Summary: You are included in the adventure. We are a kingdom of priests and you bear a new name. More importantly you bear the Name of Jesus because it is in His Name we have authority rule and reign as God intends.
Part 2 - Genesis 17:1-8 - I AM INCLUDED IN THE ADVENTURE! Woo Hoo!
"Pa, let's play David and Goliath." My grandson and I play all kinds of games ranging from kings and heroes to dinosaurs. At any point in the game my grandson may change from being Petri the Pterodactyl to Spiderman. As my daughter and I walked with her children last night I ranged from being the Hulk to Boots, a small monkey (quite a contrast). My grandson became Ironman and then Diago the adventurer. With the name changes came complete changes in our responses to eachother and the world. We had a lot of fun.
As we laughed together and played, a huge dalmation dog, the size of Humungosaur compared to my grandson, decided to join in with the game. He wanted to be included in our range of super heroes and adventurers and bounded up to my grandson, licking him on the face. It was quite a shock for my grandson to be confronted with a monster dog. But his motives were good - HE WANTED TO BE INCLUDED.
As I read Genesis 17:2, I want to be INCLUDED IN THE PROMISE God made to Abraham! I want to be included in the plans of God to bless the earth! I want to be included in the conversations Abraham has with God. I want a name change that reveals who God wants me to be. And Romans 11:17 tells me that I am included! "But some of these branches from Abraham's tree-some of the people of Israel-have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God's special olive tree." (NLT)
God promises that there will be a number of KINGS among Abraham's descendents. Like who? All the kings of Judah for instance, and of course Jesus Himself who is the King of kings. BUT I AM INCLUDED TOO! Woo Hoo! I always knew I had royal blood. 2 Timothy 2:12 says if we endure we will "reign with Him". WE WERE CREATED TO RULE AND REIGN WITH CHRIST! Revelation 1:4-7 (NLT) says "Jesus Christ ...is the ... first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God His Father." How cool is that? We are a Kingdom of priests.
WHY DOES GOD CHANGE ABRAM'S NAME? Is it because he falls down prostrate before Him and worships God? Does something happen in Abram that warrants a name change? I guess it's more appropriate because it means "father of many nations" but why wasn't his name changed back when the covenant was first given? God seems to love to unfold the scroll of revelation a little bit at a time. Sarai's name was to be changed to Sarah - "mother of many nations". And I AM ALSO INCLUDED in this name change thing too. Revelation 2:17 (NLT) "Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved A NEW NAME that no one understands except the one who receives it."
It's like the words of the old song. God says to me, "I will change your name, You shall no longer be called Wounded, Outcast, Lonely or Afraid. I will change your name. Your new name shall be Confidence, Joyfulness, Overcoming one, Faithfulness, Friend of God, One who seeks My face" (DJ Butler, copyright 1987, Mercy Publishing)
God bless you Church as you discover that God has included you in the promises of His Word. You are included in the adventure. We are a kingdom of priests and you bear a new name. More importantly you bear the Name of Jesus because it is in His Name we have authority rule and reign as God intends.