Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jesus Christ

Some years ago, I had just finished doing a wedding when one of the groomsmen approached me in the foyer of the church.  He said, “There’s something I have always wanted to ask a minister.  Do you have a second?”  I should tell you at this point that weddings are one of the most stressful parts of my job.  Don’t get me wrong; I am honored and privileged to officiate a wedding.  But while preaching in front of hundreds of people each Sunday feels easy and comfortable, standing in front of the bride and her mother frankly scares me to death.  Then I consider the fact that a good number of the people in that crowd probably aren’t churchgoers, and therefore never get to hear a presentation of the Gospel, so I know this is a unique opportunity.  On the one hand, I am trying not to drop the ball and ruin the wedding for this young woman and her mom, and on the other hand I want to make sure that everyone there hears about Jesus.  So when this young man came up to me after the service, I knew that—in spite of the fact that this was what I would describe as a redneck wedding, the stuff of reality TV—God had brought me an opportunity to speak a word of truth to someone.  So I said a quick, silent prayer and said, “Sure, I’ve got time.  What’s your question?”  “Well,” he said, “You know how people say Jesus H. Christ? What’s that H stand for?”

You'll have to come to WBC this Sunday to find out how I handled that one.  But there's a better reason why you should be there.  As we seek to represent Christ in a non-Christian culture, we are going to need the supernatural power of God to be made manifest in our lives.  That only happens when we pray in the name of our Lord.  Praying in the name of Jesus means acknowledging in prayer that we can only come before God because of what He did for us on the cross; and it means praying in a way that is consistent with His character.  So between now and Easter Sunday, we’re talking about some of the names our Lord is called in the New Testament.  This Sunday, we’ll start with the name He is most commonly called these days: Jesus Christ.  Where did this name come from, what does it mean, and how can knowing Him as Jesus Christ change our lives forever?

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