Jesus’ Namesake!

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“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.”  – 1 John 3:23

Naming Names

What’s in a name?  Well, it really depends on who the name is associated with.  And the “who” is found through the ‘observation’ of and the ‘testimony’ about a person by one or more people in immediate relation to that person.  So, let’s try some ‘name-dropping’ to solidify this point…

If I put forward the name ‘John’, many of us would quickly connect that name with a John or the many Johns we know.  Typically, when given only a general first name we will tend to call to memory those we are closest to who we have made ‘observation’.  On the contrary, if the name is more specific, say, John Lennon or Hitler or Mister Rogers, what we think about is more dependent on the ‘testimony’  from those who best knew and observed him or her.

In summary, when we are given a general name, we more strongly rely on our “observation” of those with that name and when given a more specific name we more strongly rely on the “testimony” from those who had immediate “observation” of that person.

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The Name of Jesus

This brings us to the name of Jesus.  I believe it would be a safe and accurate statement to say that in the history of the world there has been no other name that has been so widely, frequently, deeply, and solely referenced.  Like.  No. Other.  Jesus’ name is: praised, defamed, exalted, cursed, esteemed, dismissed, worshipped, slandered, scoffed, redefined, defended, protected, reverenced, sung, diluted, diminished, defiled, vilified, blasphemed, and loved.

History has been hinging on this name ever since Joseph and Mary were commanded by an angel of the Lord:  “you shall give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21/Luke 1:31)

Jesus on ‘Jesus’

In contrast to our typical tendency to spend short of a lifetime striving to ‘make a name for ourselves’, we find Jesus having no doubt about the importance and prominence of His name.  While we go through life yearning for people to recall our names with affection or infamy (in most cases to our folly), Jesus speaks and lives under the ongoing assumption that His name has been endowed with power and authority.  Here are just a few examples:

In Matthew:  In his name the nations will put their hope (12:21), For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (18:20), Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (28:19).

In Mark:  Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me. (9:37), “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”  “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me…”(9:38-39), I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. (9:41).

In Luke:  Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. (6:22), “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. (21:12)._NEW_JesusName

In John:  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (3:18), And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.(14:13-14), You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (15:16), They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. (15:21), In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (16:23), I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.(17:11-12a),

When we hear Jesus speak about his own name, it becomes abundantly clear that he saw his name given to Him by His Father in heaven and therefore has full effect in bringing about His Father’s will.  In a completely real sense, Jesus repeatedly claims that nothing in heaven or on earth may be done or undone apart from His name.  This is what makes C.S. Lewis’ “liar, lunatic, or Lord” argument so insightful; if we spend any minimal time listening to some of the things Jesus said about himself and what would be accomplished by the power of His name, He is either outright lying, a raving madman, or He is truly the Lord Almighty.  The reason we have more than a fool’s hope in the name of Jesus is built on our knowledge of the person and work of Jesus.

This brings us back to where we began.  Since Jesus’ has not left His name general but specific that means associating His name with His person is dependant on the “testimony” from those who had closest “observation” of Him.  This is the process by which most biographies are researched and written.  If we wanted to write about the name and person of Abraham Lincoln (as many people have over the past one and a half centuries) we would first draw from sources that disclosed what Lincoln said about himself.  Then, to undergird these self revelations, we would then examine the “testimony” from those closest to Lincoln based on the “observations” they made of him.  Is this not how we should approach the accounts of Jesus that we find in the  New Testament?

jesus-name-wallpaper-08 The Gospel Name
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. –John 20:31

The problem we have with the testimonies in the New Testament about the name and person of Jesus is not ambiguity.  Our problem is that the whole of the Christian hope is built on the bold-faced testimony given about Jesus by the apostles.  In my most recent conversations with people who have doubts about believing in Jesus, I often tell them that my hope completely and solely rests on the testimony that “Jesus is risen from the dead.”  I even sometimes use a poker analogy and say “I’m all in.” when it comes to the knowledge that I am loved by the risen Jesus first, that I have been rescued by Jesus Christ from sin, death, and hell, and that He is returning one day to raise the whole world from the dead; some to eternal life and some to everlasting punishment.  There are people in this world judged by their peers to be unstable in their thinking, hopes and dreams.  For the Christian, if anything, we should be accused of being too stable.  We are firmly convinced that people who had spent three years around Jesus watching him do wonders and watching him be crucified to death became in wonder of Him after witnessing him raised from the dead.

