“HE KNOWS MY NAME”                                 By Pastor YAU

Text: John 10:1-4, 11                                           February 15, 2009.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   He doesn’t know my name: Writer Cindy Kasper used to attend a large church. There were many great things in that church: beautiful worship center with superb sound and lighting system, spacious reception areas with elegant furnishing, great music with orchestra and many small groups and classes for all age groups. But she soon realized that she missed something important---the pastor had no idea who Cindy Kasper was even after she had attended that church for months. Because of the thousands in attendance, she understood that it was impossible for the pastor to know all the people much less their names.

2)   He knows my name: Then they moved to a smaller town and attended a much smaller church. On the first Sunday, Cindy and her family were personally recognized to the whole church. Few days later she received a personal letter from the pastor and a phone call from a Sunday School teacher to welcome them to the church. A few weeks later, the pastor visited her at her home and got to know each other in a personal way. Very soon the pastor and many in the church and the Sunday School class called her by her first name. When she had a surgery, Pastor Josh and many from the church visited her at the hospital. Cindy feels very good because they all know her name and the personal touch that small church had given her.

 

WHAT DO OUR NAMES TELL?

1)   They tell our identity: The reason we all were given names when we were born was to give us a definite identity: who we are and to whom we belong. We all treasure our names and will try our best to make our names good and to defend our names when they are under attach. When the early believers of Christ were given the name “Christians” at Antioch, it was because of what they believed and their identity with Christ. (Acts 11:26)

2)   They tell our character: Our names are more than words, they are the “worth” or “value” of our character. They represent us to other people and how others look at and treat us. Therefore it is very important for us to build a good name. King Solomon told us, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” (Proverbs. 22:1) All of us need to live our lives that meet or exceed the principles of the Bible and ethical norms of the society to bring glory to God and earn the respect of the people. This is not about salvation of the souls and eternal life it is about our reputation and character in the eyes of the people around us.

3)   They tell our relationship: When we introduce people to others, we usually say their names and then how do they relate to you: my brother, colleague, cousin, etc. to better identify the relationship you have with that person. Without identifying the relationship, a name doesn’t make any sense or meaning. When our names are introduced to relate to someone, it is very important that it bring us honor or good feeling. If someone introduces me to a friend that I am his pastor, does that relationship bring him honor and good feeling or not. So, our names carry more than words, they carry relationships with people around us.

4)   They tell our contribution: Another way our names tell people is our contribution to the society through what we do: a teacher, a nurse, a mother, a parent, etc. The titles after our names show our contribution to people in the family, school, in the office or the community. After God created Adam, He put him to work to contribute his labor to the well being of the Garden of Eden. It is important that our name and life lift up to the contribution the name and title call for.

 

GOD CALLED THEIR NAMES:

1)     God called Abraham by name: “Some time later God Tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abram!” “Here I am,” he replied.” (Genesis 22:1) This is when God tested Abraham on his faith and love to God when He asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering. In the OT, there not many time God called people by their names. This is a very special situation God called Abraham by his name to give him instruction on where to offer Isaac. This call of Abraham and his subsequent obedience set apart Abraham as father of faith in history of God’s people.

2)     God called Moses by his name: “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4)God had a very special mission for Moses: to lead the Israelis out of the land of slavery into the Promised Land in Canaan. This call set the Israelis apart from the rest of the world to be the chosen people from which a Savior was born.

3)     God called Bezaleel by name: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah.” (Exodus 31:1-2, KJV)This call was to give him the spirit and the talents to build the tabernacle for the people of Israel so they would know the presence of God with them. God had a plan to build a tabernacle where His people might come to worship Him and to give Him sacrifices.

4)     God called Paul by name: “As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-4)God called Saul, later Paul, to be the pioneer of the gospel movement for the salvation of the world. In almost all cases, God called someone by his name for a special purpose or mission to fulfill His plans. He knows each one of us and has special plans for us to fulfill His purposes. Do you feel God is calling you by your name for some special purpose in His church and service? Do you believe that God knows you well enough to call your name to serve Him?

 

GOD KNOWS MY NAME:

1)   He is my shepherd: “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.” (John 10:2) Most us do not have much idea about who a shepherd is and what a shepherd does for his sheep. But King David was a shepherd and he knew what he said when he called God, “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1) David continued to tell what God did for him as a shepherd: “I shall not want. He (the shepherd) males me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters he restores my soul. He guides in paths of righteousness.” (Ps. 23:1-3) This is about the care, support and provision a shepherd would to for his sheep.

2)   He speaks to his sheep: “The watchman opens the gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice.” (19:3)One of the most important aspects of our God is He speaks to us through many venues: Bible, His Spirit in our hearts and His servants. Our God is never some distant deity or advisor or guardian angel. He is with us everyday and speaks to our soul everyday. As His sheep we are to be diligent is listening to His voice. Too often, we are eager to tell God what we want but much less to allow God to tell us what he want.

3)   He calls us by our names: “He calls his sheep by name.” (10:3)To call someone by his name is a clear sign of well acquainted and even intimate. Even though there may be hundreds of millions of His sheep, He knows us individually, personally and intimately. We are not just numbers in his flock. Each one of us is important to his heart. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. So don’t be afraid; you are more worthy than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29, 31) We have a personal Father God.

4)   He leads his sheep: “When he has brought out all his sheep, he goes on ahead of them.” (10:4)Nothing is more personal for God to lead and to go ahead of us in our everyday life than a shepherd goes ahead of his sheep. He has a plan knows the way, understands our needs and is able to provide all we need. Many Christians want to choose their own way, make their own choices and suffer many unnecessary pain and losses.

5)   He wants us to follow: “And his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (10:4) God wants us to do two things: to know his voice and to follow him. Do we know God’s voice? Do we hear his voice more than other voices? It is very important to know God’s voice so we won’t be distracted or misled by other voices: voices of the world and the devil. When we hear God’s voice, then we need to follow his voice. Many times, we do hear God’s voice but ignore it to follow our own voice or voices from other sources. Yes, it is important to hear God’s voice. But it is more important to follow his voice.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   Treasure your name: Even if another personal may have the same name as yours, your name is still particular and important to you. So, do all things possible to earn the dignity and honor your name deserve. Treasure even more our Christian name because it has a connection with our Lord Jesus Christ. Live our lives in ways that will bring honor to our Lord.

2)   Let God calls your name: God wants to call you and show you his love and care. God wants to show you his plans for your life. He understands you and your heart’s desire. Are you ready for a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father? Have you heard his voice recently? Will you follow His leadership and guidance? He is just outside the door of your heart. Open to Him and let Him in.

3)   Hear God’s voice: Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Jesus wants to bring you peace and love. He wants to be close to you so you won’t have to go through life all by yourself. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and to be your Lord and Savior. He knows your name and He is calling.