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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pink rose
Photo of a pink rose I took here in Eastern Maryland

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"The Name Of Jesus Christ"

"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1). "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:21).

We drove over with some friends to Hershey, Pennsylvania the other night to see the Christmas lights and to visit Hershey Chocolate World. We passed a church with a great message on their large sign that really blessed me.  Boldly the lighted sign proclaimed: WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO CHRISTMAS."

Increasingly merely using the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (except as a swear word) is reckoned insensitive, offensive and politically incorrect. Over and over we read reports of attempts to squelch any reference to Jesus Christ, particularly in this season we celebrate His birth!  One major store chain is forbidding employees from even giving the customary greeting, "Merry Christmas"! 

At times this includes those who may profess a love for the Lord Jesus but feel they must be "sensitive" to those who don't. At other times it's driven by those who seem to feel they have a "right" not to even hear the Name.

I recall attending a funeral led by a very liberal churchwoman who managed to get through the entire funeral service without even once mentioning the Name of Jesus (or saying anything about Him or salvation for that matter). In her final prayer she did close with this phrase, "We pray in the mysterious name", whatever that's supposed to mean.

By contrast, a bold, unashamedly Christian company owner shared with me that he had been asked to pray at a large civic event and he agreed to do so. Several days later he got a call from the organizer insisting that his prayer must be "politically correct." He knew what this meant (that he was not to use the name of Jesus) so he declined to lead the prayer under these circumstances. He told me that the prayer turned out to be the typical mealy-mouthed, generic type for those "offended" by the name of Jesus Christ.

The daily verses are the very first and the very last verses in the New Testament. As mentioned yesterday the New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The very first name in the very first verse of the New Testament is Jesus Christ and the very last name in the very last verse of the New Testament is Jesus Christ. An interesting sense of being the First and the Last!

Today our world needs a bold, unambiguous, unequivocal proclamation of His glorious Name. We that earnestly follow Him must not be ashamed to use His Name. Today I proclaim the Name of Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord. Please join me!

Jesus, name above all names,
Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord,
Emmanuel, God is with us,
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, though You were God, You did not demand and cling to Your rights as God.  Instead You made Yourself nothing, taking the humble position of a slave You appeared in human form.  Though innocent You died a criminal's death on a cross.  Because of Your loving, sacrificial obedience our Father gave You a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus ever knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  I gratefully declare and confess You, Jesus Christ, to be my Lord and Savior right now and forevermore!  Amen.

(Prayer based on Philippians 2:5-11)

Today I am on the Eastern shore in Maryland helping a friend with a masonry project. We are restoring the chimneys on a pre-Civil war era farmhouse that had been used on a large plantation that had slaves. In fact last night I slept in the slave's quarters! It was a up a long winding narrow staircase.

Early this morning we had devotions together and I shared a message from Ephesians 6, considering a powerful portion of God's Word dealing with relationships at work with the crew.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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