What is Your Name?
This was our second child’s (Nathan’s) sermon in Bangkok International Church in the Divine Hour of Worship during Pathfinder Day.
What is Your Name?
Good morning everyone and happy Sabbath. It is wonderful to be able to study God’s word with you this Sabbath morning.
The title of our message today is “What is your name?” It is about Jacob in the Bible.
Who was Jacob? Jacob was Esau’s twin brother. Children of Rebecca and Isaac, who was the son of Abraham and Sarah.
Jacob and Esau were not friends. In the book of Genesis, it said that they would even fight within the womb of their mother. And even to this day, the nations that descended from them are still battling.
Today we will learn about Jacob’s name and why is it important in his life’s journey.
What is in a name? Have you ever wondered why you have your name? Do you know what your name means? Have you been living up to the meaning of your name? Are you proud of your name or are you wishing you have a different name?
My name is Nathan which means “God has heard or God has given”, because my parents and my sister prayed specifically for a baby boy for 3 years before I was born.
Jacob’s name is interpreted as a deceiver. What a name! Who wants to have a name like Jacob? How about a name like Judas?
Often times we want a name that we can be proud of – a name we would like others to hear and to say.
1. Jacob wanted to be someone else
He wasn’t happy for who he is. He wanted to be his brother Esau. – Are we like this at times? Many people nowadays want to pretend to be someone else. In doing so they lose their identity.
He wanted to be considered better and have others’ privileges. In doing so he denied who he really is and his future calling. Do you sometimes pretend to be a famous celebrity or someone else popular in school or even in your homes?
2. God’s personal blessing
Jacob has a blessing from God even before he was born.
“The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” – Genesis 25:23 NIV
Do you know that before you were born God has determined a blessing for you? Jacob wanted his brother’s blessing, not knowing his blessing is greater than that.
God has a blessing under your name. You don’t need to grab someone else’s blessing.
3. Come to God now for your personal blessing
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight in love.” – Ephesians 1:3-4 NIV
Jacob in his deception together with his mother tried his best to be like Esau. He dressed like Esau, tried to talk like Esau. He even tried to feel like Esau. And smell like Esau perhaps?
Jacob deceived his brother and father to receive Esau’s blessing. When his blind father asked him if he was truly Esau, Jacob lied.
If we deny who we really are then we will never receive God’s richest blessings for us.
God is asking you and me to come to Him like who you are today. He is not asking you to be better first to come to Him.
You have problems come to him. You are a sinner come to him. You are tired and busy…come to the LORD.
4. Receiving the true blessing
It took Jacob a long time before he finally realized he is holding onto a blessing that’s not his. It took a very worrisome time for him to finally realize this and his need for God to give his true blessing.
“When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.” – Genesis 32:6-8 NIV
During this time he had a close encounter with God and his desperation he finally accepted he needed to come to God and finally ask for his true blessing.
5. Out with the old and in with the new
As Jacob asked for a blessing God asked him for his name.
“The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” – Genesis 32:27-28 NIV
Your name is a revelation of your character…your identity.
Jacob even though he pretended to be someone else for a long time it showed he was just deceiving himself and others. He confessed that he is a sinner. He came to God for him to make a change.
Change only started when he accepted he needs God. He then had a change of name…ISRAEL – the overcomer! Out with the old and in with the new life in Jesus!
Would you like to be an overcomer today like Israel?
There is a battle in your life today. All you need is to surrender and come to the Lord just as you are right now today, and God will give you the victory in your life!
And then the old you will be changed to a new you – an overcomer, a victor through the power of the Lord!
Let us sincerely come to the Lord today like Israel to gain victory like no other! May God’s rich blessings be upon everyone today, this is my prayer. Amen.
(This can also be seen in bicadventist.org.)