Summary: The sermon deals with the need to know who we are, becuase the world seeks to change our name.
"Who Are You"
Once we understand who we are, we can avoid a lot of pitfalls in life. We would know which messages are for us and which ones are not. If I were out at the airport, and the announcement came over the speaker, would the pastor come to the front desk. I’d think, what pastor are they talking about and keep reading my book.
If the announcement was, would Pastor Rick come to the front desk. I might mosey over and see what this other Pastor Rick looked like. If the announcement said would Pastor Rick Gillespie-Mobley come to the front desk, I’d get up immediately and go to the front desk with the expectation that something was waiting for me at the front desk.
Why? Because I know my name, and since I know who I am, I know the message was directed for me. Now if I said, would Zechariah come and put $100 on the communion table, most of you wouldn’t come forward, even though you may have a $100.. Some of you would thank God your name isn’t Zechariah and start praying that your name wasn’t called.
There is something about knowing your name, because a name is powerful. Many of us have asked to use someone else’s name for a reference for a job or letter of recommendation. When we’ve got bad or little credit, a person’s name as a co-signer can help us to get something we couldn’t otherwise have. Names open doors and gain privileges. It is in the name of Jesus, that we are able to enter the presence of God and to make our requests known. There is something special about that name.
The Scriptures tell us that the disciples were first called Christians in Acts. It was meant as a derogatory term, in that they were being called little Messiahs, but the name stuck. Christians were expected to behave like Jesus Christ, since they carried his Name. If we understand that we are Christians, then we should come to realize that many messages that come to us are not for us to receive.
Occasionally, the mail man may deliver a letter to your house with someone else’s name on it. The natural thing to do is to have him take the letter back the next day or drop it off at a mailbox. You don’t open the letter and read it, just to make sure that someone didn’t put your letter in the wrong envelope. Your name let’s you know that this was not for you.
Today on television, there are a whole lot of messages coming at you, but if you understand who you are, then you realize those messages are not for you and you should not open them. A good example is the psychic network, the psychic hotline, the astrologer readers and the like. They even begin by saying friend, do you need help in your life. If you knew who you were, you would immediately recognize they could not possible be you friend.
The God whose name you bear has declared all fortune telling, astrology, witchcraft, card reading, and consulting the dead to be evil and wicked practices, punishable by death. This stuff works at times because Satan is behind it. If you dabble with it, you are cutting off the flow of the Spirit of God in your life, and you’re opening a door for Satan to come in.
Whatever help you may find in the short run in calling these people, will be completely overcome by the cost you will pay elsewhere in your life. Not to mention the cost you will pay on your phone bill. God has made the same offer to you to help you in life with guidance and direction, without using something that may destroy you in the process.
When the early Christians learned who they were and what God had to offer them, they had a change of heart. No longer did the stars and planets determine the course of their lives. Jesus did. No longer did they look to spells and mediums to provide them with direction. Jesus did. They went and got their books on sorcery and astrology and burned them up.
It cost them 50,000 drachma’s. A drachma is a day’s wages. So if they earned $7 an hour, that means they burnt up $2 million, 8 hundred thousand dollars worth of material. I wonder how much money we could come up with if everyone brought forward their gold and silver astrology jewelry, clothing, and books.
When people ask us our sign, our name isn’t Taurus, or Gemini, or Sagittarius or whatever. Our sign is Jesus Christ, because He is the one that changes us, and determines the course of our lives. We need to know who we are, so that we will know when to open the mail and when to send it back with the postman.