Adonai- My Lord

Call Me by Name

Adonai- My Lord

Sunday, March 19th, 2023   


Call to Worship Psalm 8: 1-9, all read vs. 1 and 9 together

How many of you have spent time training dogs, horses, or some animal? What is the goal of training the animals-ultimately, what do you want them to feel and do? 

To see you as their master whom they listen to and follow. To do that, you spend hours building a trusting relationship with them, so they feel safe with you and know when you give a command, you are looking out for them. They learn to trust in your voice; they find calm, assurance, and even joy at times depending on the command given. 

Think of the K9 dogs, Blake-part of our church family has and serves with one on the Columbia Cty Sherriff’s. department. Those dogs are highly trained on a multitude of commands and know they are to follow instantly and fully what their master, their trainer, their protector, and their friend, is calling them to do. They learn to listen to that voice above any other voice. They become laser-focused on the command they are given and they don’t stop until they find what they were called to find or until their master calls them back. It’s incredible what dogs can find that we humans might not ever find or would take us so much longer. Blake, I’m sure can tell you so much more, as can Bob Dreifke about the huge gains in working with dogs to help solve cases. 

I bet they would also agree, that building trust up front and a strong bond is of absolute importance and priority for any of the other training to be effective. There is a relationship formed that only the master and that dog share. There is respect given to the master and a deep desire to please and serve the master that grows. The dogs in turn are very well cared for; loved deeply, rewarded greatly for their service, and have a great sense of purpose in their life. 

It’s really the same training for any animal we use for service or in competitions. Those who have trusting bonds with their owners and masters are likely to do so much more because there is a great desire to please and they feel safe. But there also has to be clear instruction taught so the animals know what we are asking of them. If either is lacking, the outcomes will not be that great. The behaviors will not be consistent and the respect or reverence for the master’s voice will not be faithfully heeded. It is also important to establish who is the master because multiple voices can be confusing and again elicit unwanted behaviors. 

Reese showed in dog obedience and he did very well consistently giving commands and expectations to his dog he was working. Zip was a dog who loved to learn and have commands given to him so it was a good fit. Except that we learned early on when showing that Jon could not be in sight while Reese was showing-because while Zip listened to Reese, it was Jon, who truly was Zip’s master. When he saw Jon he jumped over the small fence they had up for the show ring and ran right over to Jon all excited-like hi Dad! Did you see me jump that fence? Impressive Zip, but not the right moment since you were still needed in the ring. 

There is definitely something to be said about calling for consistent and clear obedience- with our big lug Dozer, he is most assuredly loved and he knows that full well, but he is not always the most obedient dog when he gets hold of a scent or in his excitement comes barreling at you and takes you out at the knees. These might be moments when he’s with me. 

There is also something to be said about calling all of us to greater and consistent obedience in following our Lord. I share these examples of animals to remind us and help us have an understanding of our relationship with Jesus. We don’t see training our animals as bad or negative, but for their great joy and purpose, for their protection, and we know how special those bonds are; that they must be built on love and trust. 

So if we can understand that with our animals, can’t we see the same positive blessings and purpose in our obedience to our Lord and Master who is raising us up to serve in this life with great purpose, to be protected in His care and through following His commands, and to even live our days with great joy as we serve Him? Is that too far of a stretch for us to see how similar these relationships are?  

We sing songs of praise to our Lord. We lift up prayers to our Lord and plead with Him to rescue us, provide for us and help us in our times of distress and hardship. We call on the Lord to make a way in our deserts, to heal us from our wounds and diseases, to mend our broken families, to help our nation find peace and unity. 

But who are we really calling out to when we say Lord? Do we ponder what we are professing when we use the name Lord? 

Today as we’re continuing in this series of Call Me by My Name, we’re going to look at the name Adonai, the Hebrew name which means Lord or Master. 

Let’s explore this further today and let us keep the images of the special bonds formed with animals who serve a master, and see in the right relationship, this connection can be very, very good. 

Matthew 7: 21-27 NIV

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

  • Can Jesus be LORD and Not Also Master? 

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 

The Hebrew word is Adonai and that means Lord or Master. We are saying My Master when we say, Lord. And this is accurate, for this is in fact who He is. 

It is one thing to speak His name with some knowledge of who He is; it is quite another to call Jesus Lord from a surrendered heart. To call Him Lord means we are surrendering our lives to Him, and letting His will be done, that we like the animals we spoke of, are listening for His voice as our daily guide and as He gives a command, we follow faithfully and even eagerly knowing His ways are far higher than our ways!  

Jesus was saying if you call Me Lord, you ought to make a point of getting to know Me, you ought to listen to My voice and follow My commands, “Follow and Abide in Me.”

I want to show you something about the use and meaning of the name Lord in the Bible, to help us understand the context of what we are reading, and to relate to what Jesus is saying here in Matthew 7. 

We’re going to look at when God called Moses to go before Pharaoh and demand he let the Israelites go. Moses didn’t want that job at all. He tried to get out of it and have God choose someone else.                                                       Ever been there? Surely not me Lord, I am not qualified. You can’t be serious Lord. Find someone else. 

In the Bible when we see LORD in all caps, it is translated to Jehovah or God. Meaning I AM

When we see Lord, with only a capital L, it is translated as Adonai, my Lord

Watch the interaction and the use of the word Lord back and forth. I’m going to fill in the appropriate translation as we read together. 

