Usually “Nick Names” say something about a person….
so, speaking of “Nick Names”, here’s a few….
(this is your chance to participate)
What do you call a woman with a frog on her head? (anyone?) “Lilly”.
What do you call someone hanging on a wall? “Art”.
What do you call GUY under a pile of leaves? “Russell”.
What do you call a guy who is in the water and can't swim? “Bob”.
What do you call a Chinese man that gets on your nerves? “Anno- Ying”.
What do you call a man who has a shovel on his head? “Doug”
What do you call a guy who is always carrying a pencil? “Mark”.
What do you call a Chinese Billionaire? “Cha Ching”
Her husband affectionately called her Boom Boom. Just as the graveside service was finishing, there was a lightning strike and an earth shakingboom. The little old man, looked up and said, “Well, she made it, She’s His problem now”!!!
Acts 17:29 – “– “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, shaped by man's devices”
Has anyone ever had a picture that you would never show anyone, because it just doesn’t do you justice? If you have then you know what God feels like. God is saying that we should not make any graven images in His likeness, because no man can create a likeness that sums up all that He is. No picture would ever sum up or capture who He is! In the same way, no one name could ever express all that God is, so he has given us many names which still fall short of the inexhaustible, incomprehensible, all knowing, omni present and all powerful God!
However…. once God did take a selfie and when He showed it to us, it looked like Him, acted like Him, and it sounded like Him. It was Jesus! Jesus said that He had come to show us the Father.
Now what is even more amazing, is that God created man in His image and His likeness. But man forgot who He was to look like, so God sent Jesus to remind us. Jesus showed us how to look like, sound like and act like the Father.
That didn’t happen with Mohammad. It didn’t happen with Buddah, Confucious, Sun Yung Moon, or any other religious figure ever born, but it does happen in the name of Jesus Christ! Because He is alive and moving among us today!!!
Archibald Ewing, was a successful business man in Glasgow, who went to China as a missionary. Through his intimacy with the Lord Jesus, his features became so radiant that the people there gave him a new name—`Mr. Glory-face'.
The name “Christian” is actually a Nick Name which means “Like Christ” which is why I have named this message “Living up to Your “Nick Name”…..
It seems that “Christian” can mean just about anything today. To be called a Christian today, may not be paying anyone a compliment.
Mahat-ma Gandhi, the well known non-violent liberator of India, is known to have said “Christianity would be a great movement if it weren’t for the Christians in it”!!!
But names are important, they embody the nature, the agenda, the vision, the function and the intentions of a person or a thing….
A teacher for 4 year olds found that out that one little boy had showed up for her class for the first time without any name tag. She managed to get his first name, but couldn't find out his last name. She was told that the boy couldn’t speak well. "Brian, what's your daddy's name?" she asked. "Daddy," he replied. She tried again, "Brian, what's your mommy's name?" "Mommy," he answered. Suddenly she realized exactly how she could get the answer she needed. "Brian, what does your mail man call your mommy?" His face lit up. With a grin and a deep voice, he replied, "Hey lady, do something with your dogs!" (well that was no help)
They didn’t do Jacob any favor, his name meant “usurper and liar” so God redeemed it to mean “the prince who prevailed with God”….Abram’s name meant “Father” but God redeemed it to Abraham, which means “Father of Nations”….Saul’s name meant “to ask or question” but God redeemed it to Paul which means “Little by Little”…..And that’s how he won the gentile world… little by little….
Acts 11:25 “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul v26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch of Syria. So for a whole year Barnabas and Paul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch”.
Everyone knows that there are good names and bad names….. Very few folks name their children “Judas” because it’s association with the betrayer of Christ… or how about Nero, who burned Rome….
This name they tagged the church with was a mocking term, spoken in a very negative manner by those who didn’t know what category to put these followers of Christ in, and since they didn’t have a name for them, and they didn’t have a label to put on the bottles which contained this “New Wine”, they called them Christian as a sarcastic put down.
