From the Pastor's Desk - March 2014

From the Pastor’s Desk – March 2014 – In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet asked, “What’s in a name?”  We could reframe that question and ask, “What does your name mean to others?” In the Bible names often referred to characteristics. For example, Esau means “hairy”, so named because when he was born he was covered with hair. One translation even said his hair was like a fur coat. Other times in the Bible names referred to character or reputation, like Esau’s twin brother Jacob. Jacob can mean “grabber, deceiver or supplanter” and that is what he was – a deceiver. He deceived his own father to get his brother’s blessing.  But after an encounter with the Lord and a life changing experience God renamed Jacob. He called him Israel, which means “let God rule.” From that moment on Jacob was known not only as Israel, but as a man who lived in submission to the Lord. NOTE

Whenever someone has an encounter with the Lord, they are changed. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. HCSB

When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior the Lord came into our life to take up residence. He made you immediately righteous. Your sins were cleansed and there remained nothing between you and the Lord.

In Christ you are a new creation – new in Christ. And as we allow Him, the Lord not only makes us new, but He continues to make us more and more like His Son! In fact, He promises us that He will complete that task: “He who began a good work in your will complete until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 HCSB

Because Jacob’s life was changed, he would no longer be known as the deceiver because he was a different man. Now He was Israel, the man who “let God rule.” And because of this change he knew God’s blessing in his life.

So let me ask you: As you reflect on your life, by what name will you be known? Will others know you as “blessed” or “joyous” or “filled with peace” because of your surrender to Christ? 

Are you more like Jesus today than you were when you first met the Lord? If not, you need to surrender your life to Him daily because you are the one that is missing out on the Lord’s blessing. His desire is to fill you and bless you and give you joy and peace.

God loves you and desires to bless you.  He longs for you to be known as His faithful child. 

I am praying for you. Bro. Keith


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