The gospels make it clear that we do not perceive Jesus’ name above all names not for an absence of revelation but for the presence of a sin-wrecked mind, heart, and will.  Consider, again, the testimony of John in his gospel:

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.(1:9-13) , Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (3:18-20)

If John were just the lone madman speaking lunacy we could rest our concerns and be free to laugh instead of listen to his claims.  But, that is not even close to what we find.  We find person after person forfeiting safety, comfort, goods, family, and even their lives for the sake of Jesus’ name.  Now, there is no doubt that in history we find people willing to die for a lie, but this is truly not the case for people who were in close relationship to Jesus.  Most martyrs for a frivolous cause are those who are far enough away from the cause’s origin to convince themselves that it is true.  Those closest to the frivolous cause are usually ones who are the least willing to die. (of course, there are exceptions, but that is the point, a madman dying for a false hope that he knows is false is the exception, not the norm).  One only has to think of the islamic jihadists to illustrate this point.  The way Islamic jihad recruits terrorists is to prey on those who are desperate or without hope.

And here the distinction is night from day with those who proclaimed Jesus’ name.  After the crucifixion the men who had been with Jesus for three years, claiming to have seen wonder upon wonder, scattered, hid and then went back to their professions.  These men and women had lives that they could easily return to without cost.  They had no reason to begin spreading the news that Jesus is risen from the dead and that salvation from death is only through Him.  Maybe one or two would do such a thing, having become delusional, but we find multitudes testifying to the name of Jesus with many doing so at huge cost.  That cost would be unbearable for someone who was willfully trying to stand for a lie especially when there were such easy alternatives.

To illustrate, when we look back at this point on the road of history, we don’t have a lone pothole here or there representing someone proclaiming salvation in Jesus’ name.  Instead, ignoring those who proclaimed the name of Jesus at great cost is like trying to drive your car down a highway riddled with speed bumps.
Let’s hear from the one who denied Jesus before he was crucified.  If anyone would have reason not to return to the limelight, it would be Peter.  He, who was so bold for Jesus when he was alive, ran the moment things were no longer going the way he thought they should go.  But, unless something equivalent to an “invasion of the body snatchers” moment took place in Peter’s life, why the sudden firm and certain resolve?  Listen to Peter testify in Acts, as recorded by Luke (another testifier):

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.(2:22-24)

Okay, maybe he was having a momentary mental lapse or maybe he temporarily took leave of his faculties.  Peter won’t let you even begin to entertain such a thought.  He goes on, and on, and on…jesus in the air

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(2:38), By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (3:16), then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. (4:10), Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (4:12), All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (10:43)

Let’s add Phillip to the name proclaimers:  “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”(8:12) and Paul (originally a Jesus hater:“I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.26:9) and Barnabas: So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.(15:25-27), Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (21:13)

No Other Name, No Other Jesus

It is unsettling enough to know that those in the early Church could not stop proclaiming the name of Jesus.  But, they went further and for this the world spurns their testimony.  They were not merely asking that Jesus’ name be thrown into the mix of religious thought.  They were not proclaiming that Jesus was “for your consideration”.  They had the audacity, (since that word is in vogue now given the writing of our current President), yes, the audacity to say with one voice what Peter proclaimed to crowd after crowd:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Keep in mind that Peter was not making this stuff up as he went along.  Peter was echoing the words of the one that he claimed had risen from the dead.  Jesus was first to say:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

This point is huge in our generation.  There are many among us who would say that salvation can be found everywhere and anywhere.  Oprah says it, Joel Osteen implies it, and most of the world believes it.  But the truth does not rest on the majority opinion of the world or on wishful thinking.  The truth rests on reliable testimony.  And the testimony we have in Scripture not only comes from the convictions of men who witnessed facts but also a testimony that God himself has upheld by the work of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Peter 1:16-21).  If God can create the universe and raise a man from the dead he can surely guide and direct men to reveal Himself through words.

