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You are Called by Name

Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are each given a name. However, our name is only perfected when we embrace the name of the most high.

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He called you by name

Luke 1:26-35
Luke 1:26–35 NIV
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
There are some heavy hitters in this line-up. We introduced to Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, The House of David, The House of Jacob, and last but not least, Jesus.
Mary: One of five women in scripture where God overturned the natural laws to bring about the birth of a child.
• Sarah, the mother of Isaac (Gen 18);
• Minoah’s wife, the mother of Samson (Judg 13);
• Hannah, the mother of Samuel (1 Sam 1); and
• Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:36).[1]
Sarah, Minoah’s wife, Hannah, and Elizabeth were all barren prior to God’s intervention. [1]
With the exception of Hannah, each of these women receives news of her upcoming pregnancy from The angel Gabriel.[2]
Mary was a virgin that became pregnant through divine conception without the involvement of Joseph
She is an ordinary woman who responded in faith to a unique calling.[3] In fact, it is her ordinariness that makes her so extraordinary.[4]
In her role as Everywoman, Mary fills an ever-expanding list of roles-humble servant of God, idealized virgin, the mother of exemplary maternal devotion to her child, disciple of Christ, sharer in Christ’s suffering.[5]
Gabriel: An Archangel, one of two angles that are called by name in the Bible, the other being Michael. When Gabriel is speaking to Zachariah, he identifies himself as the one who stands in the presence of God. And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.” Gabriel was God’s Annunciator. He communicated the will of the Lord to Human Beings. Gabriel was also noted with interpreting Daniel’s Vision, “And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

A Name Represents Unity

We often see throughout scripture an in depth usage of names In the Gospel of Luke we read of the genealogy of Jesus going all the way back to Adam.
In the Gospel of Matthew we read of a similar Genealogy that goes back to Abraham.
In the Old Testament Era, your community was your family. The community that you lived with was your bloodline. Major cities were formed from the initial arrival of families that grew into empires as the families expanded.
They did not have last names like we do today. Last names initially were created to identify the community they originated from. Example, Jesus son of Joseph.
Genealogy was very significant in those days, because who you were unified with was your identity. If your family was a family of traders, your name would be synonomous as a trader. Same with farmers, fisherman, carpenters, ect. One was expected to take on the position they were born into.
This brought a sense of security because one’s future was basically pre-determined.
People were very careful not to cause trouble, they did not want to bring dishonor to their family name.
We see some amazing example of this form of unity when we look towards specific moments in time.
Adam and Eve: In Genesis 2:18
Genesis 2:18 NIV
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
In chapter 1 we learn of the process of creation and how man was the final creation.
Gen 2:19
Genesis 2:19 NIV
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
Adam gave names to each of God’s creation, yet none was suitable to be a helper. So God put Adam into a deep sleep.
Woah-Man story
Of all creation God made many animals suitable for their kind, both male and female. However, When God made man, He had to make a special exception. A suitable helper for man could not be created like all the other animals. It needed special attention, it had specific requirements.
Gen 2:23
Genesis 2:23 NIV
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
Gen 2:24
Genesis 2:24 NIV
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

the relationship of husband and wife is the strongest, the most indissoluble of all human relationships—stronger even than that of parent and child.

The slow decline of family traditions began shifting during a period known as the intertestamental period.
The intertestamental period was the also known as the silent period and represented the 400 years between Old Testament and the arrival of Christ.
It is referred to the silent period because there is no recorded evidence of God speaking to his people during this time until the birth of Christ.
However, A lot can happen in 400 years.
The United States is not even 400 years old itself.
One individual that had a huge impact on Christianity during this time was Alexander the Great and he did so unaware of what he was doing.
There was four major empires during this period.
Egypt, Greece, and Persia were all collapsing to the might of one empire led by Alexander the Great.
Alexander was a Pagan believed in Polytheism. Poly meaning many, theism meaning gods.
During his reign what appeared at a glance as the total destruction and separating of Christianity, became its greatest strength.
Israelites were displaced and separated from one another. Spread across a vast region with a new power in charge.
A new language penetrated the masses.
Greek quickly became the common language, and Hellenism the culture that influenced the region.
Hellenism brought a more independent aspect to life and family traditions began to become less significant.
Prior to this moment, bibles were scarce and only elders and scribes had access to them. However, the new libraries allowed for the Word to be translated into greek and became more readily available.
What the enemy thought would be the toppling of Christianity became the spark that would usher in a new revolution.
We see this all over the world where Christianity is persecuted.

A Name Represents Identity

God has long used names to identify and express His love to His creation.
Often we read how God stepped into time and presented a transformation onto someone He called into a position of authority.
Giving them a new name to go along with the journey they were to embrace.
We begin with Abram in Genesis Chapter 12, God first reveals His promise for Abram. He was 75.
God said I will make you into a great nation.
God reminds him of this promise 4 more times in 11 years.
Abram then takes matters into his own hands takes his wife's servant Hagar as a concubine and Ishmael is born.
The very next verse is 13 years later.
Abram is now 99 years old, God hasn't spoken to him for 13 years and.
God pops in and says are you ready?
He changes Abrams name to Abraham enters into a covenant with him and Isaac becomes conceived.
The promise God made 24 years earlier came to fruition.
God established a new identity for Abraham and the journey began.
Jacob to Israel after a lengthy wrestling match.
After the name change a new journey was revealed and Jacob went from deceiver to devout.
While God was doing remarkable things by giving divine instruction and bestowing identity to His creation the world has a similar concept however it is to try and strip and pervert names.
Fast forward over 1,000 years, Jerusalem is besieged by the Babylon empire that is ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel and his friends are chosen to be apart of the kings service.
We know these men as Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego. However, Daniel is the only one of the three that we commonly use his God given name.
Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were names used in an attempt to twist a blessing into a curse.
They went through 3 years of indoctrination, lives flipped upside-down. However, through it all they maintained their integrity.
When the king created an idol, gave them an ultimatum .
Bow or die
They said one thing.
Dan 3:16-18
Daniel 3:16–18 NIV
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
What the king tried to twist, he could not remove the identity they found in the creator.

A Name Represents New Life.

Before Christ was born the Lord gave him a name. The name of Jesus, the Son of God.
Isaiah prophesied this reality in Isaiah 7:14
Isaiah 7:14 NIV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Immanuel meaning “God is with us.”
John 17:11
John 17:11 NIV
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
I spent so much of my time over the years trying to attain acceptance of others by embracing the titles and names I wanted them to see me by.
The amount of weight and stress that we endure seeking to fulfill other peoples desires for us causes great strain on our physical beings.
Scrolling through social media, only seeing the things people want us to see. Feeling depressed and ashamed.
Our kids don’t stand a chance in this world if we do not reveal to them who they truly are.
This is not accomplished through demands or regulations.
It is accomplished through our actions.
The future depends on our feet, we are the first responders in the world.
Embrace the identity of the Lord and the new life will be teeming with joy even in the midst of adversity.
2 Cor 5:17
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
When those around us see the transformation on us because of the Truth we posses, they will also begin to experience transformation.
Be the change in the world.
Find your identity in Christ and do not allow the lies of the world to fool you into believing who it says you are.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from the worlds hands. But even if he does not, we want the world to know, that we will not serve its gods or worship idols it has set up.”
My identity is in Christ!
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