You can see this as the Apostle Peter is specifying the charges brought against them… 1 Peter 4:16 “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (the behalf of the one whose name we carry).
Notice that the church did not call themselves “Christian”, but the people in the city of Antioch saw them acting like, talking like, and looking like Jesus and they said “they are Christians”….. in their groping way, the antagonists at Antioch had put their finger on the fact that the one power that held this Motley mass together, the one bond that was the glue of this movement of 'Jew and Gentile, barbarian, Scythian, bond and free' into one vital unity, was a personal relation to a person who had died and yet they claimed was still alive!!!
We need to remember that Jesus was accused of being a fake and a fraud , a bastard child of Mary, a traitor against the king because He claimed to be a king, He was seen as a threat by the religious leaders since multitudes were following Him, they were saying that He did not rise from the dead and that the disciples had taken His body and hidden it…. So, this “Nick Name” which was given the church was not a compliment by any means….Notice it is not Jesus the Man they were “Nick Named” after, but Christ, the Divine office, that name which makes possible the foundation and the bond of the Church with a capitol “C”.
If they followed us around, would they observe that Jesus was alive and well!!
As Christ has revealed His power through the church over the centuries, this title by which the followers of Jesus Christ proudly call themselves all over the world, has become it’s banner and it’s anthem!!
It is a poor comment on your nick name, if, being Christ's followers, you can go through life unrecognized by your neighbors, your fellow workers, the store you shop at, and the crowd you hang out with.
It’s like the young man who was brought before Alexander the Great. When asked his name by the great ruler/warrior, he said “Alexander sir”… The general was impressed that he had the same name. He asked what the charges were against the young man. They told him that he fled from the battle field, in the midst of battle. The General rose to his feet, grabbed the young man and said…. Either change your behavior or change your name immediately”!!
If we are His, He should clearly and apparently be the center and the guide, the impulse and the pattern, the strength and the reward, the motivation and the priority of our whole life. And because of that, they called them Christians.
If the people who reside in the Florida Keys had to invent a name for you, as the clever folks of Antioch did for the early church there….. what name would naturally come to their lips, watching you, listening to your words and your actions…. would it be 'Christians,'? (like Jesus) If it would not, then there might be something that is still need to do a little work on.
Now, before they were called Christians, the names they were called are important, because this lets us see why they were tagged with the nick name “Christian”.
They were first referred to as Disciples. This name was common for the period of time and referred to the manner of mentoring, which involved a teacher, who was called the “Master”. This Master would choose a group of folks to impart his wisdom into. They would live together with their master, and day after day, life was their classroom, they would learn as they applied life principles being lived out around them.. When the teacher died, his students would continue to spread his teachings. So it was important that they understood the teachings of the master in order to share their truths. Discipleship may have revealed potential, but it did not guarantee transformation….
Other masters taught truths, but Jesus was truth come to earth that all people might experience transformation and life as God intended. What He says is truth, pure and complete. His utterance is the final word aboutany subject that He touches upon. His truth flows from an inexhaustible supply of wisdom and knowledge. The name, “disciple”, is used through the book of acts, and is not mentioned again after that….
We also see that they were known as Believers. This indicates atransformation at the core of your being. Belief is an action which is activated by a deep and abiding trust. This is where character is formed, life and goals are built, and the cycle of grand possibilities is set in motion.Belief is never passive but it is always indicated by how you live.
A disciple might approach life with the question, “what will help me reach my goals”… A Believer who has been invaded by the Christ, would approach life with the question, “What would You have me do Lord”?
They were also called Sanctus or Saints. To many folks, saints are football players who play for New Orleans…. To many others, Saints are Superhumans, whose feet never really touch the ground. But the name Saint or Sanctus, means “to be set apart for God”.. which means all who receive Christ and make Him Lord of their lives and make a commitment to obey and follow Him, are saints! Perhaps, we don’t refer to ourselves as saints because it means that life can and often will be difficult. It means that life can be sacrificial. It means that you can’t always put your own needs first, but often put others first. There aren’t normal and super levels of Christianity. We are all called to work at it in our own way in our own lives.
