Summary: God has been preparing you for a unique role in ministry all your life – what is it He has called you to do? If you don’t know you need to find out. You do that through prayer.
What’s in a Name?
When I say the name “Mark McGuire” most of you immediately recognize him because he established a new home-run record.
When I say the name “Kristi Yamaguchi” you would recognize her as figure skating superstar.
Say the name “Troy Aikman” and people immediately associate his name with his Chevrolet dealership in West Fort Worth Texas. J
So what’s in a name anyway? It helps us identify people, places and things. Names help us to categorize and place meaning on people, places and things.
Place names such as Valley Forge, Gettysberg, Normandy, the 49th Parallel, The Tet Offensive and Kuwait City are instantly recognizable to Americans because we spilled our blood on these battlefields fighting for freedom for ourselves and others. Names have meaning.
Names help us to establish reputation. Aviators for instance give each other names they call “call sign names.” So it’s not uncommon to hear aviators refer to each other as “Bomber,” “Gootch,” “Blazer,” “Bulldog,” “Dakota,” etc. These names usually have to do with an incident the aviator was involved with or with the State or City he or she is from. If you do something really stupid, you’ll get a reputation call sign like “Gear-up” which is an actual name given to a guy who landed his F-4 without putting his wheels down during a Blue Angels demonstration.
Dave Sigado was telling me about a good friend of his he met in school. Everybody called him “Tex” because he had transferred into the school from Texas. Dave can’t remember his real first name because everybody called him “Tex.”
Names in the Bible are important because they have meanings that help us understand the full picture and richness of the Bible.
Wednesday’s Bible reading was from Exodus 3. This is the Marvelous account of Moses encountering God for the first time in his life through the burning bush. In verse 10 God commissioned Moses to be God’s representative to the people and also to be the instrument through which He would deliver the children of Israel from their slavery in Egypt.
In verses 7 & 8 God tells Moses, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…”
OK preacher, that’s a nice story and I really liked the movie, but SO WHAT?
What does this ancient Bible story have to do with me. What difference will it make in my life on Monday morning?
Check it out, God is not like the Egyptian gods who are carved wood and can’t see, hear or know anything, no, He is El Shaddi, a name which means “the almighty all-powerful God”. The one and only God who can see, hear and know the condition of His people. Praise God, He is still the same yesterday, today and forever, because He sees your need, He hears your prayers, and he knows your need.
Are you in your own personal Egypt today? Are you enslaved to something? Are you controlled by something or someone?
Listen, God want’s to deliver you from your bondage.
Are you in Financial bondage?
Are you a slave to addictions like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, food binging?
Are you trapped by guilt, unbelief or stagnation?
Are you in sexual bondage, hooked on pornography and a filthy thought life?
Are you a slave to past hurts and injuries to your person and emotions?
Are you enslaved to emptiness in your life? You try to fill it with recreation but it doesn’t last? You try to fill it with life experiences that bring you a momentary rush, but when the rush is gone, life is more empty than before?
You’ve tried to do it yourself, but you couldn’t break free. You’ve asked others for help, but you couldn’t break free. You feel like a failure or even worse you feel like God either doesn’t care about you. You’ve even gone as far in your thinking to begin to believe that God isn’t real and therefore can’t rescue you.
Listen, that’s OK.
Look, Moses tried to do it himself when he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. Moses recognized the brutality of the Egyptian slave-drivers and he decided to take it upon himself and do something about – so when he saw a fellow Jew being abused, he struck down and killed the Egyptian abuser. What was the result of trying to do it himself?
He had to flee Egypt to escape punishment. He became a fugitive.
Are you a fugitive today? Have you tried to do it yourself and botched it all up?