March 24, 2019 Sermon

What's in a name? What does your name mean? Maybe you were named after a family member. Maybe your name has meaning. For example: "Jay" means 'rejoice'. "Drew" means 'masculine'. "Leona" means 'lioness'. "Krystal" means 'sparkling'. "Jake" means 'God is gracious'. "Jill" means 'child of God'. "Jon" or "John" means 'gift of Jehovah'.

Let's look at Peter. It wasn't his name, though. It was "Simon". However, when he was a disciple, he was named by Jesus and became Peter. "Peter" means 'rock or stone'.

At the Last Supper, Jesus tried to get Peter's attention. When he called him "Simon", He got his attention. He said: "Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Jesus cares about everything you're going through. But, it's easy to think that He doesn't. If your struggle goes on and on, it can be really easy to give up or lose faith. Jesus knew that Peter's faith was going to be put to the test and that future trials were going to give him a setback.

Will the trials give you something better in your life? It usually has to do with how you handle it. The enemy likes to set traps and he certainly set some for Peter. See, lions will go after game by chasing the herd. The lion usually doesn't catch the ones that stay together in the pack. But, when the one decides to leave the herd and outsmart the lion, it's the one that gets to become dinner. Stay with the herd because the group is stronger than you are alone. Don't become isolated. Coming together with each other will help us much more than we can do helping ourselves.

Nothing can separate us from the Love of God, but people do get separated, don't they? The enemy wants to pull us away. So, when Peter was pulling away, Jesus gave him a prescription: Prayer. This trial and this failure led him to preaching to thousands. His failure had a lot to do with it...and Jesus knew it the whole time. "Simon" was going to become "Peter".

In the fields, they were sifting the wheat by trampling it, then throwing it up in the air to separate the grain from the chaff. Ever feel like you've been sifted. But, the answer to your dilemmas is the Gospel of Christ. We must have the Power and the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that God named you. God named us before we were born. In Revelation, it says that there is a tablet with our name on it, but only God knows it. You will find out what that name is once you get to Heaven. He formed us in the womb; the spirit of God is within each of us.

Whatever your facing, stand up to the trial. Have the faith. God has the answer.

So, what's in your name? Do you know when Christ calls your name?

Luke 22:31-34, I Peter 4:12-13, Revelation 2:17, I Thessalonians 4:15, John 10:27

- "Bishop" Fred Vice

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

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