Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In JESUS' name!

Some time back some young people from a certain church here in town entered a pub and going around and shaking hands with people who were either drunk or drinking began to tell them, "God loves you, God loves you". A man seated on a chair, drinking, suddenly blurted out, "What 'God' loves you, 'God' loves you?” "Say 'JESUS' loves you". A backslider drinking in a bar had more guts to pronounce the name of Jesus than those sincere Christians.

In my country, India, it’s not unusual to come across Hindu devotees shouting and chanting the names of their gods and goddesses in the streets publicly. The Muslims proudly proclaims the name of Allah and their prophet, and the Buddhists outside their shops, with chanting beads circling in their hands, chants prayer intermittently even while talking to their customers. But when some Christians pray publicly they shun from mentioning the name of Jesus - the name which is above all names. In order not to "offend" the Non-Christians they speak of a "God" or at the most the "Almighty God". Hindu believes there is a God, Muslims all the more and so does Buddhist, Sikh and people of other religion. How convenient it is to accommodate all by shying and fearing to mention the name of Jesus. It’s an irony to learn that while people of other faith living in a foreign country belonging to people of some other faith do not hesitate to mention the names of the "God" they believe in, the "nice" and "good" Christians don’t utter the sweet and powerful name of Jesus in their own land (regarded as a Christian nation).

Watch and listen to the prayers uttered by so-called Christians during some political or public rally when they’re invited by their Government or its official to make either the opening or the "benediction" prayer. No mention of Jesus' name. In the name of "tolerance" and "freedom" we do away with what Jesus taught us, "Whatever you ask of the Father in MY name…" (Jn 15:16b). I see this as a sinister ploy – the ploy of the devil of course. He just cannot stand the mention of the name of "Jesus" and that’s exactly why he has no problem as long as people go on to say "God" or "God Almighty" but not "Jesus". Last time the popular American Idol show ended with Hillsong’s popular song, “My Jesus, My Savior”. However, instead of “My Jesus” they were made to sing, “My Shepherd, My Shelter”. In the secular world at times things which has a connotation of Christianity is still accepted. But mostly, as long as the name of Jesus is avoided.

Heed what the Savior said, in Mark 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Again listen to what He says in Matt 10:22 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” Jesus clearly predicted that we would be hated because of His NAME. Not only because of our faith in Jesus but more so because of our proclaiming of His name. And that’s exactly why many Christians are content to simply sustain their faith but shirk from announcing that glorious name of Jesus. Of course, this isn't about taking His name in vain. It is about boldly and proudly proclaiming His name, "so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth" (Phil 2:10).

We cannot generalize the One and only True God so as to make Him a common commodity amongst all men. However, one can yet come to Him but only, and only through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior (Jn 14:6). We know who our God is and the Lord Jesus Christ clearly taught us to address Him as, "Our Father" and to pray to Him in His name. In the name of JESUS that is!

The Name of Jesus is so sweet,
I love its music to repeat;
It makes my joys full and complete,
The precious Name of Jesus.

"Jesus," oh how sweet the Name!
"Jesus," ev'ry day the same;
"Jesus," let all saints proclaim
Its worthy praise for ever.

I love the Name of him whose heart
Knows all my griefs and bears a part;
Who bids all anxious fears depart—
I love the Name of Jesus.

No word of man can ever tell
How sweet the Name I love so well;
Oh, let its praises ever swell,
Oh, praise the Name of Jesus.

(Original Trinity Hymnal, #711)


1 comment:

  1. Amen Bhai! It is sad to see this becoming a commodity and an enterprise. A product to be peddled by its adherents. Bhai, we must all be contending for the faith and truth of God and not be satisfied with nothing else. Preach the gospel, and if you have to, use words! =)