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76

XIX

THE LIFE I SHOULD LIVE

“And Simon He surnamed Peter.”—Mark iii. 16.

His first name meant an uncertain sort of hearer, his second name meant a rock. And the Lord deliberately displaced the weaker name and supplanted it by a stronger one. “Simon” was a man of fickle impulse, undependable, slipping out of one’s grasp like a handful of sand. “Peter” was rock, granite, invincible as the everlasting hills. I wonder how the sand felt the first time it was called rock! Oh, how should I feel if the Lord were now to appear and address me by that tremendous name? The new name did not describe the man as he was. It described the man he might be, and the man he was to be. It was not the name of a man who had arrived, but the name of a man who was on the journey.

Here, then, is a glimpse into one of our 77Lord’s methods in training those whom He had ordained. He fixed His thought on the vast possibilities which stretched before them. He thought of people in terms of what they would be. Whilst they were still learning the alphabet He saw them familiar with the highest literature. When they were just learning to walk He saw them as finished athletes. He was Alpha and Omega, and He saw the end from the beginning. He saw the mighty oak in the fragile sapling, and in its earliest stages. He rejoiced in the king of the forest, the lord and sovereign of storm and windy circumstance.

And so we find our Master continually addressing people in the brilliant titles of their new names, the names which indicate their brilliant possibilities and their coming achievements. “Ye are the light of the world.” “Ye are the salt of the earth.” “He also is a son of Abraham.” When the Lord gave a man a new name it was a call from the heights. And how inspiriting it would be! It would rouse like the sound of a bugle. Surely Simon would pull himself together when Christ called him Peter. Surely he stretched himself toward his suggested 78stature. And so with Zaccheus when the Lord called him “a son of Abraham.” The little man went home that night walking as if he were six feet three.

And this is how our great Saviour thinks of thee and me. He thinks of us now as though we were perfected. And His grace will bring us into the very perfection which we seem to wear in His holy love. We are called “children of God,” “children of light,” “heirs of God,” “joint-heirs with Christ,” “Saints of the household of faith.” How greatly He thinks of us!

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