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What is Your Name? Lessons for the Gate
Series: The Cure for the Summertime Blues
Date: August 5, 2006
Author: Pastor Pete Vossler
Location: Crosswinds Assembly of God, Sparks, NV
One of the greatest sounds that people love to hear is the sound of their own name. We use it to introduce ourselves. We learn others’ names to communicate with them. We love to read our names in print. Sometimes when life treats us badly, we change our names hoping that it will help us to start over and forget our past. We also have alternative names: Husband, Wife, Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Honey, Babe, and some of us even have nicknames. All of these identify who we are. As we walk through life, we collect them like precious jewels.
All these names are important to us, but none of them can heal the sick, raise the dead, or actually rescue anybody from hell. There is only one name that can do that. We know it. It is JESUS.
Jesus changes people's lives. I believe you are more important then another person in the world if you proclaim the name of the Lord wherever you go. I don't mean be some belligerent person, but to stand up for Christ. The president of the United States can not change one person from Heaven to Hell, but you as a believer can introduce people to Jesus and they can go from Hell to Heaven. You are the most powerful being in the world if you will take Jesus as your filter.
Today we look at how, by allowing His name to be our filter, we can actually change the meaning of our own names.
Now, the last 3 or 4 years I have an occasion that I have been in and I would have to do a lot of flying. I was on an airplane two times a month minimum for about three years in a row. For the first couple of months it was kind of nice. But after two or three months of that stuff, you hate airports and you hate flying and you hate going through the all the hassles. One of the things that really bothered me more then anything was the banter that goes on in an airplane. About 99% of the time I flew Southwest and there are 160 seats, usually filled up. Flying from here to San Hose, here to Los Vegas, here to Phoenix and back. And the banter took on the same tone every flight and I got sick of it. And here is the banter.
First, there was always a man somewhere close to wherever I was sitting who, whether he was married or not, would sit next to a girl or a woman who was not his spouse and he was trying to impress her. Now, men do this ladies, in case you don't know. Men act really stupid around women they do not know. And as they talk, this guy starts to speak a little bit louder and acting like he is the cock of the walk. The rooster in the hen house and saying the stupidest things and even if it is a 55 minute flight, you have to listen to this guy yakking to this woman, who you know as soon as they get off the flight she won't have anything to do with him because he is an idiot. So that happens.
Second, there was always a group of ladies who were going on a trip away from their husbands. There was always 3, 4, 5, 6 of them and they would get together and they would get to yakking and doing stuff. And then there are always two or three people that if you are flying from Vegas there is always someone that had a rough time of it. Lost it all. Drunk or whatever and you had to put up with him. And I got sick of this after three months and so I asked myself what in the world I could do and I solved it.
First of all, my son at the time was living here and he turned me on to this little thing called an iPod. I don't like a lot of stuff. I don't like all this kind of stuff but he turned me on to this little thing. This thing is amazing. You plug it into your computer and you download songs and what I do is download books. So right now I have two books on here for traveling. The second thing that it is is I found this set of Bose head phones that are noise canceling and they are the best that money can buy. And I got these and when you do this and turn this little switch on, it creates a noise canceling effect. Si if I put these on, I can't hear anyone cackling or doing their thing. I can't even here you say anything; I can barely hear myself talk. And when you turn on a book, you can't hear anything from anybody. And it was fantastic. And so I survived three years on this. This is a man's best friend when you are on a flight.
What does this have to do with anything? What it is that this thing became the filter? It filtered out all this crud that went on and the flights became something I looked forward to because I could relax, I could learn and I wouldn't have to listen to anybody’s junk. How would you like to go through life not listening to anyone else’s junk. Would that be great or what? This is a filter but tonight what I really just want to focus on is that Jesus should become your filter for life. And if you let God become the filter, you grow and you experience the blessings of God in ways that you could never imagine.
Acts 3:1-10, "One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. "Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him."
Lessons from the gate… How do you get God's name and your name to coincide to work together?
