Summary: Every name is important ... we all have names that identify us for our family ... and our aim is live up to the family name! We are also called Christian ... and is it possible that we may not be living up to that name. Is Jesus asking you today: What h
What Have You Done With My Name
by Rev. Gregg Rustulka
August 2, 2007
Luke 1: 26-33 “... and you are to give him the name Jesus ...”
Names are important. Names have meaning. A name can define an event, an item, an emotion, a problem, animals, plants ... every name is significant.
People use names to identify each other, and in olden times a persons name summed up his whole person. God gave names to certain people like Jesus, John, Abram-Abraham, Jacob-Israel, Saul-Paul, Simon-Peter, to identify people in order to define for them their purpose and mission in life. Wow ... imagine what your name must mean, for God put your name in heart and mind of your parents and your name too is defined by God.
I have a name ... you have a name.
My mother gave me 2 names, my father one. My surname is Rustulka ... and it has relevance. There is no name like it. Every Rustulka on the planet is related ... the name is only 4 generations old now ... I am a 2nd generation holder of that name. It is a unique name, and I’m proud of it.
The personal names my mother gave me were significant to her. She named me in remembrance of 2 people she adored. I had no choice in my name, and some days I wonder what my mother was thinking of when she gave me those names ... she was definitely not thinking about me! Because other kids abused my names for their glory, and my shame ... but they are still my name.
Today I now appreciate my name ... especially since I discovered what my names mean.
My first and second names mean: vigilant-watchful, and free-truthful. Do you think God had a hand in my names being what they are?
Do you ever wonder what your names mean? Do you recognize that the names you have were not just given to you by your parents ... but God also had a part in your name being what it is?
Now here is a question that you may never have asked before, or have ever had asked to you before ... but it has deep significance.
ARE YOU LIVING UP TO YOUR NAME?
When Mary was approached by the angel and he brought her the news that she would give birth to a son, and he shall be the son of the Most High God; and that his name shall be called Jesus, she knew the significance of the name that God had chosen for this child. She was told that he would be the deliverer, the messiah, and he would deliver His people from their sin.
The name Jesus means: God rescues/saves - The Lord is salvation - Emmanuel: God with us.
The second name we associate with Jesus is Christ. It is important to know that this was not the surname of Jesus ... Jesus did not have a surname like we do, but rather he was recognized as Jesus, the son of Joseph of Nazareth. This is how he was identified.
The name Christ is a “title” ... a position. It means “anointed one” or in the Hebrew- “Messiah”.
And so we find that when Jesus is recognized as the Christ Jesus, his followers were recognizing him as the Messiah Jesus, or the Anointed One Jesus.
Thus we find that when the early disciples of Jesus were called Christians, they were called this to identify them as Christ followers - Messiah followers, or as “followers of the Anointed One Jesus.
Jesus when he called the disciples he said “follow me”. Today, the Lord is still calling you, his disciples, those who would follow him, and he is saying to you and me “come, follow me.”
When Jesus gave us his name, Christian, he also gave us the responsibility of being identified with his name. When we call ourselves Christians we are being identified as followers of Jesus ... a people that do what he teaches ... a people that do what he did ... a people that believe as he believed ... and a people that teach what he taught. We are recognized as Christ followers when we obey his commands and teaching and it is evidenced in how we live our lives.
As a Christian, we have embraced the culture of Jesus ... His culture. His teachings are what we are committed to. Even when we pray we are to pray in such a way so that we are identified with the one to whom we pray to ... we are commanded to pray in the name of Jesus, and answers come - and things get done. (John 14:13)
We are reminded of the power of that name. Phil. 2:10 “For at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus is Lord.” Jesus reminds us that because of his name we “can ask that mountain to move ... and it will move. (Matt 17:20)” Using the name of Jesus, the one we identify with, we can see healings happen (James 5:14-15): the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the sick to get well, the lame to walk, the dead to rise (Matt 11:4-6)... all power is in that name. In the name of Jesus we will have all of our needs met, the desires of our heart granted to us (Prov. 10:24), our life path made straight and have purpose. All of this is ours because of the name of Jesus. (John 14:14). And we are identified with that name because we are called Christian - followers of Jesus.