I Know Your Name, And You Are Mine.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Salvation is a gift from God, presented free and not in exchange for anything when we place our faith in Christ. It magnifies God alone, since He is the One that blesses us not because of merit, but because of His goodness.
If your can still remember last Sundays message, we can all agree that God has the sovereign right to choose whom He wills. And He calls them by name! After all, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus”.
I want to talk to you today about a man that you probably know nothing about! In fact, I don’t know much about him myself. Except for the fact that Jesus called him by name.
We may have never even heard his name. He did great things, but there is no record of them. He helped change many lives, but I can’t tell you how. His name …Thaddeus, He was one of our Lord’s 12 Disciples.
14 Then He appointed twelve,[a] that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and[b] to cast out demons: 16 Simon,[c] to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
If you are familiar with your Bible, you would know that Jesus called the 12, by name. He did not go around the crowd, and asked… “you, there what’s your name? come follow Me”. No… Jesus called them by name. He called them by name because He is God, He is sovereign. He never makes a mistake in whom He calls. Don’t get sidetracked by Judas as being a mistake, keep in mind, he was born for the purpose of betraying our Lord.
We all have heard and even followed a lot famous Christians. My personal favorites, as you all know are, John Macarthur, R.C. Sproul, who’s has gone to be with the Lord. Paul Washer, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and so on. We, each know someone famous who has dedicated their lives in service to our Lord. And God called them by name.
Understand this, you and I, may not be famous as some of the names I had just mentioned, but God, in His power, called us by name. We can even be the owner of a multi-million dollar corporation and be unsuccessful in God’s eyes or we may be the janitor of that same company and be right where God wants you to be. Regardless of who we are, God knows us by name.
Today Christians/churches measure success by how big the building is, how many people attend, how large the budget may be, and how many new members and baptisms they had the previous physical year.
Society today is consumed with superficial measures of success. As we look to the Word of God we will find that God does not measure success the way that man does. The world may look at you as a failure, as worthless or as a nobody. And you have heard it so much that you believe it! The enemy has whispered such negative comments in your ears for years. But if you are a child of God you are special! …you are GREATLY BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!
I want to take some time and look at Thaddeus’ life and see that Jesus sees you as somebody even when the world looks at you as a nobody! It is human nature to desire a measure of recognition. People go to great lengths to stand out from the crowd and to be unique or different.
Throughout your Bible you will not hear Thaddeus preach a powerful sermon. You will not see him specifically healing someone who was sick. You will not read that he ever cast out a demon. But it is very possible, dare I say even probable that he did all of these things.
How can I say that for sure? Because it was recorded, Thaddeus was called among the twelve.
7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
Thaddeus may not have been a Peter, James, John or even an Andrew. He may not have penned a gospel or an epistle. I submit to you that Jesus did not want him to be a Peter, James, John or Andrew. Jesus wanted Thaddeus to be just that …Thaddeus! He was commanded and was given the same power as the rest of the disciples.
We may look at celebrities, relatives, preachers, teachers, singers, and so on, and desire to be like them. I certainly have, I even told myself, one day I would like to be able to preach as good as the pastors that I learn from. We may even desire the talents/gifts that they have been given. We may even envy the success that they have experienced. But you are not them! I am not and cannot be them. God has another path for you and I. It is a better path, simply because IT IS GOD’S CHOSEN PATH!
The world may not know your name or mine. We may never see our name in lights or go down in the history books and that’s ok, Jesus knows our name and that is worth more than the notoriety of man. You are special in God’s eyes. AND HE KNOWS YOUR NAME!
People may not realize our worth, but Jesus does. For whatever reason, we do not have an in-depth record of Thaddeus’ service as a disciple of Christ. But just the fact that he is named among the twelve should show us something. At this point in Jesus’ ministry there were multitudes following Jesus everywhere He went. Out of this great number of followers Jesus only selected 12. Thaddeus was privileged to be called to be one of them.
Whatever your service, whatever the task that Jesus has chosen for you, in church or out of church, it is an honor to be chosen to serve. You have been chosen by the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING FOR HIM! Out of over the billions of people in this world, HE CALLED YOUR NAME.
