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May 12, 2019

Shed The Labels

Shed The Labels

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Series: Other

Category: Sunday Morning

Shed the label, name, reputation, or circumstance that the world gives you and receive a new name in Christ. Step out in faith and trust God’s reputation.

Two examples of women:

  • Proverbs 31:10-31
  • Girls in India are often named “Nakusa” meaning unwanted and a dishonor to the family.

These women are polar opposites: one being a high-water mark for women and the other the stark reality and constant threat against women.

A district in India held a renaming ceremony to give these girls new hope by shedding these names. They give themselves new names like Precious, Beautiful and Good.

Let’s celebrate the creation of God on the call to motherhood and the call of all women whose very nature is to nurture - even those women who have not had children. Receive a new name today.

Today are three stories of women: two women of faith in the midst of tragic circumstances; and another about you – who you really are, who you are called to be, and who will empower you to achieve your dreams.

The first two women's lives intersect in Matthew 1:5-6 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.

God divinely and lovingly places Rahab and Ruth, considered to be of no value by the world, into the lineage of Jesus the Savior. They were used by God to take the redemption story forward. Psalm 132:11-12 The Lord has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne. If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I will teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab and lodged there. Joshua sends two spies to enter the stronghold city of Jericho that was the entrance to the Jews inheritance. They entered into the house of a harlot named Rahab, marked by society as having no worth. Rahab, the harlot, hides the spies from the King in exchange for protection. Joshua 6:25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Jewish tradition says that one of the spies, Salmon, married Rahab. Jericho is conquered and as Salmon becomes a prince in Israel, Rahab gets a new name – Rahab, the Princess. They had a son, Boaz, who then becomes another link in the royal heritage, extremely wealthy and highly regarded. 

The story of Ruth, a Moabite, begins in tragedy as her husband dies. Ruth leaves her family and country (Moab) to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Judah. In need of food, Ruth goes to a field to gather food. By divine providence, God placed her in the field of Boaz where she boldly presents herself and seeks redemption from him.

Ruth 3:8-9 It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.

Ruth 4:13-17 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. . . Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

These two women with no value in the eyes of the world, named Harlot and Moabite, are made princesses of the kingdom of God. They have three characteristics that we can apply to us today:

1) They believed in the God of mercy and justice. Ephesians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. 

2) Their reputation preceded them. Learn from them this important lesson: Do not be a victim. Do not live out the demeaning names, reputations, or circumstances that the world may give you.

3) They stepped out in faith and trusted God’s reputation. Lamentations 3:22-25 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.

  • Your Redeemer is Jesus.
  • He has bought you back.
  • He has taken you in.
  • And He, your Redeemer, will give you a new name.
  • You are “Nakusa” no more!

A harlot, a Moabite, a woman caught in adultery, a Samaritan at a well, Mary, and so many more women trusted Jesus for a new name. 

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. You can be born again and it’s not just a new name, but a new identity, a Child of God.

What is your redemption story? Your old name? Your new name?

What does it mean to be a victim?

How can we shed our worldly reputation and receive a new name?

Where can we step out in faith and trust God’s reputation?