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Monday, August 25, 2014

Do You Know Him?

Acts 4 : 8 – 12, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV

We are told in God’s Word that His name is holy. Therefore, we are to honor His name with the lives we lead. Our speech, conduct, and character are to be a true reflection of Christ. Nevertheless, if we should choose to live in a way that doesn’t agree with God’s commands, then we are dishonoring and defaming the Lord’s name.
When God descended upon Mount Sinai and gave His Law to the Jews, He commanded them not to take the Lord’s name in vain. Even so, have you noticed how society uses God’s name outside of the context of holiness and reverential adoration? 
People use God’s name in “religious” connotations to suit their own form of worship, but in John 4, Jesus tells us that God seeks those who worship Him in Spirit and truth. Just because people use the name of the Lord, or use the name “God” in a religious setting doesn’t mean that they’re referring to the God of the Bible, neither does it mean that they have a relationship with Jesus.
Before we can hallow the name of the Lord and speak with true authority in Jesus’ name, we must first know Him. Jesus also warns us not to follow signs and wonders. The Greeks of Jesus’ time came seeking a sign from Him. However, He told them that it was a wicked and perverse generation that seeks after them. We, who know Christ don’t have to seek or follow signs because He is the truth. Apart from Him, there is no “other” truth.
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us that many will come to Him on Judgment Day and say, “Did we not cast our devils in your name?” “Did we not heal the sick in your name?” And Jesus will say to them who had performed miracles in His name, “Depart from me, you who work iniquity, I never knew you.” The fact that people can speak the name of the Lord over someone and get miraculous results is not an indicator that they have a relationship with Jesus.
Do you remember the sons of Sceva? Sceva was a Jew and chief of the priests. His sons thought they could use Jesus’ name to cast an evil spirit from a man without knowing Jesus for themselves. Nevertheless, when they adjured the wicked spirit to leave the man, the spirit said, “Jesus, I know, and Paul, I know, but who are you?” These men were trying to use Jesus’ name without knowing Jesus.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 that in the last days many will come and say that they are Christ. He told us that deception would be very pervasive in the end days. So the next time you hear someone say “God” or “Jesus” notice the fruit of their lives… not the names they drop. This “fruit inspection” can prevent you from being deceived. Finally, always remember to hallow or honor the name of the Lord so that you keep it holy. Not only is the world watching you, but the One whose name you’re using is as well. The name of the Lord is to be praised from the rising of the sun to going down of the same.
Holy Is the Name of the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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