Summary: This sermon is about the reason behind changing the names of Daniel and the 3 Hebrew Children. We need to know that our true name is "Child Of God".
"Don’t Let Anyone Change Your Name"
Once we understand who we are, we can move through life much more successfully and avoid a lot of pitfalls in life. We would know which messages are for us and which ones are not. If I were out at the airport, and the announcement came over the speaker, would the pastor come to the front desk. I’d think, what pastor are they talking about and keep reading my book.
If the announcement was, would Pastor Rick come to the front desk. I might mosey over and see what this other Pastor Rick looked like. If the announcement said would Pastor Rick Gillespie-Mobley come to the front desk, I’d get up immediately and go to the front desk with the expectation that something was waiting for me at the front desk. Now if somebody had decided to change my name to Pastor BigHead, they could call it again and again, but I would not go over to that desk.
Why? Because I know my name, and simply because you decided to change it, does not mean that I have to accept it. There is something about knowing your name, because a name is powerful. Many of us have asked to use someone else’s name for a reference for a job or letter of recommendation. When we’ve got bad or little credit, a person’s name as a co-signer can help us to get something we couldn’t otherwise have. Names open doors and gain privileges. It is in the name of Jesus, that we are able to enter the presence of God and to make our requests known. There is something special about that name.
The Scriptures tell us that the disciples were first called Christians in Acts. It was meant as a derogatory term, in that they were being called little Messiahs, but the name stuck. Christians were expected to behave like Jesus Christ, since they carried his Name. If we understand that we are Christians and our primary name is child of God, then we should come to realize that many messages that come to us are not for us to receive.
Occasionally, the mail man may deliver a letter to your house with someone else’s name on it. The natural thing to do is to have him take the letter back the next day or drop it off at a mailbox. You don’t open the letter and read it, just to make sure that someone didn’t put your letter in the wrong envelope. Your name let’s you know that this was not for you.
Today on television, there are a whole lot of messages coming at us, but when we understand, my name is child of God, who you are, then you realize those messages are not for you and you should not open them. In our New Testament reading, they tried to change Paul and Barnabus’s names to Zeus and Hermes to make them believe they were gods. Paul and Barnabus would have nothing to do with it. They knew there names where child of God. They wanted nothing to do with the so called gods of this world.
When people ask us our sign, our name isn’t Taurus, or Gemini, or Sagittarius or whatever. Our sign is Jesus Christ, because He is the one that changes us, and determines the course of our lives. When we got saved, we got born again under the sign of the Lord of Lords and King of kings. We need to know who we are, so that we will know when to open the mail and when to send it back with the postman.
If I were to ask you, what did Mishael, Belteshazzer, Azariah and Hananiah do, most of you couldn’t tell me, even though you know the answer. The reason you couldn’t tell me, is that you don’t know them by that name. Somebody changed their names. When a person’s name is detached from what they have done, we don’t appreciate the person for all that has been accomplished by him or her.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to Daniel chapter 1. The history is that the children of God, the Israelites, have been taken away into captivity to the land of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is king of Babylon, and he’s looking to take away the most promising of the captives, and put them to work for him. After all, if he could control the minds of the elite, the masses would be easier to control.
Look at Daniel 1:3-5 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility-- young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.