He placed you as the leader of that specific church for a reason. He placed you as the teacher of that class to have an impact on those children. He placed you in that factory to reach your co-workers in the break room. He placed you, the mother, father or grandparent of that child to have an eternal impact. He placed you on that assembly line to lead the person next to you to Christ. He placed you at home to be a prayer warrior for your brothers & sisters. That is where God wants you to be. He has placed a purpose for you where ever you may be now.
Whatever your situation He chose you to serve Him. We all have a calling. Will you treasure that calling or will you take it for granted? Will you be so prideful as to look at your place of service and compare it to someone else and the become bitter because yours is not as prominent as position as someone else? Just a little added encouragement. Even before Jesus chose Thaddeus to be his disciple. Thaddeus was already precious to Jesus.
Before the foundation of the world, YOU WERE PRECIOUS TO JESUS!!!
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
WHAT??? That’s crazy right! You mean to say, God loves you and I, chose you and I, even before we were born! God made sure that you and I will be born because He has a purpose for you and I. Even before we were born…God by His sovereign will, has already forgiven us of our sins, look… “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”. I just cannot wrap my head around that, right! And even before you and I were born, we were meant to be adopted as sons/children of God! “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”.
You were worth enough to God for Him to send His Son to die for you! You were worth enough in Jesus’ eyes for Him to go to the cross for you! The world may not see how important you are, but GOD SAYS YOU ARE SOMEBODY! “I Know Your Name, And You Are Mine”.
People May Not Know Your Name, But Jesus Does …People May Not Realize You Worth, But Jesus Does. You may never get the pat on the back that you think you deserve. People may never see ALL that you do. They may not see the long hours and late nights. They may not know the financial sacrifices that you have made. Others may not know of the emotional struggles and burnout that you have endured. Still, you are precious to God.
F.B. Meyer. Baptist Pastor in the 1800’s had this to say…
Don’t' waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention.
Though we do not have the back-story of Thaddeus’ life. We are certain that like Peter, James, John Andrew & Levi, he left everything he had in order to follow Jesus. Though the world may not recognize your effort, though you may never be “rewarded” down here, Jesus has much more in store for you. You too have an eternal reward!
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Every deed done in the name of Jesus will be blessed and rewarded in eternity. Men may not recognize your effort, but rest assured that Jesus knows, and HE WILL REWARD YOUR FAITHFULNESS! Th child of God you will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
At that Judgment seat there will be crowns given to the faithful. We read of 5 different crowns in the Word of God.
1) The Incorruptible Crown - Awarded for faithfulness to the Lord - 1 Cor. 9:25.
2) The Crown Of Life - For the person who endures and overcomes temptation - James 1:12.
3) The Crown Of Rejoicing - This is the soul winner’s crown - 1 Thes. 2:19.
4) The Crown Of Righteousness - This will be given to those who anticipate and live in the light
of the return of Jesus - 2 Tim. 4:8
5) The Crown Of Glory -This will be given to the faithful ministers/leaders who give themselves
to lead and feed the flock of God - 1 Pet. 5:4.
These are what is waiting for you for being you. For being what God made you to be. You are precious to God. He has prepared these things for you. We may not know many details of Thaddeus’ story, but I can assure you he stored up treasures in Heaven. He remained faithful till the end!
In Closing: Let me end with a short story…
An elderly preacher was rebuked by one of his deacons one Sunday morning before the service. "Pastor," said the man, "something must be wrong with your preaching and your work. There's been only one person added to the church in a whole year, and he's just a boy." The minister listened, his eyes moistening and his thin hand trembling. "I feel it all," he replied, "but God knows I've tried to do my duty." On that day the minister's heart was heavy as he stood before his flock. As he finished the message, he felt a strong inclination to resign. After everyone else had left, that one boy came to him and asked, "Do you think if I worked hard for an education, I could become a preacher--perhaps a missionary?" Again, tears welled up in the minister's eyes. "Ah, this heals the ache I feel," he said. "Robert, I see the Divine hand now. May God bless you, my boy. Yes, I think you will become a preacher." Many years later an aged missionary returned to London from Africa. His name was spoken with reverence. Nobles invited him to their homes. He had added many souls to the church of Jesus Christ, reaching even some of Africa's most savage chiefs. His name was Robert Moffat, the same Robert who years before had spoken to the pastor that Sunday morning in the old Scottish kirk. Lord, help us to be faithful. Then give us the grace to leave the results to you. (Writer Unknown)
“I Know Your Name, And You Are Mine.” Each and everyone of you here tonight is precious to God. He knows you by name. He created you for His purpose. You are a gift to His Son. You are more valuable than anything else in this world. (Money, fame, and so on) God loves you so much, that He gave His only begotten Son!
