Summary: The name, mission, and message of Jesus is our calling and what we do with His name has eternal value.
THE DIFFERENCE A NAME MAKES
Jesus – Week 2
Pastor Steve Gallimore
Tennessee Valley Community Church
August 31, 2008
When I was growing up I heard it and I’ll bet you did too. As a matter of fact, my kids heard it over and over and over: Be careful where you go, what do, and how you act because you’re not just representing you, you’re representing our family what? NAME! Exactly. What difference does a name make? Well, let’s look at a few and see if they make any difference.
For example, Santa Clause; Abraham Lincoln; George Washington; Elvis; Homer Simpson; Darth Vader; Hitler; Pilot. All of those names conjure up some kind of feelings don’t they? But let me ask you this: Would their names be famous if they wouldn’t have done something first? In other words, if Hitler had not killed millions of Jews, we probably would never have known his name. If Abraham Lincoln had not freed the slaves, we probably would have as much trouble remembering his name as we do many of the other presidents’ names. If Elvis had not swung his pelvis…who knows? (Thank you very much)
Now it’s obvious that your parents gave you your name. And when people have invented something, many times their inventions were named after them.
INVENTIONS AND NAMES:
What difference does a name make? Let me ask you this; what does the world need more than anything else today? We’re certainly in a mess and no one would deny that. We just look at the prayer requests each week and the needs in our community are so many and so varied: People who are sick, people are dying, people who have great needs in their lives, people whose marriages are coming apart at the seams, people who have wayward children and they’re praying for them to see the light of God and they’re broken hearted and seeking God’s face on their relationship with them. People need jobs and ways and means to make it through tough times, and these are tough times. So as I was thinking about today, I said, God show me what I can offer your people today. And I realized I couldn’t offer you anything and if I did it wouldn’t last anyway. So I said God, they’re your people and you know them inside and out and you want to help them and touch them so just say to them through me what you want them to hear.
Now, this is what I know is on God’s agenda everyday for you and for me and it was on the agenda of the Lord Jesus Christ when He bursts on to the scene as He took on human flesh some 2000 years ago and His message was clear.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19 (NLT)
So if this was Jesus’ life and purpose, then would it be safe to say it should be our life and purpose as well? I think so. Notice what he came to do.
THE LIFE & PURPOSE OF JESUS:
The POOR will hear the Good News
What did Jesus mean when He said the poor will hear the Good News? To get this, you’ve first got to be poor in spirit. Jesus said,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)
What does it mean to poor in spirit? It means to realize you’re spiritually bankrupt without God. And really, only a saved sinner can understand what it means to be poor in spirit. Many people think that as long as they keep a certain set of rules or religious regulations that they have it all together. They are not yet bankrupt in spirit, but when the Holy Spirit convicts of sin and the wrong in our lives and the rejection of Christ Jesus, we realize our total poverty before Him and then we become poor in spirit and we are truly blessed. Paul said it this way:
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
2 Corinthians 6:10 (NLT)
The CAPTIVE will be released
Then Jesus said the captives would be released. Paul said, But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Romans 7:23 (NLT)
You see, you don’t get rid of the old nature when you are saved. And yet there is no power in your new nature. "I see a different law" is the enmity of the old nature against God. It causes the child of God who is honest to cry out, as Paul cried: