Summary: We are all invited by God to look into that burning bush with Moses and hear God say “I am who I am,” and live our lives accordingly, in a responsible relationship with Him.

Today we are beginning a new worship series at Mount Pisgah, and I’m excited about the privilege I have of preaching the first sermon in this series. For the next 6 weeks we’re going to be experiencing the different ways that God meets our deepest needs.

To help us get a handle on the ways God meets our deepest needs, we’re going to be looking at 6 of the names for God that are found in the Bible. Next week we will experience God as our Father. The following week we will experience God as our Healer. On August 5th we will experience God as our Shepherd. Then we’ll move to God as our Peace, and we’ll conclude this worship series by experiencing God as our Provider.

Father, Healer, Shepherd, Peace, Provider. These are wonderfully descriptive names of who God is and how God works in our lives to meet our deepest needs. Think about it: each of us benefits tremendously from experiencing the personal love of God as Abba Father. God who not only created the universe in all its immensity, but who also knows you intimately, and wants you to be His child.

The same is true of experiencing God as our Healer. We will each face situations at some point in our lives where healing is greatly needed. It may be physical healing, relational healing, emotional healing, or spiritual healing, but we will all come to some point in our lives where we need the kind of healing that can come from God and God alone.

The same is true of experiencing God as our Shepherd, our Provider, and our Peace. That’s why I’m so excited about this worship series. An awareness and deeper understanding of these Biblically descriptive names of God can touch us deep in our souls and truly make a difference in our lives.

With that in mind, I’d like to encourage you to bring some folks with you. Don’t you have some people in your life who need healing? Don’t you know some folks who could benefit from knowing God as their shepherd? Don’t you know some people whose lives could be transformed if they could understand the depth of the love of our Abba Father? Then bring them with you. Don’t just invite them. Pick them up and bring them with you.

I’d also like to encourage you to take your bulletin home today and spend some time this week looking up the Scriptures we’ll be using for this worship series each of the next 5 Sundays. Read the stories that surround these Scriptures, spend some thinking about what it means to understand God as your Healer, your Father, your Shepherd, your Provider, your Peace. Embrace these names of God and hold on to them as sources of comfort and strength and guidance and direction.

Then as we worship together during these next 5 weeks we’ll all be better prepared to experience whatever the Holy Spirit has in mind for us as we worship Christ, whose name is above all names.

You see names are important. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. In the name of Jesus, demons will flee. In the name of Jesus, ask and it will be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.

Names are important. Names can carry power. Names can create joy. Names can bring about hope. Names can bring about despair. Think about the different emotions or thoughts that stir in you when I say: Saddam Hussein, Chandra Levy, Babe Ruth, Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Mother Teresa, Timothy McVeigh, Billy Graham. Names are important.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” I wonder. How many of you have ever been called Stupid? How many of you have ever been called Four-Eyes. How many of you, like me, have been called Fatso? Or Chicken Legs? Or Toothpick? Or any of a hundred other names that we like to call one another, and not only as children.

Names are important. When Nancy and I first moved to Atlanta in 1979 to begin attending Seminary, I worked at the NAPA warehouse out on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. I was one of the parts-pullers in the warehouse. We would take order sheets for the stores that were ordering parts that day and we would pull the parts off the shelves and place them in cartons and then send them on their way on a conveyor belt to the people who would pack them up for distribution to the trucks that would deliver them overnight.

Each parts-puller would put their initials on the order sheets so that if we made a mistake the packers downstairs could call out our initials over the intercom and ask us to send down the right part to finish the order. Well my handwriting has never been all that good and when we would be writing our initials of course we’d always be in a hurry, so my DWD apparently did not look like DWD to a particular packer one day, so she called over the intercom, which everyone in the building could hear: “Would DUD please pull part #……”

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