Summary: Your worth is not your work. Your calling is not your career. Your value is not your vocation.

“Changing Your Story”

Ephesians 1:15-23

When we meet someone for the first time we usually ask them several questions. What’s your name? What do you do? Where do you live? Clearly the first thing we want to know is their name. Often we pass our names along to the next generation. I did. I was born David Warren Henderson. The name Warren came from my grandfather. When we had our first child; a son, I said to my wife, I have a great idea for a name for our son. She said, what’s that? I said David Warren Henderson, Jr. She said, “oh, how creative!” And that’s what’s we named him.

When our son had his first child, it was a boy and he said to his wife, hey, I have a great idea for a name for our son. She said, oh, what’s that? He said, David Warren Henderson, 3rd. She said, “oh, how creative.” I called my grandson this week to talk about college a bit with him since he graduates next year. Then I asked him, hey buddy, when you get married in another ten years and have a child, if it’s a son, what will you name him? He said, “are you kidding, David Warren Henderson, 4th.” I shouted hallelujah.

From the beginning of time, names have always carried a special meaning.

• Adam is the Hebrew word for MAN.

• David means beloved. I like that.

• Sarah means princess.

In the OT when someone was given a name it often became a predictor of who or what they would become. Actually there is a great deal of research now that shows that your name can have a great impact on how your personality develops. And who you become. A few examples.

• Abraham means Father of many nations. Which is exactly what he became.

The question for me is how did his parents Amaslai and Terah know what he would become when they named him? After all God didn’t even tell Abraham until he was 99 years old. And you may remember that when he told his wife who was 90, hey Sarah, we’re gonna have a bay, the scripture simply says, And Sarah laughed. A 99 year old man and a 90 year old woman having a baby. Not likely.

• One more. I read last week that surprisingly large number of men who are named Dennis turn out to be Dentists. True. Likewise, a fair number of women who are named Denise, also turn out to be Dentists.

Your name can impact who you become.

It can also point you to your purpose.

Now to pull all of this information together, who we are and who we become in life is determined by a number of factors.

? Your name

? Your parent’s profession

Dr. Billy Graham, one of the greatest preachers of our generation …he and his wife Ruth have 5 children.

? Gigi-she is an inspirational speaker

? Anne-also an inspirational speaker. Dr. Graham said she is actually the best preacher in the family.

? Franklin-a preacher, CEO of Samaritan’s purse

? Ruth-a writer and also a public speaker

? Ned-a pastor—spends most of his time distributing Bibles in China.

Now is all of that a coincidence? Hardly. Do you see the trend here?

In this series of messages we are focusing on at least two points---our identity and our purpose. Paul has already told us in the first part of chapter one that he is working out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. Last week we talked mostly about our identity; today we will talk mostly about purpose. But understand the two are really connected; intertwined.

Purpose is defined as an object or result we focus on. It’s an intention. It is something we intend to accomplish.

Paul begins this section with a reminder that ever since he has heard about the strong faith of the church in Ephesus he has not stopped praying for them. Now we don’t have Paul to pray for us today but we do have someone better---Jesus. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus lives to pray/intercede for us. A priest or a pastor can pray for you but it’s temporary. Because one day we go home to be with Jesus. Jesus prays for us permanently. Non-stop. He lives for it. And as a result of those prayers we can find our identity and our purpose. Here we find 4 things He wants to give us to help us discover our purpose.

1. Verse 17. God wants to give us wisdom and revelation so that we can know Him better. Now it’s one thing to know about something. I said this last week. It’s one thing to know about something. It’s quite another thing to actually experience it. I have been to Guatemala 3 times. Before I went the first time, I studied what Google had to say----what are people like who live there? What’s the weather like? What’s the food gonna be like? But even though I did my research everything was quite different when I arrived and experienced the country and the people. Same way with Jesus and you need to hear this ….it is not enough to just know ABOUT Jesus. You must have a personal relationship WITH Jesus. A new beginning. Jesus said it was like being born again. It must be more than just head knowledge.

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