What’s in a Name?

Plenty, if you ask Ava Pennington.

The gorgeous cover of her new devotional, Reflections on the Names of God, beckons us to open and discover the depth and breadth of God’s character revealed in His manifold names. She offers a trinity of daily devotionals for each name. The first gives us scriptural context, the second, what it means for us individually, and the third day, how it applies as we interact with other Christians and the world in general. My favorite so far, is Yahweh Shammah: The Lord is There.

Contemplating the Presence of God

While in a study of the Psalms, and in particular, the Zion Psalm 84, I realized how precious the presence of God is. In the Old Testament, His presence inhabited only chosen people, such as prophets, priests, and kings, gifting them for a special work. At times, individuals such as Joshua or Samson were bestowed the presence of the spirit so they could carry out God’s plan.

I asked myself: Do I appreciate the fact that God’s presence is always with me? That He never leaves me or forsakes me?

Examining God’s Names in Three Aspects

Ava asks the same sort of questions as she first gives us the Biblical context for the name from Ezekiel and 2 Chronicles, where the Lord’s glory filled the temple. When the Israelites were exiled for years from their home, they had no access to the holy presence of God. No temple. And no place to worship or offer sacrifices. Ava points out that we often take the Holy Spirit for granted. Isn’t that convicting?

In the second of three devotionals on Yahweh Shammah, she focuses on recognizing His voice, reflecting on Elijah’s experience after the victory over the prophets of Baal. He was exhausted, emotionally, physically and spiritually. God revealed Himself in a still, small voice. Ava asks the reader, How do I need to refocus my attention to recognize the Lord’s presence today?

In the third devotional, Ava reminds us of Jesus’ presence with us forever in heaven—with those we knew (and never knew) on earth. Some, we love, but others can be difficult to love this side of glory. Do we still acknowledge God’s presence in them as fellow Christians? Food for thought, to be sure!

A Devotional to Bring Intimacy With God

Biblical, insightful, and encouraging. Those are the three words I would use to describe Ava Pennington’s devotional. With a short passage to read, a verse to focus on, a prayer, and a question to ponder at the end, Reflections on the Names of God is sure to be one of your go-to devotionals as you seek to know God more intimately. And it’s a perfect gift for Easter, Mother’s Day, or graduation.

For a deeper look into Ava Pennington’s heart for God and her writing journey, read her post The Devotional that Refused to Die. Interestingly, I could clearly see the triad of devotionals and their application before reading her post. A good author desires to make their writing clear to readers, whether she writes fiction or nonfiction!

Incidentally, I found this new video from the Bible Project focusing on the name Yahweh. They have an entire series on the names of God. Do you have a favorite name of God that comforts or challenges you? Let me know in the comments below!

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