“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. She will be a mother of nations.” Genesis 17:5, 15-16.
God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. So He named him Israel.” Genesis 35:10.
“And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas,” (which when translated, is Peter) John 1:42
What is your name? Are you ready for a name change? Names matter to God. So much so, that if what your mama named you doesn’t fit into His plans for you, He’ll just change it. And if that doesn’t work He’ll just name you before you’re born. He’s just awesome like that! Isaac, Ishmael, Solomon, John and Jesus these are a few examples of those He named prior to conception, but there are many more.
The scripture focus today teaches us: if you’ll read the Biblical accounts, that by a simple name change these men and woman had a destiny change as well. Abram went from being high father of his house, to becoming Abraham; a father of nations. Sarai went from being princess of her house, to being Sarah; princess of nations. Jacob went from being a deceiver and supplanter to Israel; one who struggled with God. Cephas went from being a pebble to Peter; Rock. He, by the Holy Spirit identified who Jesus was at a time when everyone was guessing. And today, built upon that revelation is the Church of Jesus Christ, ushering in our name change.
My friends and family!! Drum roll please!! ARE YOU READY FOR A NAME CHANGE??? Jesus came to change our lives so that He could change our names. Aren’t you excited??? Let me share with you who we once were and what our name change has positioned us to becoming. I said becoming because it’s a lifetime process. Finished in Christ, but we’re still catching up. Are you ready for this? Brace yourself! The list is not pleasant but it will make us appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice.
Here goes: sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, (I just lost some folks but I’m in good company Jesus did too, read John 6) Thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers…Amen or Ouch but there’s good news….breathe. AND THAT IS WHAT SOME OF YOU WERE. BUT; you WERE washed, you WERE sanctified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Did you hear your old names changing? Or did you already know your name had been changed? Makes a difference when you know, it makes the list easier to read… and also provides hope for those fence hangers….Selah (pause and think)
I told you there was good news!! If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; my friends your name has been forever changed!! No longer do you have to live a life of shame guilt and condemnation, you have received a name change in Christ. You are now called; Chosen, Royal, Holy, Righteous, Redeemed sons and daughters of God! 1 Peter 2:9-23. How’s that for a name change? The list of names you have been given in Christ is exhaustive. So whenever the enemy, “Satan,” tries to bring you back to your old names; run to the Book where it is written: and such were, past tense, some of you, but now in Christ you are….put your new name in the space. Believe it! Claim it! Wear it and walk in it! Your new name has forever changed your life and destiny.
Father in the mighty name of Jesus I confess that I once was some or most of those things you delivered me from. But now in Jesus Christ I have been given a new name, new identity. I can come boldly to the throne of grace, no more shame no more guilt. With my new name I declare; I am Who You say I am! In Jesus Name. Amen
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit.