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A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of February 26-March 3, 2024: “So … What’s in a Name?”: Genesis 17

So … what’s in a name? His name Abram meant, “Exalted Father”. But he did not have any children and he was 75 and his wife, Sarai, was 65. Still, God promised that great nations would come from his offspring. He even changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of many nations”, to show that in time He (God) would make good on His promise. Then, when he was 100 years old and his wife, now named Sarah, was 90, a son named Isaac was born to them.

The Genesis account of Abraham and Sarah shows us that God makes good on His promises—however long it might take. While we might not have specific promises given to us, as Abraham was, we have been given guarantees by God Himself. In Matthew 28:20, the Lord assures us that He will be with us always. In Romans, Chapter Eight, we are assured that all things will work together for our good and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Then, in Jeremiah 29:11, we hear that the Lord’s plans for us are always to give us a hope and a future.

So … what’s in a name? We have the promises of God because by Baptism and the Holy Spirit we have been given the name, as Jesus was at the Jordan River, of being His “beloved son” or His “beloved daughter”. These names were made possible for us because Jesus Christ—the one who bears the Name above all Names—brought salvation to us by His cross and resurrection. He is the greatest offspring of Abraham and Sarah who has placed His very Name upon us.

Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths

The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)

The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)

The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)

The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)

The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)

The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)

The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)

The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)

The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)

The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)

The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)