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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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"That Beautiful Name"
"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1). "She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:21).
I know of a name, a beautiful name,
That angels brought down to earth;
They whispered it low, one night long ago,
To a maiden of lowly birth.
We recently passed a church on a major highway with a message that really blessed us. Boldly the lighted sign proclaimed: "WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO CHRISTMAS."
Consider the names that are usually associated with Christmas. There’s Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In the heartwarming Christmas classic, "It’s a Wonderful Life" some may recall George Bailey or Henry Potter. But supremely the name we should associate with Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Christ of Christmas and truly the heart of Christmas!
Increasingly, however, merely using the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (except as a swear word) is considered insensitive, offensive and politically incorrect. Over and over we read reports of attempts to squelch any reference to Jesus Christ, particularly in this season of which we celebrate His birth! Each year we hear of store chains forbidding employees to give the customary greeting, "Merry Christmas"!
I recall attending a funeral many years ago led by a very liberal churchwoman who managed to get through the entire funeral service without mentioning the Name of Jesus even once (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 is 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 before the event 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 customized for those "offended" by the name of Jesus Christ.
The daily verses include the very first and the very last verses in the New Testament. 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, from book cover to book cover!
The middle verse in our selection was the angel's message to Joseph prior to Christ's birth. "She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Mary had already heard the angel Gabriel say to her, prior to her miraculous conception "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus" (Luke 1:31).
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 we proclaim the Name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. Please join us!
I know of a name, a beautiful name,
That unto a Babe was given.
The stars glittered bright throughout that glad night,
And angels praised God in Heav’n.
That beautiful name, that beautiful name,
From sin has power to free us!
That beautiful name, that wonderful name,
That matchless name is Jesus!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, though You were God, You did not 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 the name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every 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)
Late yesterday afternoon we returned from Ohio where we attended a very moving Memorial Service Monday afternoon for a 5 year old who had died in a traffic accident last week.
The students in his school made ornaments for a tree that was in the back of the church expressing their sorrow including the one to the right.
The service included several touching testimonies by family members, friends, including his Sunday School teacher and Kindergarten teacher. He was a very lively, colorful little boy and one of his grandmothers shared how he demonstrated a competitive spirit and when he would win said "I winded you."
Grandmother found comfort in drawing from his frequent boast that he is now saying in regard to his entrance to heaven, "Grandma, I winded you"
"Beautiful Things" Video This very simple, powerful presentation was used at the Memorial service on Monday chosen by the family as a source of comfort.
"This Is The End" Video Alistair Begg The service concluded with this video segment by one of our favorite preachers. After this segment the congregation sung the hymn. Video
Here is the online obituary for the little boy who died.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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