2 Timothy 2:19
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Has God's plan gone wrong because Christ was rejected by the very people who were prepared for Him, meaning the Jews? Our passage has revealed that as always some open their hearts to God's revelation while others hardened their hearts. Yet if God elects and selects as He did with Isaac and Jacob, isn't He unfair? In these verses, we encounter another preliminary stage in the developing argument for God sovereignty, particularly as it deals with Israel.
When some receive the light and others do not, God's grace can be seen. But if God does not reveal the principles on which He makes His choices [or decisions], that is no reason to call His justice into question. “Is God Unjust?” He is the Merciful and Compassionate One.
God's right to choose is seen not only in Abraham's descendants, it is also seen elsewhere. In our text we see it operating in God's dealings with the King of Egypt who stubbornly refused to heed God's Word and warnings. Here we learn that the rebellion of man can never thwart the purposes of God.
We should not think of God as being unfair. God's mercy is far wider and higher that anyone dare hope, but no one is entitled to it and no one can demand it from God. God's mercy and grace may impose conditions, but they cannot be made subject to man's conditions. Bless God though, for He delights to show mercy and has lavished it upon mankind.
Gods choices are not random…not by chance, or luck. In verse 14 a question is introduced asking if God ever makes unjust choices? “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!”
Was God unjust in choosing Isaac over Ishmael, and Jacob over Esau? The response is, "Not at all!" A lot of people have a real problem with this statement. They see God as being unfair in acting outside or before mankind's freedom of choice and his responsibility to act. Many want to know how could a sovereign God choose to love Jacob, and hate Esau before they were even born? Before they could have done anything good or evil.
The answer is simple. It is because God is sovereign.
Sovereign: a: one possessing or held to possess supreme power or sovereignty.
b: one that exercises supreme authority.
c: an acknowledged leader.
The mystery to me is not that God hated Esau. The mystery to me is that God loved Jacob, and an even greater wonder is that He loves you and I. Did God choose correctly? Read your Bible and you'll see that Esau wasn't at all interested in spiritual things, he was more attracted to carnal things. Yes, God chose correctly—He always does.
Gods choices are merciful as we can see in…
15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Two arguments are made to prove there is no injustice in God. The first is derived from the Scriptures and the second is derived from the unchanging character of God who cannot be unrighteous. Verse 15 reminds us that God has claimed in His divine right… "For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'"
It is not unjust for God to exercise a sovereign's right to make decisions according to His justice. An example of God implementing His right to choose is found in His word to Moses…
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Which Paul quotes from our opening verse. As the sovereign God, He has the right to show mercy to whomever He chooses. In fact, He is not under obligation to extend mercy to anyone.
When did God say this? After the people of Israel had sinned by dancing around the golden calf in a sin-feast at Sinai.
7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ 9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
There the people sinned against God. If God had acted simply in justice, He could have blotted out His people. Moses prayed for them, pleaded for them. Instead of judgment, God proclaimed to His servant Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy"
Here…there you go, these are Gods words here. God was angry, they sinned against Him. They made a great, holy, powerful God, into a shape of a calf. How can you reduce a Great God, into something so small? God was furious, but still, He showed them mercy. That mercy was seen in sparing a sinful nation… Why did God pardon them? Because God is merciful.
Now God is not like a mad dictator saying He can do whatever He pleases. For He is revealing that His actions toward humanity will be true to His character of love, justice and mercy. The integrity of God's character governs His actions.
Therefore, experiencing His mercy does not . . . depend on man's desire or effort. No one deserves or can earn God's mercy. God's mercy does not depend on man's worthiness to receive it. Man does not need to earn or deserve God's mercy. Mercy, like grace, stands above human worth and effort. It is free, because God is not bound to show mercy to anyone. It is not the exercise of man's will or man's striving that compels God to withhold His judgment, it’s all by His mercy.
