Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: An examination of the way that God keeps His promises.

Your name is important, isn’t it? I know it is, because I have a name, and I know how much it means to me. I also know because about the time I mess up a name or forget a name, I hear about it!

Names, especially of people, have always been important to us.

A Mr. Simpkin of Phoenix, AZ, gets frustrated with all the people who persist in adding a final “s” to his last name. One day as he watched a clerk fill out forms while he supplied the information, he saw her make that same old exasperating error. "Simpkin," he corrected her kindly but firmly; "just one ’s.’" The clerk got flustered and made the correction--and he stared hopelessly at it, where he saw his last name was now "Impkins!"

Allen Walworth said in a sermon: “Your name is wonderful, isn’t it? It’s the name that you love hearing called out when you return from a trip and you get home and they call you by name. It sends you on a pilgrimage to a granite memorial in Washington, D.C.--at the Vietnam Memorial--and you run your fingers across a certain name. Jesus knows your name. He knows what it takes to unlock who you are and release it.”

When we were kids, and someone would call us “a name,” rather than calling us by our given name, our parents would try to convince us not to feel hurt by it. But it still hurt, didn’t it? Names matter.

Parents know that names matter. That’s why most parents spend a lot of time laboring over what to name their kids. You can hear a lot of the hope of parents in names like Charity and Chastity, and Rich. It’s interesting to track these in the Puritan colonists - Waitawhile Makepeace was born around 1638. Dorchester, Mass. She had another relative named Wealthy Makepeace.

The hope was that their kids would “live up to their name.” Maybe you’ve checked into the origin or meaning of your name. I remember a story I read as a kid about 2 brothers, one named Rikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo which means "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world" and the second son’s name, Chang, which means "little or nothing." I always felt sorry for Chang. He kind of got gypped.

Your name matters because it represents you. So, what kind of a name you have, and where your name shows up is even of eternal importance.

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Ecclesiastes 7:1a

A good name is better than fine perfume…

Your name represents who you are. It’s indelibly attached to your reputation. When people hear it, they think of what they know about you. Your name.

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Yet your name is more important than that. It’s more than just what people think of you…

Ill – Nora Newport was driving home from VBS one summer day and her little girl Melissa asked if they could stop by the library. She asked why, and Melissa said, "This morning my teacher told me that the only way we get to heaven is if our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I just want to make sure that my name is in there!"

I want to be sure too, don’t you? Because the Scriptures say our name needs to be in that book of life if we’re going to be permitted into heaven. (Rev 21:7) If your name’s not in the book, you’re not in His heaven. Where your name is matters. No wonder we don’t like it to be forgotten.

This subject of your name is pretty significant!

Joke - Someone was discussing with his preacher the advisability of writing down the names of the bride and groom in his notes. He had heard about a priest who was too proud to do that, and ended up calling a groom by the wrong name. The preacher said, "You think that’s bad? I began a ceremony and thought: Is his name James or John? I knew I would have to ask him. So I said, ’Is your name James or John?’" "James," the groom said. The bride nudged him and said, "Your name is John."

Joke - A couple of older ladies in a church were talking about some of the challenges of growing older. One of them said, "The worst thing is when your memory starts to go. I’ve known you all my life, and I can’t think of your name. What is it?"

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