My wife Natalie showed me a meme the other day that spoke directly to this article. It stated, “the devil knows your name but calls you by your sin, but God knows your sin but calls you by your name.” Consider this if you will, there was once a young man who was rather ordinary, and I do not mean this as an insult. In a crowd, he did not stand out, at work, he did his job satisfactorily and was neither a standout nor a cause of concern. He was as grey as grey could be in his job and his perceived private life. There was, however, a dark side that no one knew about, and his secret life was fully immersed in the dark web where he was a completely different person. His alternate identity was very different, and he was, in this space, a giant, delving into criminal activities. He could not stop even if he wanted to because he was so entrenched in the lifestyle but, like all things, it had to come to an end and the police force helped him to quit.
Let us call this guy John. When he was caught, no one even thought he could be this person they were describing. John was definitely not going back to work after he was released from prison and the only job he would get was working as dishwasher at a local restaurant. He was tagged as a thief and scammer who could not, should not be trusted. What was not known to many was this; while he was in prison paying for his past transgressions, John found Jesus and he gave his life over to the Lord. He gave up his past ways and started a new venture when he was not working but it was an uphill battle. John was a convicted computer scammer and a thief in the eyes of the business leaders but to those he served, he was their knight in shining armor. You see, he started a small group composed of individuals who had a desire to help those who were susceptible to scammers, seniors, the less affluent and the lonely singles who were getting ripped off by false promises of love and travel. The church they met in embraced the ministry, the community was thankful for the blessing, and this group of servants were called by their names and not by their sins. I feel this passage talks to our lives as much as it did to the tribes of Israel.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isa 43:1-3 NLT
This week, Pastor Todd brings part two in the sermon series, No Longer A Slave To Sin. The service will be broadcast online on our website (https://www.mainavefellowship.ca/socialplatforms), or you are more than welcome to join us in person at 10:30 AM, at 402 Main Ave. W in Sundre, AB.
Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”