Human effort is a necessary response of gratitude and commitment to God for His grace in Jesus Christ, but it doesn't merit grace. With regards to election God remains totally free to express mercy on anyone He chooses.
Gods choices, will always overrule evil. It was C.S. Lewis who stated that….
There are only two possibilities in the universe. Either a man says to God, ‘Thy will be done,' or God says to man, ‘All right then. Your will be done.' If you choose to do your will in this life instead of God's will, then one day you will face God's justice. C.S. Lewis
The relations between God's mercy and His judgment is the issue of verses 17-18. Mercy and justice are not opposed to each other but work together.
17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
The thought now moves from Moses to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. In verse 17 the Apostle Paul presented a historical illustration of the Sovereign Lord's purpose. “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
Notice that this quotation is introduced with the words, "For Scripture says," in place of "thus saith the Lord,". This Scripture quotation comes from Exodus 9:16. To the Egyptian Pharaoh of the Exodus God said through Moses, "I raised you up" or I brought you onto the scene of history. Scripture is speaking a vivid reminder that it is God who raised Pharaoh up.
"I raised you up" is not only a reference to Pharaoh's emergence in history, but to God's providence in sparing him. Pharaoh deserved death for his oppression and insolence, but his life would not be taken during the series of plagues, he had a role to play, before God pronounces judgment, so that the full extent of his hardness of heart might be evident, but also that the greatness of God in the deliverance of His people might be more clearly evident.
You are all familiar with this story. Over and over again, God hardened his heart to accomplish His purpose. God placed Pharaoh in his position, so that when his hard-heartedness came into conflict with God's purpose he would become an illustration of the outcome of one who is opposing the purposes of God. If Pharaoh had been born in a cabin and lived in seclusion, his sin would have been neither lesser nor greater. But God placed this arrogant man in a position where his refusal to consent to God's will would not only lead to his own downfall but also to a world- wide demonstration of Gods divine power. God's freedom to act, is the right of His sovereignty.
The Book of Exodus is clear that Pharaoh puts himself, not against Moses, but against God, and that God uses Pharaoh's hardness as a means to demonstrate His glory!
Verse 18 is the climatic conclusion of the argument. “Therefore, God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden”.
In the Exodus account, Scripture records many times when Pharaoh's heart was hardened—ten times of which God hardened his heart and ten times of which Pharaoh hardened it himself. Understand, that when God hardened Pharaoh's heart, He was only confirming Pharaoh's own decision. So, don't feel too bad about Pharaoh, for even though he saw miracles happening and heard God's Word very powerfully presented, he hardened his own heart again and again.
He hardens whom He wants to harden (lit. "make stubborn") emphasizing the freedom of God's action. Because of God's proposal, Pharaoh hardened his heart. All this shows that God chooses and works sovereignly. Yet, Pharaoh was still and also responsible for his actions. And eventually faced Gods judgment.
Pharaoh, being stubborn…and heart hardened is an evidence of unbelief and rebellion. Sadly, these are still evident in the world that we live in now. There are still many believers, who’s hearts are still hardened because of sin. Many still love to sin, there are some who still carry a golden calf in their hearts, instead of the heart of Christ.
God does not act unjustly in His sovereign choices. He has claimed His right and freedom in His Word to act not only in justice, but also in mercy. Throughout history God has often temporarily, employed severe measures in order to serve His gracious ends, which is the salvation of man.
The wonder of it all, is not that some are saved and others are not, but is that… anybody is saved at all. For we all deserve nothing from God but judgment. But thankfully God is a God of mercy, for we… one and all must bow before Him.
Do not hardened your heart this evening against the revealed will of God. Cast yourself at His pierced hands and feet and ask Him to soften your heart to His will and way. Let go of your golden calf and cry out to God. Listen to His blood-stained gospel and surrender to the only One who can save you. Heed His Word and yield to His sovereign power and purpose.
Divine Sovereignty does not relieve men and women of the responsibility for their actions. If anyone is lost, the blame is theirs, but if anybody is saved, the credit is God's. God shows His mercy toward those who have trusted Jesus and demonstrates His patience toward those who have not. Our great hope is that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’
Pastor Richard Santos
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