the flow of the melody and lyrics. It just came out of my mouth like a tidal wave! The whole room went crazy. We knew the Lord had given us something special to share with the world.
I’ve got a new name! You have a new name! And it’s written down in glory!
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name..” (John 1:12)
- David Gentiles
In light of this incredible news - the incomparable gift of being a member of God's family - I invite you to learn this new song and come ready to praise the Lord this Sunday with your all!