God's People Called By His Name
by Elder Teirrah McNair
II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land
Before we can even get to a place of humility, prayer and repentance we must rest in knowing that we are truly God’s people, called by His name. The children of Israel in the Old Testament had great difficulty with this fact of life and in 2008 some of us may not be embracing this truth as we should. The question then is who are the people who are called by God’s name?
The awesome thing about the answer to this question is that it causes us to hold up the Word of God like a mirror to see if we qualify. It also should cause us to look around us and see if our light is shining as intensely as it should in a time and a season when it is not fashionable to be a practicing, bold Christian. The greater call in this scripture is not simply that we wear the name but that we stand up for Christ and all He stands for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Being called by God’s name is a tall ticket but thanks be to God that He has given us His own precious Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to lead, instruct and control us every step of the way. Are you up to the challenge?
Names are highly significant to God. In Genesis He was careful with the naming of those things we know as sun and moon and stars and night and day. Then when God made man in His own image, He named us Adam meaning earthy/red. Sounds to me like our God knew then that His 1st Adam which He made from the earth would need a redeemer, a second Adam to shed red blood. It was in the name from the beginning. God is mindful of us like that.
Later on our blessed Lord would stamp destiny on men and women with name changes like Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah and Jacob to Israel. Those names became a divine label, a mark and a reputation that had to be lived up to. The names came with both privilege and responsibility. What was true then is still true today. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we take on His name and we too must accept the privileges with the responsibilities for wearing His name. I challenge you to embrace seven truths as bearers of the name of Jesus Christ.
#1 Depart from iniquity or known sin according to 2 Timothy 2:19 When the Holy Spirit brings a ‘don’t do that or get away from this’ to our conscious minds we need to obey quickly.
#2 Don’t let sin rule in any aspect of your life. Rule it, don’t be ruled by it. Heed the word in Psalms 19:13 We have to remember that sinning or missing the mark can be habit forming and we cannot afford to yield our body or soul to anyone but Jesus. Paul warns us in Romans 6:16 that we become the servant of whoever we obey. We don’t have to go out like that.
#3 Let your flesh bless His name as it is written in Psalms 145:21. Now if ever there were a holy preoccupation for our flesh, this is it. Flesh is a known troublemaker that always wars against the Holy Spirit. Flesh demands an immediate reaction that can cause our blood pressure to rise, our nerves to stand up, our arteries to clog , our head to ache and our hormones to moan. When we choose instead to command our own selves to bless the name of Jesus, we go instead with the flow of the Holy Spirit and the fruit thereof is love, joy, peace, gentleness, faith, self-control et al (Galatians 5:22-23). We must always remember that we bless the name of Jesus best when we line up our lips and our hips with the Word of God.
#4 Honor His name with our conversation and attitude. Read Hebrews 13:5. This point is a message in and of itself. For the sake of time I recommend that you tape record yourself over the course of just one day and see if your words bring forth life or death. Do your words build people up or tear them down? Is your conversation full of murmuring and complaining or more like apples of gold in pitchers of silver? Does your attitude attract or repel people? Need I say more?
#5 Choose the good name as the Word says in Proverbs 22:1. We wear the name of one so high and lifted up that at His name every knee has to bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. God exalted Jesus and gave Him a name above every other name (Philippians 2:9-11). If we choose to walk in a manner contrary to that, we are settling for less than God’s absolute best. If we can abide so easily in truths that destroy us why can’t we abide in truths that will bring forth life? I remember a time in my life when I called myself Bud—short for Budweiser. I lived, moved and had my being in my brew. I was bent toward self-destruction and was totally faithful to the cause. I now know that I must be equally faithful to the cause of Christ and to bearing His glorious name. It is just that simple.
#6 Colossians 3:17 caps off this discussion and encourages us to do everything in Jesus’ name. When we obey this scripture in word and deed then we can rightfully claim the privileges. We can run to Him knowing that he is a strong tower. (Proverbs 18:10) We can be assured that He remembers what we do in His name. (Hebrews 6:10) We can walk in His authority as Paul did in Acts 16 and expect miraculous results like we see in the 26th verse when the “foundations of the prison was shaken, doors were open and everyone’s bands were loosed.”
#7 John 15:16 is our final encouragement on this subject. This scripture tells us that we can indeed pray in Jesus’ name and expect the Father to give us what we ask for. What a blessing; what a privilege that is completely ours as we line up our lives with God’s will, His way and His Word. I don’t know about you but I want to be counted in that number.
Now for your Bible Study seek the Lord daily with a self-check list based on the 7 truths we just discussed. The studies are broken down into days, but you take as much time as you need to digest these precious truths.
Day One: Dear Lord, Bring to my conscious mind any unconfessed sin that may be hindering my walk with you. Read and meditate on David’s war cry in Psalms 51. Then stand on the word in 1 John 1:7.
Day 2 : Dear Lord, show me the way of reasonable service. Read and meditate on Romans 12:1. Present your body parts to the Lord as a sacrifice. Choose to obey Him with your thoughts, your eyes, your ears, your lips, your belly, your feelings, your knees and feet.
Day 3: Dear Lord, teach me to bless your name. Commit to obeying God in the little things today and expect the blessings of obedience to overtake you like it says in Deuteronomy 28:1 & 2.
Day 4: Dear Lord, set a guard over my lips today. Read Hebrews 13:5 .
Day 5: Dear Lord, thank you for the good sense to choose you over anything or anyone else today. Meditate on Proverbs 22:1 and Philippians 2:1-11.
Day 6: Dear Lord, thank you for the privileges that come with walking in your way. Curl up and read Acts 16 and know that God is no respecter of persons. What He did in that chapter, He can do for you.
Day 7: Pray believing and expecting God to answer. Read John chapter 15.
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