Monday, November 17, 2014

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

The sitcom Cheers had a jingle called Where Everyone Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy. Thanks, Gary. It was about a bar where the hanger-outers were always the same. They all became one big family as they sipped their beer and discussed life. Whenever anyone walked in "everyone knew their name"!

That reminds me of Joe Spielman. Joe was General Motors Regional Plant Manager when I first knew him. When he came to Bowling Green, he always called me by my name! He adopted Melvin Conner as a friend. Melvin was a production worker, and a former boxer, whose teeth had been knocked out! Joe liked Melvin and when Joe came to Bowling Green he always asked me to take him by Melvin!

Joe never forgot Melvin's name. Joe never forgot my name. Of course I had a name tag, but he never seemed to even glance at it! Joe just always knew my name!

One day at Headquarters in  Warren, Michigan, I became bored with sitting all day. I went to the back of the huge conference room to listen and participate. Joe Spielman came into the room. I congratulated him on his promotion to Vice-President of General Motors. I told Joe "And I knew you when you were only a Regional Plant Manager", which had been his previous position. Joe laughed and said "Thank you, Larry!"

I looked down. I wasn't wearing a name tag. Joe Spielman, V.P. OF GMC remembered my name and he "always remembered my name"!

I was impressed! "Joe", I said. "You remembered my name. How many people do you have working under you?" I believe that he said 40,000. I asked "And how many names do you remember?" Joe responded "You'd be amazed!" His underlings told me later that Joe did in fact remember thousands of names. He wasn't exaggerating; people were important to Joe.

It's important for everyone to remember people. By calling a person by name that says "You're important to me!" I especially enjoy frequenting businesses where when you walk in they call you by name. Let's look at scripture:
Luke 12:2 "...there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 4 And I say unto you my friends... 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."
I don't know if Joe Spielman professed Christ. We discussed religion one day and he said about the Mormons, "We all pretty much worship the same God." ( To the best of my memory). Joe was personable and Joe did remember names! However, Joe is a far cry from having the memory of God!

God is a personal God. He knows me! He resides in God's house Where Everyone Knows Your Name!  Not only is your name known, but "even the very hairs of your head are numbered!" God's memory dwarfs Joe Spielman's. Even more impressive than "knowing your name" and the "number of hairs" you have, God knows all your thoughts. "There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed!" With God's memory and omniscience, we have no "secret thoughts". What we are thinking, even at this moment, go out on the universe wide "supreme social network". Our most minute sin is broadcast all the way to heaven!

God also hears what we say. I discussed religion with Joe. He heard me and we talked. It was great that an executive would "shoot the bull" with me! However, when I speak with God, the King of he Universe listens. He knows my name and who I am. If I "confess his name  before men", Jesus will confess me before the angels of God! This is what he'll say:
"I know Larry. He's not perfect, but he's forgiven. It doesn't matter what he did before because I paid the price for Larry to live forever. I've forgotten what he did because it's now forgiven. Accept him now in his new home. Larry, this is your reward, good and faithful servant!"
That's what a personal God will do. I only need to remain faithful. God knows that too! However, if one doesn't confess Jesus, he says "He that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God".  Jesus will say...
Matthew 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
If you're not saved, insert your name "__________" after "I never knew you:". You're going to a place Where No one Knows Your Name ! Hell is a place of isolation. There are no friendships there! You remember your drinking buddies at Cheers? They knew your name here, but hell is Where No one Knows Your Name and no one cares too! Part of damnation is isolation.

If you want Jesus to know your name, confess him. Confessing him isn't knowing his Name, but trusting that he is who he says he is and did what he did that you go to a place Where Everyone Knows Your Name!

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