Just this past Sunday, while at Fort Knox for Chaplain training, a drill sergeant walked past a couple of platoons from our company and said:  “Did you all have a chance to worship God today?  Did you have a chance to worship Allah?”  He then paused, waiting for a reaction because he was looking to provoke a response.  He then said, “You know Allah and God means the same thing.   It doesn’t matter what you call God.”  The drill sergeant then walked away and at this time I stood up because I could not allow that word to stand.  I was careful though with how I approached the situation.  This is how I basically handled it:

After the sergeant left I stood up before the 50-70 Cadets and first asked if there are any people of the Muslim or Jewish faith. No one said they were so I said that I would like to give a response to what the sergeant said about God’s name. I first said to keep in mind this is coming from my conviction as a Christian and you are free in this country to not believe what I am about to say. I then explained that the problem I have with saying we can call God anything is that is not what he has said. In fact, he has given us specific names which describe Himself to us. We are not at liberty to give names to God that he has not given himself. If someone with an Arabic background is to call God something it should be whatever the Arabic equivalent is for Yahweh, Jehovah, and most importantly Jesus.   Now I understand that some Arabic translations of the Bible use Allah for the general word God in Scripture.  The problem I have with this is for most Muslims when they consider Allah, they are thinking of god as revealed by Muhammad.  The god revealed by Muhammad is not in harmony with the Lord God we have revealed in Scripture.  My real concern is that the name Allah just carries too much baggage; the term is too closely associated with the misrepresentations of God taught by Muhammad.  The same cannot be said for the English term God, since in the majority of western thought (where English originates) the term “God” is most closely linked to the Lord God revealed in the Old and New Testament.  I would not encourage Christians, though, to settle for using ONLY the general term ‘God’ when speaking of or to Him because Lord God is clear that He has revealed Himself through the name and person of His Son, Jesus.  Also, range of meaning for the name ‘God’ has shifted in the last century to be associated with other false gods that other false prophets have adopted.  If you ever hear someone say:  “I believe in God”, our immediate question should be, “Which one?” 

So, I would urge those who turn from the false god taught by the false prophet Muhammad and use the name of Jesus to call on God.  There are also other Arabic words for God that are more closely tied to the original Hebrew words Yahweh and Jehovah that could be also used. God has given himself the name of Jesus and that name tells us the most important thing about God (Jesus means: The Lord Saves) The angel of the Lord commanded Joseph to give God’s son that name because “he will save his people from their sins”. I then read from the beginning of Hebrews where it says that in the former days God spoke through the prophets but today he speaks to us through His Son. I told the Cadets if anyone claims to hear from God, they have to have heard from Jesus because God does not speak to us today apart from his Son. I then said we hear from Jesus through his word and if we speak of God in any way contrary to that Word we are false prophets and are not speaking for God. Revelation comes only through Jesus. It is at the name of Jesus that every knee will bow. It is at the name of Jesus that people receive forgiveness of sins. It is by Jesus and no other name by which we can be saved.

When the world is not trying to say that there are other names besides Jesus that bring salvation, they are trying to offer us other Jesus’.  And with other Jesus’ comes other gospels (false hopes built apart from Jesus or added onto Jesus).  Muhammad preached another Jesus (one who had no need to die on a cross and is merely a prophet).  The Mormons preach another Jesus (that Joseph Smith claims was revealed to him through an angel).  The Jehovah’s Witnesses preach a different Jesus (one that is a created being less than the Father).  I could go on, but there is not need at this time.

It is folly to think that the New Testament writers left the world any wiggle room in regards to the divinity, supremacy, and sole authority of Jesus and His gospel.  First, listen to Jesus:

Matthew 24:23-27:  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

  And could there not be a stronger warning from Paul?

2 Corinthians 11:3-5  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

mbcpathGalatians 1: 6-9  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

A lot of people claim to have heard something from God or claim to be speaking for God.  But, listen to how God says he speaks to us:  “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)  God doesn’t speak now without speaking through His Son.  So if I am ever claiming to speak for Jesus and my words do not line up with Scripture, than I am a false prophet.  If I claim that God is telling me something and what I say is in contradiction to the Jesus revealed by the apostles, than I am a false prophet.  I am not hearing God, but probably a demon or I am just making stuff up to elevate myself above the name of Christ.