Sainthood is about training for reigning, to change the challenges into opportunities for God to get glory. To transform stumbling stones of life into stepping stones.
And last, they were called Brethren.. Luke 22:32 Jesus said to Peter, "When you have been recovered, strengthen the brethren".
The title “brethren” means to be “born of the same womb”. That’s what we are as believers. We’re “born through the womb of the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is brooding, incubating and birthing us into Christ.
We’re all in this thing together through the good and the difficult. That’s why you’re here today, to strengthen the brethren through our common bond in Christ and allow others the opportunity to become brethren as well.
Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship (Koinonia), to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (house to house) If the first communion had been in the south, it would have to include fried chicken, and if it had been in KW, black beans and yellow rice would have been on the table!!! But we would say that this scripture is talking about home meetings….
1 Corinthians 12:25 “Let there be no division in the body (the church) so that there might be mutual concern (Koinonia) for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it”. When one hurts they all hurt, when one rejoices, they all rejoice..
Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, and mutual concern.” Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia.
The New Testament is a “one another” collection of books, Brethren have a “one another” focus, and the Church should be a “one another” place.
Brethren indicates a sameness…..Christ is our elder brother, and He has given us the same spirit. There are no Pastor Holy Spirits and Lay person Holy Spirits, there are no Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, Apostle Holy Spirits. There are no children Holy Spirits and adult Holy Spirits… A child receives the same full fledged Holy Spirit that an adult receives. We all receive the Fully God, Fully Complete, Holy Spirit! But we all must grow up into Him at different levels, and callings, and the more we yield and obey, the faster we grow and cooperate with Him in our destiny.
Webster’s Definition of a nickname is … “a descriptive name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place, or thing…. God’s Nick Names are a revelation of His character and what He’s willing to do and to become in our behalf…. They show us His nature, His intent and His willingness.
Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches”. And God sure did give us some good names to call upon Him with…. that are greater than material riches….
He is El Shaddai, the Strong One.
¨ He is El-Elyon, God Most High.
¨ He is El-Olam, the Everlasting God.
¨ He is Jehovah Jirah, the God Who Provides.
¨ He is Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals.
¨ He is Jehovah Shalom, the God of Peace.
¨ He is Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts.
¨ He is Jehovah Shammah, the God Who is There.
¨ He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord Our Banner.
¨ He is Jehovah Roi, the Lord Our Shepherd.
He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord Our Righteousness.
And He is Jehovah Shammah, the Lord who is there.
Someone has said that there are 256 names for Christ in the Scriptures.….I heard of one small boy who had asked his parents about the name of God and after hearing a long explanation that God was called by so many names (and they went through some of them with him) He finally askedhis parents, “Could I just call Him Steve?” (and I’m sure He would answer that call)
If He has called Himself “Healing” then He is now our very present healer….
If He has called Himself “provider”, then He is now our very present provision….
If He has called Himself “Peace” then He is now our very present peace….
When Isaiah called his name, he doesn’t stop at King or Lord, but lets us know that His name is ….Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. When Isaiah delivered these names to the Israelite people, they were exiled in Babylon at the time. These were dark times of slavery and servitude in their lives. But God was speaking through Isaiah to show them and us the shape of their new future, to reveal to them and us that the best of times are on their way, and to impress upon us the wonderful things that God is doing behind the scenes and will continue to do out in the open, among His people! (to impart hope, confidence and peace)
You see, God’s good news overwhelms the world’s bad news.
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
The Greek phrase “In the name” Is “Exeusia” or “by the authority of”.
When a policeman says, “stop in the name of the law” we know what that means. He’s speaking with the authority that’s been given to him and the law backs him up. That’s why people listened to Peter and John. They spoke by the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said right before the Great Commission, “All authority or power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth.” And He delegates that power and authority to us….
