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A New Name

Just this morning Walmart announced that they will shorten their official name to simply Walmart.

The retail behemoth with more than 11,700 locations around the world announced Wednesday that it will shorten its legal name to Walmart Inc. The move highlights the company’s shift away from building traditional stores toward competing online with rival Amazon.com Inc.

“We felt it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer,” said Wal-Mart Chief Executive Doug McMillon. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/wal-marts-new-name-its-not-just-a-store-anymore/ar-BBGjaxa?ocid=spartandh).

Several Bible people have had their name changed by God.

  • Abram – Abraham: high father – father of many. (Genesis 17:5)
  • Sarai – Sarah: my princess – mother of nations.  (Genesis 17:15).
  • Jacob – Israel: supplanter – he who has the power of God. (Genesis 32:28)
  • Simon – Peter: God has heard – rock. (John 1:42).
  • Naomi – Mara: beautiful – bitter (Ruth 1:20).

These new names represent major changes in lives.

God has promised a new name to those who have had their lives changed by his grace. Isaiah 62:2 says, “The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.” Revelation records God promises that he will give his people a new name (Revelation 2:17; 3:12). That new name is found in Acts 11:26 where the disciples were first called “Christians.”

This new name is proof of the new character and new life of those who are known by that name. To be known by the name of Jesus is a most prestigious honor and requires the most serious desire to walk in a manner worthy of the name of Christ (Ephesians 4:1). Paul described this challenge in Colossians 2:-6-7, “Therefore, as you receiveChristit Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted an built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Presentation

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness ROMANS 6:16-18.

Getting a promotion is an exciting time for anyone. Many times getting a promotion is all about who you know. Because of Jesus we can have a promotion. We can be promoted from being slaves to sin to being slaves of righteousness.

Now it’s time for us to go to work. We are to present ourselves to God as servants of righteousness. Not just for the day, but for our lives. We are looking forward to another promotion though. We are looking forward to being with Jesus forever. I don’t know what exactly that will be like. But I k ow I can’t wait.

Let’s present ourselves to God. Get ready for work. Get ready for the next step in his plans.

SchiaNO and Quality

This Sunday was the wildest day in SEC history. John Currie, Tennessee’s athletic director, tried to hire a head coach–Ohio State’s defensive coordinator Shiano. What followed was amazing the Tennessee fan base stood up for quality.

One problem was that Coach Shiano doesn’t have a great record (or not even a good record). That isn’t any way to appeal to a fan base which is hungry for success. But the lack of great football skills wasn’t the problem. The real problem was Schiano’s past.

Several years ago Schiano witnessed other coaches abusing minors. He said nothing. He kept quiet to keep his place secure. That was the problem.

He must be blameless

When God described the men who would serve as pastors of his church, he described them as being blameless (1 Timothy 3:2). Furthermore, he must be “well thought of by outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7).

Integrity is essential to leadership. If the leader falls to temptation, the followers will–follkow. If the leaders also not display the highest morality, then the followers will be more apathetic.

A football coach needs to have the highest character because he is shaping young men into who they should be. It’s more than just football. It’s about life.

The leaders of congregations must display sterling character. It’s not just about life, it’s about eternity.

Give approval to those who…

Schiano didn’t do anything wrong himself, some would say. But, in reality he did. He allowed something to happen. In not standing against a problem, you are enabling the problem. God described it this way: “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

What sins will we approve of by not standing against them? What will we overlook in our friends simply because they are our friends? Should we not be like Paul who withstood Peter to his face because he stood condemned for marching out of step with the Gospel?

Quality YES

Quality matters. The highest levels of competition demand the highest levels of quality. The highest aspiration of mankind is to be a Christian. To be a Christian, to be a Christian minister, demands the highest expectations from oneself.

Our gracious Father, be merciful and patient. We a hope to be your servants. We deserve your wrath. Hide us in the cross of your Son, in whose name we pray,

Finding Purpose in Trials.

1 Peter 1:8.—Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Trials benefit the believer in three wonderful ways. First trials help to manifest the true believers. Secondly, trials help to beautify the truth believed so it’s value is demonstrated. Finally, trials help the believer to turn again to God–the giver of truth. And there were two kinds of operation, or exercise of true religion, in them, under their sufferings, that the apostle takes notice of in the text, wherein these benefits appeared. 1. Love to Christ: “Whom having not yet seen, ye love.” 2. Joy in Christ. Though their outward sufferings were very grievous, yet their inward spiritual joys were greater than their sufferings; and these supported them, and enabled them to suffer with cheerfulness. (JONATHAN EDWARDS)

And Be Ye Thankful

Giving thanks is one of the most Christian things we can do.  Paul told us about individuals who fell deep into sin because “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God and neither were they thankful” (Romans 1: 21).

Even Jesus took time to be thankful and to express his thanks to the Father. Jesus gave thanks before eating (John 6:23). When he stood at Lazarus’s tomb and prayed he said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me” (John 11:41).

We should follow Paul’s example of thankfulness. When he heard about people being saved, he thanked God (Romans 6:17; Colossians 1:12). “Paul thanked God God and took courage”  when saw brethren in Christ (Acts 28:15). Paul also thanked God when he heard of the greatness of faith displayed in others (Romans 1:8).

Paul exhorted us to express thankfulness in everything we do. He wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Furthermore, Paul’s spiritual maturity is demonstrated in his willingness to be thankful in every situation–good or bad. He said that we should be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

We have much for which to be thankful. I pray we can take a few moments every day to think about how much God has blessed us. Rather than think about what we want, think about what God has given us already. Most of all, let us thank God for Jesus. Let us thank God for allowing us to be partners with him in Gospel work. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

What Will I Do With the Word?

What will I do with the Word? Its interesting to watch what people do with their Bibles. Walk through any parking lot and you might notice a Bible stored away on someone’s dash.

One of my earliest memories was of my Great great Aunt Edith’s Bible collection. In every room of her house, there was a Bible prominently displayed. We tend to arrange our rooms around a television or around a computer or around a dinner table. Her entire house seemed to be arranged around the Bible. Coincidentally, it seemed that her life was as well.

I wonder how our lives are arranged? Is our daily and weekly schedule just happenstance? If there is a planning or budgeting of time, I wonder if God has any place in our planning?

Jesus instructed us “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Paul exhorted us to make the best use of the time (Ephesians 5:16). One of the first women to greet the new baby Jesus in the Temple was a prophetess named Anna. The Bible described her this way: “She never left the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers” (Luke 2:37).

When we seek to make the best use of our time, we are trying to fill it with the best possible thoughts and actions. Can we find anything better than God, God’s Word, and God’s work? Shouldn’t God be the dominant theme of our moments, our minutes, our days, and our lives?

“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord.”