As I’ve said before, the LIFE business challenges people to improve their lives in the 8 F’s: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following, Freedom, Friends, and Fun. Of course no one in the LIFE business will tell someone how they should or should not believe, but they do encourage people to know why they believe what they believe.
I attend church services on Sundays and started to write reviews of the sermons and/or lessons I am learning. It is important to understand that I am a Christian and what I write about is based on Biblical principles and that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, was crucified on a cross, and ultimately raised from the dead. For more information on Christianity and its validity, check out the book More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell.
In the light of that, this Sunday my pastor delivered a powerful message on the name of Jesus. Ephesians 1:19-23 expresses the supremacy of Jesus Christ. After God raised Him from the dead and seated Jesus at His right hand far above all principalities and powers, He was also given the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:5-11 basically says the same as Ephesians 1:19-23. Jesus humbled Himself and made Himself a bondservant ultimately becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name that is above every name. It is at this name that every knee will bow and confess Him as Lord to the glory of God.
In Luke 10, Mark 16, John 14, and many other places in the gospels, Jesus describes the authority granted to those who believe in His name. Since the name of Jesus has been exalted above all other names, it’s important to remember it when dealing with any struggles in life. For the name of Jesus is above the names of lack, sickness, depression, and anything that can be named. Jesus even said that if we ask anything in His name and believe, the Father (God) will give it to us (John 14, 15, and 16). Yes, faith (an unwaivering trust and belief in everything that His name stands for) in the name of Jesus is powerful.
Pastor Mark shared a powerful analogy to explain how using the name of Jesus works. Police officers are often used to help direct traffic in and around accidents, traffic jams, construction zones, and after special events. Tens, hundreds, and perhaps thousands of vehicles pass by these officers obediently following their hand signals to go, stop, turn, yield, etc. Yet, every one of those vehicles could be used to easily run over these officers. A car or truck is much bigger, heavier, and more powerful, yet these officers stand without fear directing traffic. Why? Because their authority does not come from their physical strength, impressive hand signals, or impressive uniform. All the power of their local police department, state, and nation, if necessary, will back their position as a police officer. If someone messes with that one officer, they are messing with an entire law enforcement and judicial system, and people just don’t want to mess with that. It’s not worth it.
The same holds true for the spiritual hosts of darkness and principalities that are enemies of the Cross. All of heaven, God’s angels, and His power back the name of Jesus and all that it stands for. That is why it is so important to not use the name of the Lord in vain. When most people think of someone using the Lord’s name in vain, they usually think of it being used as a curse word. That’s part in parcel. But what is ultimately meant by not using the Lord’s name in vain is to use it uselessly. Never use the name of the Lord Jesus uselessly and without purpose.
When we learn to use it with purpose and in faith, mountains begin to move, miracles begin to happen, and lives begin to change. Sure, others do not like to hear the name of Jesus. He can be either a rock of salvation or a stumbling block, but His name is powerful. The name of Jesus truly is the name that is above all names. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. As ambassadors of Jesus, we have been given the privilege to use His name to accomplish God’s will in the earth. Let’s be sure to use it wisely.