I. A weakness in one area can cripple you in others.
A. Apart from being weak in his ankles this man was normal; the same can be said about us.
Now, I want to tell you a lot of us have weaknesses in areas that go to other areas that mess our life up.
1. Bad habits, lustful spirit, bad temper, self pitying attitude.
2. Everybody has the same temptations.
You and I are all tempted by the same things. There are no new temptations. Nobody here could name a temptation that is new. It is not new to you. It is the same for everybody. Are we in agreement of that? (Yes). Everybody has the same temptation. Everybody has lust of the eyes. Everyone has pride of the life.
3. Determine that who you are now is not who you are going to be.
If you have a bad habit, if you have temptations, or are self pitying. If you have a horrible temper. Just what you are now is not what you can be. You can be free. You can be anointed by God. You can be set free. From the fruit of your lips you can be set free. One little weakness in an area can cripple you in other areas if you don't watch out.
II. What are you looking for?
This guy was looking for money. Looking for a hand out. He wasn't looking for healing; he was looking for a hand out. He wasn't looking for strength, he was looking for money. He wasn't looking for somehow to be a better person; he was just looking for someone to throw him a scrap. What are you looking for?
How many of you went to Hot August Nights and went looking at a car? Okay, most of you did. Some of you could care less. I went to the Reno Hilton yesterday and I love all the cars. But you go and pretty soon they all start to look the same. They run together and you walk aisle after aisle and you see great cars. Pretty soon you have seen twelve mustangs and 32 Cameros and 55 cheviots, and you have all this stuff and pretty soon you are looking for something that is special that stands out and in the midst’s of all this I went up and underneath the over hang of the Reno Hilton where the valet parking is a Carol Shelby mustang.
Now, to most of you that means nothing but to a car person, that could be the apex of life. A Carol Shelby mustang, he made 75 of them in 1970 and each one was numbered. This one was number 11. And it was in what you would call, mint condition. Now, classic cars have risen higher in price then homes do and for this car sitting there, a starting bid would have been a million dollars. And after seeing that car my wife comes up and asks me, "Are you done?" And I said "yes, I am done." Why? Cause you can't find anything better in the whole town. I doubt there is another car in this whole town worth a million dollars at this moment in time.
But folks, we have a tendency in Christ to not know what we are looking for. Who is he? He saved you and you are going into heaven. Good.
A. We have a tendency to look for handouts and not healing.
Are you with me? Oh Jesus, give me this. Oh Jesus I need a raise. Oh Jesus I need a new car. Oh Jesus I need a house. What are those? Handouts. When the Lord just wants to heal us. And once we are healed he says "humble yourself on the side of the Lord and I will lift you up and seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and I will add all the things to you. But the crippled man wanted a hand out, he didn't want healing and we as Christians have a tendency to want what? A handout and not a healing.
1. Handouts are ok, but they will not get back on your feet.
2. When we are focused on what others can do for us, we will miss what God can do for us.
When you are focusing on a handout from another person or from God you will miss out on the truth of the Lord.
3. When God touches us life changes.
Life becomes a joy. Life becomes a pleasure and it is good to go to the house of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is my strength and if you are going to be strong and enjoy life, you have to have the joy of the Lord. The joy of a Cobra is not my strength. The joy of a new dress. The joy of a new car. The joy of a new house. The joy of a new spouse. The joy of a new relationship. It is not your strength. But the joy of the Lord is my strength.
III. Until we begin to infuse His name with ours, today will be just like yesterday.
A. Miracles happen when we allow His name to be infused with our name.
In the morning, I challenge you to do something that you maybe haven't done before on a Sunday morning. Get up and spend ten minutes with the Lord in devotion. Now you say, "Pastor but you tell us to do that all the time." You know what, as a fact that 90% of the people in Crosswinds don't have a daily devotion with the Lord. We produce devotional for you. We give them to you. And they are only five minute jobs.