Exodus 14: 10-14 NASB 10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and ]slow of tongue.” 11 But the Lord said to him, “Who has made the human mouth? Or who makes anyone unable to speak or deaf, or able to see or blind? Is it not I, the Lord12 Now then go, and I Myself will be with your mouth, and instruct you in what you are to say.” 13 But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses,

If Jesus is LORD, is He not also Master? And if He is Master, as Moses was calling him, shouldn’t he trust Him at His Word?  This is what prompted God to burn with anger: Should we show Him respect as our Master? Shouldn’t we listen to His commands as our Master? Moses resisted even as he called Him Adonai. 

This is the rub we all need to be aware of in our faith and walk with Christ. 

We call Jesus Adonai; we sing to Adonai; we pray to Adonai but then when He calls us to an assignment and to walk in obedience, we like Moses, want to tell God why we’re not able to do what He asks. If He truly is Lord, He is absolutely able to equip us with all that we need to carry out His assignments, just as He did with Moses. 

Malachi 1:6 NIV “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.   Notice this is a statement from Jehovah.

  • Adonai Denotes Relationship. 

Jesus made it clear in our key Scripture, that there will be a day when He will say to some, apart from Me because I never knew you. You call Me Lord, but you don’t know Me. 

When we call Jesus Lord, we are professing a desired relationship with Him, which is what He also desires. In fact, all that we are created for and live for ultimately, is to share in relationship with our Lord. We wouldn’t be here at all if not for God’s desire to be in relationship with us, His children. Nothing else we do has greater significance or impact than our seeking to know the Lord personally. Because in knowing Him, we reflect Him to the world around us. It is also what brings us the greatest fulfillment and joy. 

Jesus shared this truth:

John 17:3 NASB And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

And knowing God is something we will never cease discovering so long as our hearts pursue Him. The more we want to know, the more He will make Himself known to us. And I’m not just talking about God awesome in power, which is pretty amazing; I’m talking about Father God, Comforter, Healer, Protector, Friend, and Counselor. He is all these things and so much more as we begin to see Him as a person who desires relationship with us. 

And as we are in relationship with Jesus, our Adonai, here is what He promises us: 

Matthew 11: 28-29 NASB 28 Come to Me, all [who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

He beckons us into relationship saying Come to Me. I will give you rest for our souls. How many of you need greater rest these days? The more we know Him, the more rest we find, in Him. He truly lightens our burdens and comforts us in our days. He eases our minds and brings joy to our heart. He allows us to lay our head down in peace at night, because we know our Adonai, is watching over us and keeping us safe in His care. We don’t have to stress about everything in our lives. We don’t have to wrack our brains trying to fix everything. We know Adonai has it and us. 

Jesus speaks to how we build our relationship with Him and why this is to our great benefit as we do: 

John 15: 9-11 NKJV “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

When we fully open our hearts to let Jesus, Adonai, in and fill them with His love, His joy is within us and makes our joy complete! 

As we abide in Him, that means stay near to Him, walk with Him, spend time learning from Him and listening to Him, and let our love and trust grow, our joy becomes more and more full. 

  • Adonai Evokes Obedience. 

This is why relationship is key. This is why Jesus calls us to come to know Him, to seek Him first above all else and open our hearts to Him. Because as we encounter Him, our Living God, and our Lord who loves us and cares for us so well; who shows us the great purposes He has for our life, then our desire to please Him and serve Him grows. It’s a given. Love, trust, and obedience go hand in hand. 

Without relationship, we will continue to rebel and resist. With relationship our heart’s desire grows to want to serve God and do His will, because we have personally experienced His goodness and we trust Him. 

It’s the same with training animals. If we are good to them and love them well, and our commands are clear, they will have a growing desire to please us and do what we ask-because they in turn love us. There is a respect and honor given. 

This is what we must remember as we call out to Jesus, He is LORD and His Lordship commands our obedience. 

Isaiah 6: 1, 8 NASB In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.    (I saw Adonai, my Lord, sitting on a throne.) 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Notice who is asking the question, who will go for us? This is the trinity at work. Father God, Son of God, and Holy Spirit all working in unison in this world they created and they ask who will go for us and be our messengers of hope? Who will be obedient and show this world our Kingdom? 

Let all God’s children respond as Isaiah did saying, Here I am, send me! 

Jesus was bringing home the importance of absolute obedience to His disciples in a powerful visual example when He, LORD God, their Lord and Master, kneeled down and began washing their feet. That was a task for a servant, certainly not a King. This is what He said as He washed their feet. 

John 13: 13-16 NASB 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his masternor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Matthew 7: 24-25 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

“When the Lord builds our house, nobody can tear it down.” 

We are to look to Jesus, our Adonai, as our teacher and our God. We are to follow His commands and His example so that others will know of Him by the way we live and in the way we love one another. 

Conclusion:  When we call upon Jesus as Lord, let us also honor Him as LORD, for that is who He is. Let us trust and submit to His leading as Adonai, our Lord who cares for us and loves us beyond measure. It is to our great joy to do so! 

Let’s pray: 

Offering- food pantry missions

Announcements: candy donations for our egg hunt here for Easter,  easter baskets for swing into spring April 1st   can we get 2-3 more?  any volunteers want to help with that event?  Rev. Bill filling in for me next Sunday-please welcome him! Board mtg today talking about several projects. 

Prayers: Delbert praise and prayer. 

Final Blessing: 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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