You have a new name
Dan 1:6,7, “Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
What is your name? Traditionally, names have meaning. I heard of the parents who waited 3 weeks before naming their son. At the end, they called his name Isaac, because he loved laughter.
Why were these boys’ names changes?
The meaning of their Hebrew names centered on the One True God who the Babylonians did not recognize. As such, the Babylonians changed their names:
- Daniel (God is my judge) became Beltashazzar (Bel will protect)
- Hananiah (God has been gracious) became Shadrach (inspired of Aku)
- Mishael (who is like God) became Meshach (belonging to Aku)
- Azariah (God has helped) became Abednego (servant of Nego)
The goal of the Babylonians was to change their name, which eventually would lead to changing their identity, eventually leading to these boys living out lives that match their new names! Everyone invariably lives up to their name!
The fact is so important, that before God did some spectacular things in the lives of some people, He 1st changed their names
- Abram (exalted father) became Abraham (father of a multitude)
- Sarai (princess) became Sarah, princess of many
- Jacob (deceiver) became Israel, triumphant with God
Names are usually provided by parents
As children of God, the day we became Christians, we took on new spiritual parentage. John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. I John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God
As a child of God, your Father has given you a new name.
- You might have been called Forsaken, but now you are the Beloved of God
- You might have been called the Man of Sin, but now you are the Righteousness of God
- You might have been called Loser, but now you are More than a conqueror
- God has called you by a name, protect that name. Do not allow that name to be defiled
The name “Christian” should invoke trust. Protect it. Recently, I was called to the bedside of a dying man. I was trusted by a family I had never met because of my title Pastor. They trusted me because they believed I was not only a Christian but one of high reputation.
Depending on your name, I will either trust you the 1st time I meet you or I will not. Proverbs 22:1, a good name is better than riches
The name Christian should be synonymous with a good reputation. A lot of times, it is not: that is unfortunate. That is dragging the name of Jesus through the mud …. I don’t think God will be pleased with that 🙁
You must protect the name you bear. As a Christian, your name should indicate high morality, it should imply trustworthy. It should imply reliable! This names sometimes take a while build up, especially for most of us who lived such shoddy lives in the past.
- That name will under pressure … Peer Pressure
Most parent quiver when they hear “peer pressure”. We conjure up images of our children or ward being influenced to do wrong thing. How about if our children are the ones exerting that peer pressure. How about if we are the ones exerting that peer pressure? How about if we are the ones doing the right things, with other people are copying us.
How about if we are the ones following after Christ with so much conviction that other people are seeing our actions and copying us. Seeing our conduct and manner of life, and instead of us copying them, they are the ones copying us. That will be a good thing. That will be positive peer pressure. And that is what it means for us to be a City that is set upon a hill
- God has called you by a name, and He has given you the power to live up to that name
Daniel knew who he was … God is my judge! He knew who he was, and he knew whose he was. He knew his heritage and he stuck to it. People who do not have a relationship with God have a way of life. Typically, that life is guided by the conscience. But the conscience is not a good guide as this conscience can be seared. This conscience can be hardened. This conscience can be ignored.
As children of God we need to know we are different. We are guided by the Holy Spirit of God. Because of the guidance of that Spirit, we can be the Salt of the earth. Salt refuses to conform. Rather than conforming to its environment, Salt changes the taste of its environment. Salt preserves the life of its environment just as Christian are to preserve godliness in this world
As children of God, we are the light. You do not need light except there is darkness. And there is darkness! Deep darkness is covering the whole of the earth, and in the midst of that darkness, we have been called to shine. “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world“. Philippians 2:15
As children of God, we gave been called to be Victorious. That does not mean we do not fall. But it does mean that if we fall, you the power to rise up again.
As children of God, we have been called to live a limitless life. 1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
If you don’t know who you are you will be limit yourself. But if you know who you, you will realize you can do all things. You will realize that nothing can be impossible for you. You will realize that there is no glass ceiling over your life.
As children of God, we are to Stand your ground. Do not allow your environment to define whom you are. Do not allow your friends to define who you are. Stand fast for who you are. Stand your ground
- You can change your identity to match your new name!
It is never too late to start. Abraham’s name was change when he was 99 after which he lived another 75 year. Jacob’s name was changed when he was 100 after which he lived for another 47 years.
God can give you a new name today. If your name has been dragged through the mud, God can give you a new name. If you do not yet know who you are, God can act as your compass to direct you. He will show you who He wants you to be. He will guide and direct you in the path of life and righteousness and peace and prosperity
Jesus has given you a new identity. Jesus knew who he was … the Son of the Most High God. Yet he humbled itself and died so He can make us relevant. The One who was everything, the one who had everything, made Himself of no reputation just so He can make us somebody.
God is your new identity. Your identity is not dependent on what your parents call you. Your identity is not dependent on what your friends call you. Your identity is dependent on what God calls you.
Isaiah 45:4, “For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.”
Isaiah 43:1, “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.”
Other Sermons In This Series
September 23, 2018
August 05, 2018
September 09, 2018