On a First-Name Basis with God

Carrying on the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’ve invited Ava Pennington to share her book, 
Daily Reflections on the Names of God. In  Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer, I encourage women as they struggle with breast cancer to talk and write to God. There are journal lines and prompts for writing “Your Love Letter to God” at the end of each chapter. In the “God’s Love Letter to You” sections, I personalize Scripture and sign it with the many names and assets of God.

Ava’s book will  enhance everyone’s personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. Today’s post is written by Ava Pennington.

Daily Reflections on the Names of God - lo-res

I’ve been a Christian for more than forty years, but it wasn’t until the past several years that I could say I’m on a first-name basis with God.

Don’t get me wrong. I knew Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and I was confident God knew me by name. But I didn’t realize until recently that, although God knew me by name, I was not as intimate with Him by name…specifically by the names and attributes He revealed for Himself in His Word.

The topic of the names and attributes of God is a popular one. There is no shortage of books, calendars, and cards on the subject. But I wanted to write a devotional that moved beyond learning a name and checking it off a list.

As I wrote Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, I was struck by how many of God’s names and attributes I knew only on an intellectual basis. I had not stopped to consider what many of them meant to me personally.

For example, when I call God my Banner or a Consuming Fire, how did those names change the way I lived? Or did they change the way I lived at all? When the Bible refers to the Lord as the Bridegroom, what did that mean to me – someone who has been married for 35+ years? Or when Jesus is called the Lion of Judah, what did that mean to this city girl whose closest exposure to a lion occurred at the local zoo?

A Devotional

Because of my own need, I chose to structure this book as a devotional, applying three unique devotions to each of 122 names and attributes of God. Each name and attribute is explored from three perspectives: who God says He is, who we are in relation to that name/attribute, and how our relationships are influenced by that name/attribute.

At the end of the project, I knew God more intimately and I understood myself more clearly. For one thing, it changed the way I related to Him. My faith is not a “blind faith” since it rests on the proven character and ways of God. While I may not fully understand who He is until I get to heaven, His names and attributes provide glimpses into His divine nature.

A Renewed Prayer Life

Understanding why God has chosen certain ways to describe Himself also changes my prayer life. I’m not praying to an impersonal force out in the universe. I’m praying to our very personal God, who I know by name and who knows me by name. Whatever the subject of my prayer – whether worship, thanksgiving, interceding for others, or asking for myself – there is a name or attribute God has revealed for Himself that helps me relate to Him in that area.

Knowing what God says about Himself has also changed the way I teach and share Christ. God is not some ancient or outdated theological concept. Everything about who He is and how He works is relevant to us today. Knowing His names and attributes gives me the specific words to describe Him to others. It also helps me when others speak of who they think God is, because I have a starting point to say, “Let’s look at who God says He is!”

I hope you’ll join me in becoming more intimately acquainted with our great God. As you do, let me know the difference it makes in your life!

Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries International. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse.

Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 175+ women. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in engaging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations.

For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com

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  1. Thank you for letting me share with you and your readers, Janet!

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