John Gray - Name Droppers
For those who were here a couple of weeks ago and think that you might be in a little bit of Deja VU, I am not T.D. Jakes. Yes, get ready, get ready, get ready. Lakewood. Not him. Though we do look alike. But my name is John Gray. Everybody say hi John Gray. Pleasure to meet you. What's your name? Nice to meet you.
When you introduce yourself to someone, you introduce yourself by your name. Your name is the first step in the beginning of interaction, encounter and relationship. You do not go up to people and introduce yourself by your description. I don't go up to someone and say hi, I'm the large bald black guy, heavy set and you don't respond hey, I am the blond-haired, blue-eyed in shape guy, Nick Nielsen. Showing off with your muscle shirt. I'm sick of it. Like I was saying, you don't introduce yourself by your characteristics. And more so you don't introduce yourself by your broken places.
What if you had to introduce yourself by the thing you're least proud of? Hi, I'm liar. Well, that's the end of that. Hi, I'm thief. Oh, my name is... hey, where's my watch? Hi, I'm bad relationship decisions. Hi, I'm a complete mess. Hi, I'm emotionally unstable. Some of ya'll like I married that one, I married that one. You should have told me this sermon 20 years ago.
Names are synonymous with identity. An identity is synonymous with character. Don't tell me names don't matter. Names do matter. That's why you don't see somebody walking around have you met my daughter Jezebel? Nobody names their kids Jezebel. This is my son Judas. All right, well he can't come over to play. Because some names carry a sting. They carry a stain. And even though Judas lived 2.000 years ago, people don't name their child Judas now because of what that name did.
Sometimes you can't out live your name. But there is a name. I know I'm at the 11:00 o'clock and it will take ya'll a minute 'cause ya'll got here, but I'm gonna say it again. There is a name that can change your name if you can say his name at the right moment. I want you to go to a scripture in Philippians chapter 2. I'm reading from the new King James version and it says this: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow".
At the name of Jesus most knees, some knees... Just the knees that come to church. Every knee will bow. And every tongue shall confess. Every knee will bow. Where? Of those in heaven, of those in the earth, and of those under the earth. That means angels bow down. Humans bow down. Devils bow down. Everything bow down. There is no name that can stand in the presence of this name. Every other name will have to bow down. And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Now that's a name that I want to know. That's a name that I need to speak a little more often. That's a name the church needs to remember.
Today of all days we need to remember the awesome and terrible price paid for us to gather here today, that the life of a man who lived a sinless existence took our death so we could live his life and his sacrifice ignited the age of the church, and you and I are a part of his obedience. That name deserves recognition. That name deserves applause. That name deserves praise. That name deserves more celebration than your favorite sports figure or your favorite musician or your favorite actor or actress, more than your favorite team.
If you're ever gonna show some passion and appreciation, don't save it for things that don't matter. If anything, today of all days, that name, the name of he who is king of kings and Lord of Lords, the master of all, Jesus Christ, that name deserves all praise. And if you love him and I believe you do, won't you give God a praise for Jesus Christ. That name carries weight. Demons are scared of that name. When that name shows up, they scatter like roaches when the lights come on. Some of ya'll never had those. You live in the suburbs. You need to come visit some of my cousins. That name carries weight.
Names carry weight depending on where you go. In this church, if your last name is Osteen, your name carries weight. In my house, if your name is Aventer, your name carries weight 'cause she runs most of the house. I'm daddy, I run the house, but she's mama, and she's got authority in the house because her name carries weight. And in this church, that name carries weight for every situation that's represented in here. And you need to get excited about that because some names have come against you like sickness and disease and brokenness and bad decisions, and they come to try to define you, but there's only one that can define you because he created you.
Some people are ashamed to call on his name because of the shame attached to their name. Anybody ever felt like they weren't worthy to pray? Anybody other than me ever been in a place where I did something and it was my fault, I did something so bad I probably shouldn't even pray. I really need you to get me out of this, but because I did it, I'm just gonna go ahead and take it. No, no, no. That's bad theology. I don't know where we got that from. The Bible says a broken spirit and a contrite heart he will in no wise cast out which means there is no situation that's beyond the love of Jesus and the reach of Jesus, and no matter what you've done, his love is there. No matter what you've done, his forgiveness is there. No matter what you've done, his healing is there. And it is available. But you've got to get his name out of your mouth and into the atmosphere.
And what I want to talk to you about today is from the subject heading name droppers. Name droppers. See, we've got a legend in our midst today. He's legend in the world of basketball. A legend from Virginia. He doesn't even know he's in my sermon, he is now. But he played at Virginia and played in the NBA for many years and even played here. Isn't that right Mr. Sampson? That's Ralph Sampson. He's a legend and anybody who knows basketball knows you can't talk about the history of the game without talking about Ralph Sampson. Now you used to play in this building, am I correct? What was the name of this building then? It was the summit.
Now here's what's funny. When he played in it, it was the summit but now it's Lakewood church. Same building but the name changed. Some people feel like what you did then will define your tomorrow, but what your name is today may not be what your name is tomorrow. Same building, new tenant. Same building, new Savior. Same life, new deliverer. Does anybody know that Jesus can change your name. Give him a praise if you know what I'm talking about. This is only for the people who know what they used to be until Jesus changed your name. Maybe you're here and you're saying it sure would be nice if he could change my name 'cause I done some things! Well I don't feel good, 'cause I did some things last week. Welcome to the club. There's some folk in here that did some stuff last night.