I was in the presence of somebody and they said, "How many of you read your Crosswinds devotional." And three out of twenty people raised their hand. It wasn't a hurtful thing, I was just shocked. I thought, "Well, why not." Cause we are too lazy looking for handout. We are looking for everything except what can feed us. "I don't have time, Pastor. I got to go to work." "I don't have time, I am busy." You are no busier then anyone else is.
You see, when Jesus name is infused with yours. When you take your time with Christ in the morning. When you take your time with God the Father you begin to expect.
1. Living in expectations.
You expect great things from the Lord. You expect the manifestations of the Lord Jesus Christ. You expect things to happen out of the ordinary. I don't know about you but I expect a miracle everyday. I expect the Lord to somehow pick me up and do great things in spite of me.
2. Keeping your faith strong and your heart open.
3. Speaking God’s promises instead of your doubts.
I have told you over and over again that I don't like the news. I listened to a little bit of the news, it is important to be informed but to sit there and saturate you with it is a waste of time. And people have tried to get me involved in the conversation of Israel and all that other stuff in the mid east. Anybody think about that? You know most of us have. And you know that people talk about it. And I get these conversations.
First of all, there is only one of two things, if this is the end then God has it under control. Don't worry about it. Quite your whining and your worrying. You can't change Iraq. But we have a government that is taking care of doing the best that they can at this moment in time and if you don't like what is going on then vote in November and change that. But until then, get it out of your head. You can't change a thing. So don't let it be saturating in your mind.
And Second of all, don’t waste energy communicating with somebody over something that you can't change. And we find ourselves so engulfed in the news and in the happenings and going ons that we cease to enjoy the presents of the Lord. And I ask you that if you get up in the morning and read the paper over just ten minutes, give God ten minutes. Just give God ten minutes, don't waste your time reading the paper. Come on folks. If CNN is your right hand, hey, give God just a few minutes of that time.
Make life easy for yourself. Hey, I think life is easy, we just make it hard.
1. Most people know how to walk; they just need to know how to hold God’s hand.
The crippled man, I am convinced that he could have done something other then begging. The bible was clear. It said that he had weak ankles. Did it say he was paralyzed? Did it say that he could never walk? No, the man had weak ankles. Has he worked on his ankles? And his weak ankles went down into his feet because he never used his feet. They were weak. Maybe you are weak in spirit. Maybe you are weak in the blessings of the Lord. Listen, get over that. You know how to walk, but you have to grab it. You know how to walk. Everyone here knows how to walk in the Lord. I don't need to tell you.
You walk with the Lord the same way you walk with your spouse. The same way you walk with friends. You spend time with them. Just spend a few minutes. You know God is so great, he doesn't ask for two hours a day. He doesn't ask for that. He just asks for a little bit of time. And as soon as you walk with Him, you will get strength in you ankles, strength in your feet. And the bible says you will be walking and leaping and praising God.
2. Infusing Jesus’ name into your own will never disappoint you.
I have been in this business for twenty something odd years. I have been in this business for a long time and I have never had anybody come up to me or a counseling session who have said they are severely disappointed. That I spent too much time with God. But I have had hundred, if not thousands, that have been disappointed that they didn't spend any time with God.
3. Once we get our eyes off ourselves and look to Jesus, He will take care of the how, when and the where of your life.
I am fully convinced that every person in Crosswinds that sits in these seats have something special to do. Every person here is powerful in the Lord. Every person here ahs been risen up. It doesn't matter you age; no matter how old or how young. You have something great to do in the Lord. But so many times we get our eyes off of God and into what we got to do? Where? What? Folks, get you eyes off that and back on Him and you will hear these words, "silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you in the name of Jesus Christ get up." What was better for that man? A thousand dollar bill or what Peter and John did for him? What Peter and John did! God wants you to rise up. God wants you to do great things. You are special in the Lord. But until you get your eyes off yourself and your eyes onto Him, you will not receive, not appreciate, and not enjoy the blessings of God.
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