Remember when Peter said to the lame man, “Silver and gold have I none but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Well, guess what happened? He not only stood up and walked, he went to church with them!... Now that’s what I call a church growth campaign!
Jesus is not only the name that gives power, authority and ability…. He is the name that holds it all together…. And holds it all up!!!
Acts 4:11 “This (Jesus) is the stone which was rejected by the builders, which is now become the chief foundation stone”.
Psalms 3:3 “But You, oh Lord, are my shield, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”.
He lifts up the fallen, the discouraged, the downcast and the depressed….
He’s the foundation stone, that will hold marriages together, He’s the foundation stone that will hold body, soul and spirit together, He’s the foundation stone that will hold businesses together, He’s the foundation stone that will hold the church together, He’s the foundation stone that will hold nations together…. If He builds it, the gates of hell cannot prevail against it ”!!!!!
He’ll lift and sustain your peace, your health, your family, your business, your sanity, and while others are falling apart, and the world is going crazy all around you, you shall stand and having done all, stand and see the glory of God!!!
Satan knows how special that name is, that’s why he constantly tries to demean and defile it in the minds of our society today, by turning it into a curse word, or a explicative which is used as a by-word to express, frustration, anger or consternation. Friend, guard the sanctity of that name. When you’re watching a program and they start using “Jesus” as a curse word, change the channel, because you know that worse is coming. Someone using Jesus’ name as a curse word is a great opportunity to witness for Christ. Let them know that’s who loves them more than anyone has!
Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us who can succeed against us.” Friend, if you’ve got Jesus on your side, you’ve got all you need. Share with that person, who He is and what He has done for them…By dying for their sins and giving forgiveness and all we have to do is ask. They’ll think about it because that’s Holy Spirit’s job, to make sure they do!!! Share out of concern not just to make a point. Let the Holy Spirit flow through you….
A missionary had finished teaching a group of new Christians on forgiveness, when a lady came forth to share the impact the teaching had in her life. He asked her what her name was and she gave her Mexicanname. He asked her what it meant and She answered, ‘It means “Child who takes the anger away.”’ When he inquired as to why she would have been given this name, she said, ‘My Mom and Dad had been forbidden by their parents to marry. But they loved each other so much that they married anyway. For several years they were cut off from both of their families. Then her mother became pregnant with her. And when the grandparents held her in their arms for the first time, the walls of separation and hostility came down. She became the one who swept the anger away. And that’s the name her mother and father gave her.’” “Child who takes the anger away.”
What’s in a name…..My name “Charles” means “free man”, Christopher means “To present Christ” and Elliott means “Spirit of Elijah”… That’s a tall order to measure up to!!! But I checked out some other names…..Mary ( a Wished for child)… Alan (Harmony)….Dara (Pearl of wisdom)…Winnie (reconciliation)… Craig (Strong)… Linda (Flexible)… Cherie (Darling)….Betty (given to God)….Phil (Lover)….Marsha (Warrior)…. Mae (Increase)….Esmeralda (to be envied)… Doris (The gift)…. Erika….(Ruler)….Ann (Favor or grace)….Landon (High places)….Danica (Morning star)…Scott (a Scottsman)… Cynthia (the hunter)
If I didn’t get your name in there, you can Google and get it…..
But my point is, that when we call out a name, we are saying something about the person that we are calling. My message today is about living up to our name. So, first and foremost, we are called Christian…I believe as Christians, God calls us by our Redemption name. Look at what Jesus promised to all who believe in Him:
Revelation 2:17; 3:12 “I will give him . . . a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. . . . I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name”.
What this stone is which is mentioned, we don’t know, but it will be ours and it will have our new name on it, God’s name, The city’s name, and the new name that we will know Jesus by.
