Life In His Name
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Life In His Name
I find it interesting to read about and see the transformation of the disciples of Jesus from fear to confidence and assurance. We read in John 20 that the disciples were hiding in the upper room in which they held the Passover before Jesus’ arrest. The doors were locked and they were in fear of both the Roman soldiers and the temple guard and Sanhedrin. They were scared for their lives. Days before they all had claimed that they would have died for Jesus but now when it comes to the actual test of this they are cowering away in fear. Peter even denied even knowing him 3 times out of fear for his own life. He had told Jesus out of love that he was willing to die for him and yet he denies him 3 times. They did not yet understand the true meaning of life and where life comes from.
While they were cowering in fear, Jesus appeared before them to comfort them and to give them courage and peace in their lives. He explains that they need to get ready because he is sending them out to be his witnesses. Thomas is not with them so when he finally shows up, they told him what they saw but he refused to believe. It seems to me that the rest of them may have questioned again what they saw too because a week later they were still cowering in fear. Jesus therefore appears again and this time Thomas is there and because now that he sees he now believes. Now that Jesus has come a second time, they have a bit more courage to get out and then go to Galilee and they spend 40 days with Jesus. Fast forward some more, they are back in the upper room but they are not cowering anymore but instead just waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. Once they receive the Holy Spirit it seems that all fear is gone and they have finally a new understanding of the truth.
The disciples finally understand that life and death is not controlled by the Romans or the Sanhedrin. They can only harm the body but life is not in their body either. Life is in the spirit which no Roman and no member of the Sanhedrin can take away. They understand that life is in the name of Jesus Christ. We read in Acts that they have been arrested for preaching in the name of Jesus and for telling the truth about who killed him. The Sanhedrin tells them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus and to stop making them look bad by telling all the people the truth that they had Jesus killed. They were the people in power and because they wanted to keep that power and wanted to maybe even have more power, they were trying to censor the disciple’s message. The response they get is very different from what they might have gotten if they were talking to those same men who were cowering in the upper room. They said that they must obey God instead of man and even though they may not like to hear it, life is not found in the temple and not found in the law of Moses. Life is found only in the name of Jesus Christ whom truthfully, they had killed. They were going to harm them until one member of the Sanhedrin speaks up and tells them to leave them alone.
Revelation tells us a truth that Satan is continually trying to censor as well. That Jesus is coming again, that he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He was there in the beginning when all life began, he is here now today, and he will come again in the end. The other thing that Satan is trying to censor is that life is in the name of Jesus Christ. He has done such a job of Censorship that it seems that he has been able to keep this truth hidden behind the walls of the church building. The biggest mistake that Satan made was bringing about the Covid 19 virus. He was trying to censor the church by keeping people out of the church. However, because of that he gave the church no alternative other than to speak the truth out into the world through the internet. Therefore, we have been able to get out of our buildings through things like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Through these modes of communication, the church has been able to reach those outside of their walls. So, what does Satan do now? He is trying to censor the truth by blocking and deleting the messages of truth in these means of communication.
Satan when will do all the means necessary to keep the truth from the world. He will even use death as a means of censorship if necessary. However, we must always remember where our true life comes from. Life does not come from our governments; life does not come from even our denominations. Life is found only in the name of Jesus Christ and unfortunately Satan can never censor the name of Jesus no matter how hard he tries.
There is one message I took away from our missionary on Friday night and that same message was shared yesterday at our NMI Convention. No government can save or rescue a people who is in danger or in need. People are fleeing the country of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine, Poland, and the United States are showing that they really cannot do anything to help. However, the people of Poland and the people of Ukraine, and even people of the United States are coming together to do what is necessary to help these people. We would never have known that by watching the news because that truth is censored. There are people though being the hands and feet of Jesus and meeting the needs of these refugees while these governments continue to try to take all the credit and throw temper tantrums when they are not getting what they want. I believe that Satan is trying to use this war to distract us from his true plan. However, the truth still remains that life is in the name of Jesus Christ.
The other thing I noticed from what our missionary shared with us is that while many would flee from the dangers and avoid this conflict, they are putting themselves right in the middle of it all. Someone asked the other night whether they have been able to reach anyone for Jesus as they come over the border. But you see that is also one of Satan’s means of censorship. When people are running away in fear and just trying to leave their home for safety, they are not in a moment in time in which they need to be preached at. These missionaries are doing what is needed. They are meeting a need to help silence the fear and to bring back some stability and security into these people’s lives. Once their needs are met the opportunity to share Jesus will come and I believe there will be open hearts and ears because of the love that Christ followers have shown by being his hands and feet. These missionaries put themselves in harms way because they understand that life is in the name of Jesus.
A time is coming and it is coming soon in which we will see the clouds roll back and Jesus will return in power. At that time life will not be found in the news, life will not be found in money, life will not be found in video games and movies, life will not be found vaccines, life will not be found in world governments. Life will be found only in the name of Jesus Christ. Knowing that life comes from Jesus, no matter how much the truth may be censored, no matter how much pain of loss or suffering we may experience in this world, let it be said that it is well with your soul because you have life in the name of Jesus Christ.