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Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:15-16

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Formerly Known As

Posted: 10/1/2016 12:00:00 AM by L.A. Lynch

Names are  a signature, from the inception. Your name, precedes you, follows you, identifies you...from births beginning...to its end. During life paths, some seek to change the birth name given. There are some religious sects that require a name change, in order to identify more with its teachings. Still again, there are some that change their name, at great cost, in order to start life anew or even to hide in the great web of society. I write this weeks blog, simply out of frustration, (I admit this right upfront). This morning started off well, until an expression of sadness overcame me with the news of the passing of Denise Matthews. A few days ago, when learning of her passing, I too was saddened, despite the fact that we never met. Denise came into our lives as a model, singer and most notably as an actress. We knew her by a one name "NOUN", defined as its expressive attention to one’s appearance. While, I chose to remain silent, many took to social media to also express the impact of this news. The woman known as "this expressive attention to one's appearance" lived a life of sinful excess, until one catastrophic day when she suffered from a near fatal drug overdose. The "NOUN”, humbled herself to the Lord Jesus Christ, accepted HIM as her Savior and received her name change to Denise Matthews. After accepting Christ, Denise boldly testified of her conversion, and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Turning away from the things that made her former "known as" a household name. She testified of her willingness to tear up every piece of tape, magazine articles and video she possessed that showed the former self. Denise Matthews was a new creation in Christ Jesus! The new birth and name change is very well publicly documented. Denise went back to the same media outlets, TV reporting and Talk Shows to proclaim the works of the Lord! Conducting a quick search on YouTube, you will find Denise Matthews ministering at the Rush Crusades.

 

However, my personal favorite is watching the conversation with Denise and the Late Joan Rivers; Denise was full of joy and excitement for the Lord. The details of her testimony were revealing and powerful; she fully understood and expressed the culprits of sin, the results of sin and the LIGHT of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, her voice would almost sing in jubilee, as she told the world what a difference Jesus made in her life! Denise was now in a relationship with the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I AM! She no longer would answer to the name of her former self! Despite her proclamations, the world would not let the former name die; yet at every turn, the old name and its baggage became a path of hope for "open door" opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Denise Matthews, formerly known as "Vanity", spent the remaining twenty-four years of her life serving the Lord with all that she had become. Sickness and disease, pain and even financial distress, would not deter her from a forward path in Christ Jesus. She turned away from the old, never looking back, never wavering; She was sold out for Christ! What an awesome example found in Isaiah 61:3 ...."to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair'. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Just as with the saints of OLD, by the power that can only come from GOD, He ordained a name change, and new walk in victory. Now, we call him Abraham, no longer Abram, Because GOD loved him, Solomon's name was changed to Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:24-25); Sarai's name was changed to Sarah (Gen 17:15), Simon is now known as Peter (Matt 16:18). OH HOW marvelous to have GOD change your name! For unto believers, sold out to Christ, the natural name may remain, however the spirit and soul has definitely been changed...As we are now sons and daughter of the Most High GOD.

 

Our natural heritage remains, under the covering of our spiritual adoption (Gal.2:20) GOD has given us the power to walk in this new life. We have that blessed assurance that since receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, the new birth, our "formerly known as" was thrown into the sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19). Praise GOD!, we no longer need to walk with the heavy cloak of sins guilt, shame and unrighteousness. Each new day, we receive new mercies as we walk in victory in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Since her acceptance of the Lord Jesus, Denise Matthews spent her time testifying that He is REAL...preaching the GOSPEL of the Good News, sharing her testimony, seeding and watering souls for the Kingdom of GOD. If given one more minute here on earth, I believe Denise would say in that sweet voice, filled with joy... "Hallelujah! Give yourself to Jesus, He is the way, give your life to HIM, Hallelujah! Thus, the frustration...You see, the world will reflect on videos and movies...they play well. But lest we forget, the name change to Denise Matthews is more powerful than a brief mention of "a conversion". It was her Life and mission statement; As it is ours! Praise GOD, we no longer have to answer to the our formerly known as! We are new creations in Christ Jesus, BEHOLD all things are past away and ALL things have become NEW! That is the message, lets play the Gospel of Jesus Christ video and share this wonderful Good News with someone today! Sadly, another solider has entered into rest. It's our commission to continue HIS mission! Hallelujah! Eagles Wings!

 

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