The bible tells us that Jacob came to a place called “Luz” and it was there that He saw a ladder stretched from heaven to earth with angels going and coming and this is significant to me, The place was renamed from Luz (the almond tree) to Bethel (the house of God) That’s what the vision of God will do to the place you’re at. Don’t let the place, the circumstances, or problem change you…you change the place…
Then in Genesis 32 … Jacob prevailed with God after wrestling all night with the angel… The angel asked him, “What is your name”… Sometimes we know where we are but we don’t understand our destiny. Jacob was where he was, but Israel was his destiny! His name was changed to Israel (Prince who prevailed with God)…
This is not just about putting lipstick on a pig and naming it angel…. This is about seeing a Jacob (usurper) changed to an Israel (a prince of God)….
Ephesians 6:10 “Finally brethren, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. v11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. v12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
We have not been called to fight with the world but to pull down strongholds, rulers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil in high places so that the world can change as we allow the Holy Spirit of God to use us to love it and reconciled it to God.
If we are faithful to live up to what God calls us, He will use us to be the instruments that He uses to transform places and people so that they are never the same.
Our three hinderances we face are COMPLACENCY, COMPROMISE, and LACK OF COMPASSION. If we don’t get victory over our broken places, we will be numbered among the hurting people, that are hurting other people…..
If we don’t overcome these enemies, the world will change our families and us instead of us changing the world…. Dr. S. M. Zwemer said “He who sets out to change individual lives is considered an optimist, but he who sets out to change society without first changing the individual is a complete lunatic.
Let me sum these three hinderances up in one word COMFORTABLE…..We have believed the lie that God has called us to be comfortable… This is the Americanization and Western-ization of Christianity. Comfort will keep you from winning souls, from taking the risk of being rejected if you take a stand for Christ, and from fulfilling your Divine calling…
Being too comfortable is how scripture tells us we can get passed up by God as He moves on to someone else who is willing to be uncomfortable….
Luke 14:16-24 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. v17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ’Come, for everything is now ready.’ v18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ’I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ v19 Another said, ’I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ v20 Still another said, ’I just got married, so I can’t come.’ v21 The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the Master became angry and ordered his servant, ’Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ v22 ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ’what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ v23 Then the master told his servant, ’Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house may be full. v24 I tell you, not one of those men who were originally invited will get a taste of my banquet.’"
A British vessel landed The Patons on the main island. They carried anarmed guard because the natives were cannibals and they stood guardwhile the crew built the missionaries who would be stationed there, a house to live in. Then they sailed away, convinced that they would never see the courageous couple again.
In just a short time Mrs. Paton died of a tropical disease that was swift and deadly. Her husband buried her, but the natives demanded her body for their feast. John Paton had to lie upon her grave, musket in hand, ten days and nights, aided only by his dog, until he was sure that his wife’s body was no longer edible. Only then did he return to his lonely house and began the translation of the Bible into their native tongue. For thirty years he labored among them. When the British Government visited the Islands to evaluate his labor, they reported that the `cannibals' of the New Hebrides had now become the most advanced and cultured of all the native tribes who lived under the British flag. In those thirty years the island had been transformed and redeemed by the God breathed Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word for transformation is —`metamorphosis'. It summons a picture of the caterpillar changing into the beautiful winged butterfly. It is a change of form and appearance, from limitations and bondage to glorious freedom, but it also a change of habits and life style. From eating leaves to feasting on nectar…From crawling through valleys of lack, want, and never enough to rising to another level and living life over and above….
Listen Our God has called and anointed us to transform our valleys into banquet halls, (David says that He prepares a banquet in the valley) Hetransform our pain to reveal the pinnacles of His glory and grace, Hetransforms our disappointments into displays of His power, He transform our hard rock pillows of Luz into Bethel (the house of God). Remember, the only Jesus that many will ever see, is the Jesus in you and me! So, let’s not show them opinions, our bad experiences (we all have them), or our dissatisfaction and disappointment with everything and everyone…. Let’s just show them Jesus, and that will be enough!!!
We’re going to conclude with a purpose filled time of calling upon the Holy Spirit, to create opportunity, and grant wisdom unto us to seize the moments which are made available to us….