Sunday, May 15, 2016

What's in a Name?

What is in a name?  Think about it -- how important is your name to you?  Maybe your name is a traditional family name and has significance in that way.  Maybe your name has a special meaning.  Maybe your name isn't anything special -- but it is still yours and you still like to be known by your name!

Look at just a few of the names of God below.  Each onel of these names came straight out of the Bible and they reveal something about who God is.  In fact, if you have never done a study on the names of God, I would encourage you to do so.


We have been praying for a while about what our ministry should be called.  Even before we knew that we would form a new religious non-profit organization, we knew we needed a name to be known by and we wanted it to not just be some catchy name, but to have a deeper meaning tied to what God has called us to do.  Before God gave us our name, He showed us the verses that He wanted this ministry built upon.  As a team, we began to pray through those verses asking God to reveal a name.  While we were on our vision trip we took one of our devotions and studied through the passage God had given us word by word and out popped a name.  Obviously, you know our name, but I want to share the details of those verses that led to that name.

Isaiah 58:6-12

6 "No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 "Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply. "Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. [Isa 58:6-12 NLT]
In this passage God was telling the Israelites that he doesn't just want some empty fast as worship, but He wanted some action in their lives that are honoring to Him.  Translate this to our time and it basically says that God wants us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and as we do that we are truly worshiping and honoring God as He gets the glory.  That is our desire in all that we do!  Look at the phrases below that come straight out of this passage and how we believe God is telling us to apply this through our ministry in Honduras.

  • "lighten the burden of those who work for you (v 6)" " -- we will be hiring locals in Honduras to work for us at some point.  Once we do, we are dedicated to paying a fair and honest salary.  Many people in Honduras are so desperate that they will work for almost nothing, but that is not how God would have us work -- He would have us to pay what is fair and honest.
  • "let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people (v 6)" and "remove the heavy yoke of oppression (v 9)" -- Without intervention, orphans will end up living on the streets, in gangs, or be sold into the sex trade.  Bringing these at-risk children into a loving family relationship will provide an opportunity for their oppression to be removed and the chains and stigma of being an orphan that currently bind them removed.
  • "share your food with the hungry (v 7)" and "feed the hungry (v 10)" --In addition to providing for the children that are in our care, we will be partnering with other excellent ministries that work in the area to provide food to children in particular.  One such ministry is able to provide enough food to prevent mal-nourishment in one child for just $2 per year!
  • "give shelter to the homeless" -- we won't be able to provide shelter to all of the homeless that exists in Honduras, but we will be providing shelter to the children that come into our care.
  • "give clothes to those who need them" -- we will be helping provide school uniforms to children who cannot afford them.  A uniform is required to attend most schools, but many families cannot afford the uniform.  Sometimes, simply providing the uniform is enough to keep the child in school so they can learn and provide for themselves in the future.
  • "then your salvation will come like the dawn (v 8)" and "your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon (v 10)" -- The dawn is the beginning of a new day (or a New Beginning).  As the light of hope is provided and the light of the glory of God breaks through, it is like a new day.  Eternal salvation is the ultimate purpose of all that is done!
  • ":The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength (v 11)" -- We absolutely must rely on God.  There is so much need in Honduras that we cannot possibly meet all of it, but when God is in control He can lead us to help those who can help others.
  • "you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes (v 12)" --  It is our goal first to restore homes and do everything possible to keep children in their biological (or related) homes.  Often is is pure poverty that prevents parents from being able to care for their children.  We will partner with and develop programs where we provide those parents with ways that they can lift themselves out of poverty and restore their homes, giving them a New Beginning in life and a hope for the future.
In Him and to His Glory,
Ben

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