And so what? It's not our business what you did. We don't have a heaven or hell to put you in. That's the Lord's job. Our job is to love you, our job is to say we're so glad you're here and at least you're here. And if you're here you've got a heart for God. And if you've got a heart for God, you have a chance. And one chance can change everything. Drop his name. You ever seen people at a restaurant and everybody's waiting and they got that buzz thing, and then somebody else walks in and goes through. Hey! They didn't get one of them buzz things with the red lights. I've been here 37 minutes and my thing ain't even buzz yet.
How come they get to go in? Well, they know the owner. Well that's not fair. Well, sorry but intimacy gives you access. Because we know Jesus, we can speak his name, and we can bypass what the enemy wants us to do is jump through hoops, hoops of legalism, hoops of the law, hoops of shame and guilt, I'm sorry I sinned again, I'm not worthy! No. None of that. Greater is he that's in me than he that's in the world. I can approach the throne of God boldly. I'm not gonna be held hostage by the thing that I've done in my past because I know a name that is above every name, and he died for me so I get his last name cause I'm an heir and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Drop his name.
There's a man in Mark 10 who had a bad name but he didn't let it stop him from calling on the name that could change everything. This one is for anybody that's ever been shamed into silence. I want you to know if you can say his name loud enough, everything in your life can change in the next ten minutes. Now, if you want to have a regular service, we can have that. We can have a regular service, bless you, I love you, that's my brother Kurt, great man of God, I thank God for him, but let me tell you this, there are people in this room right now who need God to shift your life and you cannot wait until next week or next month. You need God to meet you right here, right now. Am I talking to anybody? There's one, two, three. I'm just saying because if not, I have a regular service and we'll have a premium afternoon. But if you want breakthrough, I'm getting ready to go for it. Can I go for it?
Mark chapter 10:46, "Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'". No, that's actually not what he said. Because if you rewind, you have to look at the exclamation, the punctuation is critical because it lets you know what was really going on in the text. And in this text, the punctuation within the quotations is an exclamation point, and when there's an exclamation point, that means there's a desperation.
There's a passion there. There's a volume there that's not normally there. Now this is not reserved for those who want to maintain their proper posture and the mask of invincibility. Those who walk in the church like they've arrived, who have come into church like they are doing God a favor. This is reserved for people who know if it wasn't for Jesus, I'd be lost and I need a break- through right now, and I know that my sound might make somebody uncomfortable, but I'm not here to impress anyone. I'm here because I need Jesus. I'm not here because I have it together. I need Jesus to help me to get it together. Jesus, son of David! Have mercy on me!
Now, I know we have guests and you're probably nervous because a large bald guy is yelling, but I'm not yelling in and of myself. I'm giving you the actuality of the biblical text because there was a great multitude, say great multitude. Steve Crawford, this is very important because in Greek the word great multitude means a lot. Trying to help you. This means there was a crowd. And when there's a crowd and Jesus is walking through it, everybody wants something. By this time everybody knew who he was. Everybody's calling his name. Everybody is saying something. So you're gonna have to do something that stands out, something that gets his attention, and in this story we meet a man named Bartimaeus whose name translates son of uncleanness. His inheritance is brokenness.
Imagine having to introduce yourself hi, I'm the son of the unclean guy. I'm Unclean Junior. What up U.J.? But imagine, not only are you unclean but you're blind, stuck on the side of the road of life with no possibility of freedom, no way to get to the light of day. All you know is begging. All you know is brokenness. All you know is what life has defined you by. But here in this moment, this man who was blind in his physical sight had enough prophetic vision to know that my miracle is walking past me, and I cannot allow people to shut my mouth because in the text it says as he cried out, Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!
The Bible says then many warned him to be quiet. Shhh, shut your mouth! He don't want to hear from you. You're unclean. Be quiet. Isn't that just like the devil? Every time you're trying to get a breakthrough, he reminds you of something you've done or what you used to do. Watch this, or are currently doing. As if that matters to God. What God is looking for are worshipers who are worshipping in spirit and truth. Everything that's true about me is not good, but I'll still worship. I'll still throw my hands up. I know what a mess I am, I know how many times I've failed. I know what I struggle with. But Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!
Now you can't cry out like that unless you're desperate. Many in church come in with our spirit of Halloween. We have our mask. Because our mask causes people to think that we have it together. How are you? Blessed. Blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed when I come, blessed when I go, I'm the head and not the tail, the enemy comes in one way, he's gonna flee seven ways, and I'm highly favored. How you really doing? My life is a mess! I need Jesus! My marriage is falling apart, my kids don't act right, I don't have enough money 'cause my checking is connected to my savings and it's not working with my overdraft protection.
This man had one shot at a miracle, and he didn't let them stop him. Let me tell you something, don't let your "Them" stop you from your miracle. It says they warned him to be quiet but he cried out even louder, Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me! It's quiet in here 'cause you're not sure what's going on. But imagine that a crowd of people are asking for this and that from Jesus, but the Bible says the moment that he cried out loud Jesus stopped.
Why did Jesus stop? Because Bartimaeus didn't just call him by his given name, he called him by his Messianic name. Son of David literally translates son of the throne, son of the kingdom, the promised Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus, the prophesied one, the one who comes to heal and save and redeem, son of David, son of worship, son of warfare, Son of God, son of man. I know I don't deserve you, I'm a beggar on the side of the road. Everybody knows what I've done. But if you can, you don't even have to heal me, just have mercy on me.