A Rose By Any Other Name

ImageWhat is in a name? My name is a combination of my parent’s names. My dad’s first name was Harry, and my mother’s middle name was Olene, thus I am Harolene upon the insistence of my grandmother! My close family call me Haro which is an Armenian name on its on, albeit a name for the male gender which I am NOT! I thought about the change of names and then this example came to me. Picture it, a preacher crying out to people trying to warn them to change their ways. He was telling the crowd that was gathered around him “you have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it!” WOW, talk about being brave! In the face of an angry mob he continues to tell the truth. I wonder if I could be so brave? So when the crowd heard these words, they were “cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth, (sounds like an earlier version of Mike Tyson in the Holyfield fight!). As Stephen was telling them that he saw the heavens open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God…they began to scream and yell and ran at him with “one accord;” and they cast him out of the city and stoned him.” Here is where we are coming into our point…verse 58 of chapter 7 of Acts, “And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.”
Go on and read into chapter 8 where it says that Saul was consenting to his (Stephen’s) death. Needless to say, Saul was a DEVOUT something…a law keeper, a Pharisee, the BEST of them all. He had studied for fourteen years at the feet of the best of teachers, Gamaliel. He knew the law to the last “jot and tittle”. It was his main purpose in life to persecute the people of “the Way”, to drag them out of their homes, men, women and children.
Now picture another scene, a dusty road near Damascus, same man, but something very different transpired. He saw a bright light, fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” At this point he recognized a power that he had never known and this angry, self righteous, murderous man was changed, dramatically, forever changed. The people were so afraid of him, they couldn’t believe that he had changed; they thought it was a trick to trap them! With his spiritual change he also had a name change…from Saul to Paul.  
There was an anointed Saul in 1 Samuel 9:15-17 The moment Samuel laid eyes on Saul, GOD said, “He’s the one, the man I told you about. This is the one who will keep my people in check.” He became a King. Acts 9:15 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.” This Saul got a name change! So what’s with YOU? You’ve been so bad that you can’t change? So evil or wretched that God cannot change you? God can change a Saul, the murderous Pharisee, to Paul, the greatest teacher we will ever know, aside from Jesus. What do YOU need changed? Whatever it is, give it all to the Lord Jesus and let Him change YOUR name, make you a brand new creation! This is not just for “sinners” but for those of us whom have things happening every day that we feel we just cannot over come! See the light and say, “Here I am Lord, and I am listening!”  

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