 

Suffering For Jesus’ Name Is The Norm

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. –Matthew 24:9

 If you count Jesus’ name worthy, you best count on suffering for His name.  Many Christians today, especially in what I like to call the United States of Apostasy, have a very unformed and unimaginative view of suffering.  They are also ignorant of the history of suffering witnesses who have come before.  So, lovingly firm stands for Jesus’ name at work, at play, and at school are either often subtly discouraged or never encouraged by the Church.  We see suffering as giving up the closer parking spot on Sunday, having to listen to a joke at Jesus’ expense at work, and receiving the persistent mockery of classmates and colleagues.  But, the Church in the well-off West needs to familiarize itself with the saying:  “Ya ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

I recently have been trying to be very deliberate about bringing up Jesus’ name and gospel often and in different contexts.  This past month I have been in Chaplain training in the Army.  I had the nerve to actually read some Scripture during one of our daily leader’s meetings.  Since then, one Colonel has used his time to report to mock my Scripture reading.  He does it subtly by saying, “I am now going to be reading some special passages from my green notebook.” (this is a notebook that most of the leaders have a copy of).  The other couple Christians in the room (who also outrank me and are quite older than me) have remained silent while the rest of the room responds to the Colonels mockery in laughter.  But, this is mild and light persecution.  I call to memory what Jesus suffered at these times and also remember that  Christians have lost loves, limbs, and their lives for Jesus’ namesake!  If I was in the Army of another country, like North Korea and I brought up Jesus, I’d be beaten, tortured or killed.   The persecution I experienced is what I like to call ‘hostility clothed in indifference.’  Our enemy wants to erode our testimony for Jesus’ name with hard and soft blows.

When taking stands for Jesus’ name the problem usually doesn’t come from persecution because Jesus promised it would happen.  The problem many Christians face is from other Christians who either provide no encouragement during persecution or who actually discourage making future stands.  It is often common to hear from Christians, “Stay quiet now so you can have a longer lasting testimony in the place God has put you.”  But, God has placed us in any and every position to testify to Jesus’ name early and often.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the quote from an early Church pastor, St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) who said:   “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”  I am sure he loved Jesus and did much for his name, but when these words left his mouth Assisi was more  sissy than Saint.  If we get any impression from the account of the gospels spread in Acts it is that the apostles and early Church were talking up Jesus all the time.  Please, don’t hesitate to bring up Jesus.  Don’t hesistate to defend Jesus when he is being defamed.  Don’t demur from the joy of suffering for the name of Jesus.  We  have the promise of Jesus:  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matthew 5:11-12)

The Worthy Name

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. –Acts 5:41
Worthy is the Lamb.  He’s worth it.  He’s worthwhile.  That’s what any Christian who has a healthy view of suffering and has set their hope on the promise of the resurection has believed since the risen Jesus appeared to the apostles.  Apart from the future reality promised by Jesus regarding his return and our resurrection, suffering would make little sense to endure.  This is basically what Paul argues in his first letter to the Corinthian church:  “And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I die every day—I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (15:30-32) 1 Corinthians 15 is a passage that the Church should commit to memory.

We have a testimony to hold in regards to the name of Jesus even when death is threatened for maintaining it.   “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”  –Revelation 12:17

More Than One Way To Blaspheme

When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.– Acts 19:17

We often think of blasphemy as using Jesus’ name as a curse word.  And certainly this is the case.  But, this is not the only way Jesus’ name is blasphemed.  Whenever we dishonor Jesus’ name by misrepresenting him in conduct or speech or remain silent when someone else is doing so, we blaspheme Jesus’ name.  As Christians, we should be slow to speak when speaking in defense of ourselves or when ‘tooting our own horn’ or when we desire to get in a verbal fight with someone we are angry with.  But, we should be quick to speak about Jesus and praise Jesus.  This would be a helpful remedy for many of the problems that we as Christians like to get ourselves into, such as, complaining.  Do you know that Paul said we are to do everything without complaining? (Phillipians 2:14)  And yet, we can hardly go three minutes without hearing a complaint being uttered from the mouth of a Christian.  To the multitaskers who love to do many things at once poorly instead of one thing well, I can say to you with confidence that complaining and praising are two things that you cannot do at the same time.  If you are thanking Jesus, praising Jesus, and thanking and honoring Christians who love Jesus you cannot be complaining at the same time.  I promise.  Don’t try it; you’ll sound really foolish and incoherent.  So the remedy to complaining is really Jesus.  He really puts everything in the proper light and humbles your problems to their proper proportion.  In fact, Jesus is the remedy to all our problems.  By now, I hope you’ve begun to notice that it’s all about Jesus.

