Saturday, January 7, 2017

Live By Your New Name

Genesis 17:1-8 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

This last Sunday, Pastor Kyle continued in his sermon series through the book of Genesis on the above bible passage. Today, rarely do we live by our vocation or title, but it was not always that way. Many surnames originated by a family title or vocation. The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “surname” as: An additional name; a name or appellation added to the baptismal or Christian name, and which becomes a family name. Surnames, with us, originally designated occupation, estate, place of residence, or some particular thing or event that related to the person. Thus, we have the last names of Smith, Turner, Carpenter, Taylor, Cook, Baker, Thatcher, Butler, Hunter, Butcher, et cetera. Some many be appointed, born, or elected into a position which adds a title in front of their baptismal or Christian name, such as Chairman, Governor, Senator, President, Prince or Queen. Others, though years of study and practice, may earn a title that precedes their first name, such as Pastor, Professor or Doctor.

Genesis 17:15-16 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

God may start something in you today that may take years to come to fulfillment. God has new things ahead for you and I. But, is anything too difficult for the Lord? God has a plan and a new work for you and His church. A new day, a new walk, a new year. We need to overcome the mental awkwardness attached to change. The meaning of the name “Abram” is “many, or multitude”. But, the name Abraham meaning "father of many" in Hebrew. Sarai means "my princess" in Hebrew. Sarah means “woman of high rank”, often simply translated as "Princess". Think more about your new identifying name/title as “Christian”, “devoted and faithful disciple” and “child of God”.

Pastor Kyle three things to know about spiritual names: (1) There is weight attached to them. Weight implies a heaviness, a load and a burden to bear, but worthy. It doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy; freedom isn’t free. Walk before God blameless. (2) There is a promise connected to them. Forgiveness/Salvation/Hope is God’s medicine for our soul. The reward may be delayed, but is profound. (3) They are a sign of God’s covenant faithfulness. A ring is the symbol of a covenant … a reminder of the reality of faithfulness. We can trust, believe and lean upon the promises of God because He is loving, merciful and faithful. Bottom line – Live by your new name.

In Christ, Brian

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