You shall be called by a new name
I am delighted to share the Christmas message with you once again dear brothers and sisters. It is nothing short of a miracle that despite the ups and downs of
I am delighted to share the Christmas message with you once again dear brothers and sisters. It is nothing short of a miracle that despite the ups and downs of the year and the calamities and tragedies that have visited our country, we can still breathe and contemplate on the eternal Word. Soon it will be New Year and I believe God has big plans to prosper you and me.
In contemplating Christmas this season I have been touched by Genesis 17. God appears to Abram and offers to make a covenant with Him. Abram was 99 years and was to bear a child with his wife Sarah. God, through His angel, promises him a son. A man, whose only son until then was an illegitimate one, is told that he will be “exceedingly multiplied” and that he will be “a father of many nations.”
The part that moves me the most is when God gives Abram a new name. In Genesis 17:5 He says: “Neither shall thy name anymore be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” This other one is even more interesting for a man who at 99, and his wife about 75, was clinically incapable of siring a child: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”
If you will recall, God gives a new name to those He comes to bless. In Luke 1:36, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was expecting a child. And then he adds, “For she whom they call barren is with child.” Elizabeth had endured the tag “barren” for a very long time, but the moment God visits her she gets a new name. She is “Blessed,” and she is “mother of John the Baptist.”
Are you enduring any names or tags you do not like? Have people called you barren, poor, stupid, foolish, prostitute, drunkard, alcoholic, thief, home-wrecker, destitute, and so on? The Messiah comes with Him a new name for you. You, whom people called whatever they did, shall be called by a new name depending on the blessings God will be visiting upon you. The barren woman shall be called fertile, a fool shall be called wise, a prostitute turns chaste, an alcoholic becomes a teetotaler and a thief becomes a philanthropist, while the home-wreaker becomes a marriage counsellor. Christmas is a time for new birth. Be ye reborn!
And once you are given a new name, things only get better in Genesis 17:8: “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Once God comes to bless you, you will not need to know anyone; you will not have to be at the right place at the right time. God will bless you where you will be: “wherein though art a stranger” and it shall be for you an everlasting possession, for you and your “seed.” “And you will have joy and gladness” (Luke 1:14). Do not ask when this will happen, lest you become dumb like Zacharias, for they “will be fulfilled in their own time,” (Luke 1:20).
The God who kept His covenant with Abraham; the God who kept His word with Zacharias and Mary, is still God today. He is our God and it is He who promises good things to those who believe in His promises. That God is the one we celebrate this Christmas when we remember the coming of the promised Messiah and He is a God who will fulfill all your dreams. He is not asking you to “plant a seed” or to “sacrifice your favourite son or daughter or cow.” He is not asking you to sell your possessions and give it to the pastor; no, the same Jesus we celebrate this Christmas paid your price long ago. All He is asking you to do is to “come, ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Let this Christmas be the one you make up your mind to keep your covenant with God. Abram was called Abraham only after he kept his end of the bargain with God. He kept his Faith and the covenant. We too can enjoy that kind of confidence from God. We can receive such extensive blessings that replace the curse from generations in our families; we just need to say: “let it be done in accordance to your will.” I hope you do it brethren.
I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2014.
By Christopher Maina
Published in December 2013 Issue