Our Mission:  Keep Jesus’ Name Above All Names!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  –Phillippians 2:9-11

In Song Worship:    When we worship with song, make sure Jesus’ name is lifted up and we are not just singing about ourselves and our concerns.  There are a lot of “I, me, my” songs out there that place the emphasis on the wrong noun and pronoun.  There are a lot of good songs today that lift up the name of Jesus and there are a lot of not-so-good, borderline heretical songs that deflect us away from the name, person, and work of Jesus.  Here is a small sample of songs that I have found are faithful in lifting up Jesus’ name:

  • A few good old songs are:  Jesus, Name Above All Names/There Is A Redeemer/All Hail The Power of Jesus Name/Glorify Thy Name/My Jesus, I Love Thee/Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners/He is Exalted/Wonderful Name of Jesus/
  • A few good new songs are:  Your Name is Matchless/Jesus, Jesus, Holy & Annointed One/In Christ Alone/Your Name/My Redeemer Lives/Lord, I lift Your Name on High/You Be Lifted High/O, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (David Crowder Band Rendition of the original hymn)

The last one I listed is probably my favorite worship song right now that lifts up the name of Jesus.  Take a look at this song and listen to it at the below website.

“O, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing”  By David Crowder Band.  http://www.davidcrowderband.com/2.0/  To hear the song go to the below website, click recordings, and click on the white and green, “Remedy” CD cover.  You can then scroll through the songs at the bottom and listen to this song:

O, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace

My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name

So come on and sing out
Let our anthem grow loud
There is one great love Jesus

Jesus, the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears
‘Tis life and health and peace

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

He speaks and listening to His voice
New life the dead receive
The mournful broken hearts rejoice
The humble poor believe

Glory to God and praise and love
Be ever, ever giv’n
By saints below and saints above
The church in earth and Heav’n

There are so few words
That never grow old
There are so few words
That never grow old
Jesus

In Life Worship:  May you often speak well of Jesus with Christians and unbelievers.  May you have a reputation of being obsessed with the name of Jesus.  I am alarmed sometimes among Christians how often Jesus is left out of our conversation.  May you also live like Jesus so your ‘Jesus name speaking’ lines up with your ‘Jesus name living’.  This means we are to follow the instructions of the apostles in matters of how we conduct our living.  Learning how to love is a terrific place to start (don’t presume you have love figured out, I was foolish enough to believe that for far too long).  Most importantly, be constant in the Word.  To treasure Jesus’ name we must grow in our knowledge of Him and love for Him.  This does not happen by osmosis, but by listening to and studying the Word.  In there you will encounter, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word-become-flesh, Jesus.

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We are His Namesake

The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.– Acts 11:26b

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. –1 Peter 4:16

Namesake:  (noun) A person named after another.  To be a Christian is to be a person named after Jesus.  Some define Christian as “little Christ” or “Christ one”.  Do you see the honor and privelege of being called a Christian.  You are sharing a name, the name.  The name that, at the hearing, we will all bow to one day.  Honor his name instead of your own.  May your life be consumed by a love for Jesus’ name and no other.  Live and speak prasing the name of Jesus.  Drown out the thunderous cry of creation in your worship of Jesus’ name.  Pray in Jesus’ name, for by his sacrifice we have communication with our Father in heaven.  Be humbled by Jesus’ name, for all other names fall at it.  Live as the namesake of Jesus!  Lift up the name of Jesus for all of your days!

Amen.  Come Lord Jesus and glorify your name in all the earth!!!

 

 

 

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