Summary: This is the introductory sermon in a series on the names of God.
Hello I Love Let Me Tell You My Name
Intro: Do you remember the struggle to name your children? Meg and I spent hours praying and considering the names we wanted for our children. We looked through name books, websites, and family trees. Did we want to use family names, Biblical names, or names w/ meaning?
Trans: Why all the hassle? B/c a person’s name is important.
Song: Johnny Cash “cashed” in on this idea in the song “A Boy Named Sue.” In the song an absentee father named his son “Sue” so that he’d learn to defend himself.
Trans: Names are important b/c they identify who we are. The first question we usually ask when we meet new people is, “What is your name?” Truth is, most of us will respond to many different names.
Insert: In some contexts, I’m Pastor Joey or soon to be Dr. Rodgers. My wife calls me honey, and my children call me daddy. Whenever my mom called out Joseph Italo Rodgers, I knew my name was mud. When I was ordained and my sister asked if she was to call me Rev. – I told her that she could call me the most, high right reverend humble servant of God.
My name means something to everyone – some good and some bad, but to my grandparents it means heritage as I was named after both of them.
Trans: Truth is, the title doesn’t matter as I’ve been called many things, what matters is that along w/ your name is a connotation of your character.
Insert: Just last night I was reading to my children about Jacob – the son of Isaac who deceived his brother out of his birthright. Jacob means “deceiver”, yet after his encounter w/ the angel of the Lord, his name was changed to Israel, the “one who wrestled w/ God”. In biblical times, a person’s name was their banner or calling card. Thus, throughout the Bible we find the names of people synonymous w/ their identity. If I say Nimrod, Jezebel, or Judas, you have a different response then if I say the name David, Daniel, or Ruth.
Trans: When it comes to the God – His name is more than a title, it is a statement of His personhood and character – a revelation of His being. Through out the Bible, God uses many names in many situations to revel Himself to us that we might know and trust Him.
Trans: This AM we are going to embark on a study of the names of God to discover who He is and who He has promised to be in our lives. Today I want to give you an understanding of why we need to know God’s name.
Text: Ps. 145
I THREE REASONS TO STUDY THE NAMES OF GOD
A We are COMMANDED to Honor His Name
Verse: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Ex. 20:7
Note: God gave 10 Commandments and one of them included His name. This verse includes more that not using His name in a cussing tirade – instead it means to revere and honor His name – to show respect.
Note: If you reverse the concept from a negative to a positive command it would say – Take God’s and name honor it. As Christians, we’re to honor His name in every aspect of our lives and our speech. We bear His name.
Insert: Ken Hemphill Story of going to College (read excerpt)
Note: As God’s children, God has given us His name. Our behavior reflects upon Him. In choosing to honor His name, we’re honoring our own name.
B We are COMPELLED to Praise His Name
Verse: I will exalt you, my God and King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever. Psalm 145:1-2
Note: By understanding the names and person of God we will be able to praise and worship Him more effectively. Why – b/c we know who He is.
Note: It is a very simple truth. The more you know of a person’s greatness and abilities, the more you are enthralled w/ who they are and what they can do.
Note: People worshipped M.J. b/c of his basketball ability – kids try to emulate him. No doubt, M.J. was great and worthy to be emulated as a player. Yet one cannot even compare the greatness of a man to the infinite greatness of God. He isn’t just worthy of our applause, He is worthy of our lives.
C We are CHALLENGED to Trust His Name
Verse: The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Pr. 18:10
Note: God’s name is a fort that provides protection for His people. Each name is a different person we can run to in our time of need. But we must trust that He will be who He has claimed to be. And even if He doesn’t respond the way that we might hope and desire, it doesn’t diminish who He is.