Faithful to His Name
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Right after 9/11, it was necessary to fly halfway across the United States. A professor of comparative religions sat next to me and observed that I was reading a Christian book. Because of the nature of his profession, he began to question me on my belief in the Bible. For two hours, he tried to convince me that all religions have a similar basis for truth. His arguments were flying as high as the plane, and the rationale of his thinking bounced everywhere like the turbulence of a plane. Resting in the Lord, I chose to listen rather than talk, believing I would share the centrality of my faith at the proper times. He strongly believed that all gods are the same and that all people would live eternally, whether as a drop of water in the universe or in a specific place. His logic fell apart, however, when he began to speak about the god in whom the Muslims believe – a god who expects good works in order to achieve a place in paradise. At that point I asked, “So you believe that at the twin towers, the god to whom these young Muslim men gave their lives is the same God as my Jesus, who freely gave His very life for me and through whom I receive eternal life?” The conversation ended abruptly and a hush fell among the people on the plane. A rebuttal was a dangerous place for him to be. God made His point. Nothing more needed to be said.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness (Psalm 115:1).
The name of Jesus is powerful. His name can silence many foes and change the hearts and minds of people. His is a name that frees us from sins and announces redemption. It is the same Jesus who offered Himself for our salvation and who now sits at His Father’s right hand, pleading for us at the throne of grace.
But we often ask, “When my life is filled with turmoil, too many activities, illnesses, and one-hundred other challenges, how can I receive answers simply by praying His name?” In faith we are reminded that calling on the name of Jesus is creating a trust relationship with Him, even when the challenges make no sense or take forever to be answered. It’s knowing that, in Him, there is no one and nothing that is able to separate us from His agonizing love revealed on the cross (Romans 8:35). In the name of Jesus, God’s faithfulness is revealed – one task at a time, one day at a time.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for the promise of Your faithfulness through Your powerful name. May that name forever be exalted by me. Amen.