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How Important Is Your Name?

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Sermon shared by Rich Anderson

January 2011
Summary: The Bible is filled with accounts regarding how God used people in powerful ways. Both the known and the not-so-much known. Jesus has touched millions of people in a very humble way.
Denomination: Christian Church
Audience: General adults
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(Jesus Christ), and he brought him to Jesus. When Jesus looked at him He said, you are Simon, the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas which is translated a stone. The term Cephas means a small rock in Aramaic which is translated “Peter” in Greek, or Petros. Jesus’ assignment of the name Cephas, or Peter to Simon occurred at the outset of His ministry. The statement not only is predictive of what Peter would be called but also declarative of how Jesus would transform his character and use him in relationship to the foundation of the church.

We read in the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus refers to Peter as the rock and “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” And when Jesus referred to Peter as the rock in Matthew, the Greek was “Petra” which means a foundation builder. So a man originally referred to as a small rock, became known as a man with boulder-like strength and faith to carry out Christ’s commission for the church. How important is a name?

I would like you to think about your name, and how God can use you as He used Peter. When Jesus first called Peter, He left everything He had and followed Him. God has called each of you by name. Do we do the same? Do we trust without doubt? Do we have faith that could move mountains?

People are significant and we can make a difference. A week ago yesterday, June 6th was the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, “D-Day” during World War II. Where were you that day? If you go to Normandy today, spread across the wind swept hills, you’ll find rows and rows of white crosses. We’re free today because during the three month battle of Normandy, nearly fifty-three thousand people paid the ultimate price to defeat Nazi tyranny. No fewer than 9,400 grave markers overlook Omaha Beach, many of them bearing the names of men who died during the first hours of this invasion in France. Beneath every white marker lies a person of significance because each one had an impact on the rest of history, each one made a difference. It is a very moving place to be. Visitors frequently weep quietly because there the real heroes of the war are silently honored. If you’ve made a trip to Washington DC and stood before the Viet Nam memorial you’ll experience the same. Name after name listed on the wall, men and women of significance who made a difference. What about you.

Chuck Swindoll, Pastor, prolific writer and teacher asks two questions in his book entitled “Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives.” What about you.

“Would you like to be a person of significance or a person of renown?” The answer to that question can shape the rest of our lives. For the vast majority, we would choose significance. God can use each of us to make a difference in the small corners of our lives. Our families, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors. Integrity, character, Christ-like examples.
“Which is more important to you; the quality of your impact on the world or the size of it?” A probing question, think about it. Most of us are conditioned by the world to think we can have both, but we really only have one. And I believe we know the answer.

How far did Jesus travel to make an impact for thousands of
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