5. Aug, 2016

Power in the Name

Today I said farewell to a friend of fifty-seven years. We joined the New Zealand army’s regular force cadets at the age of fifteen as boys and soon became men, as we had to grow up very quickly. We were thrown into something we had no idea about but soon learned, but like in all things especially walking with the Lord, there were some very rough spots along the way. This very day I read in the Word our lives will last seventy years or if stronger eighty and they pass by before we know it. [Psalm 90:9-10] Yes one day we are able to play any sport, run and wrestle with the best of them. Then before you know it the years start to take their toll and we start to wait for the Glorious one promised. Then one day you wake up, look in the mirror, and you don't recognise the person looking back at you. [Philippians 3:21] The question you ask is where did the years go?

At the funeral they played my friends favourite Christian song, How Great Thou Art. This was music to my ears to know my friend, who I had not seen for several years, knowing that he is now in the room that Yeshua said he was preparing for His followers. I would suggest it is the ultimate prize [1 Thessalonians 2:19] promised to all who believe, a crown of righteousness. [2 Timothy 4:8]

Wally lived his life as a believer, he loved people, he served people and he left his mark through the help he has given to the next generation. I wonder how many generations there have been since the time of our Lord who has done just that, left their mark for others to follow? People who loved the Lord and even in some cases died proclaiming the Gospel message. We often hear of the actions of those people who claimed to be Christian and then acted in a way that clearly showed they had no idea about the saving grace of Yeshua, but what about the thousands of people who stood firm for their faith, no matter what? If you can ever find the book ‘Protestant Saints’, it is well worth the read, it speaks of the not so well known people who have stood by their faith in Yeshua.

There are Christians throughout the Middle East and Africa who are at this very moment suffering just because they said these simple words: Yeshua is Lord of their lives. [John 13:37] Why should such a name stir up such emotion? There can only be one explanation, what is said about Him is true, there is only one name that can save. [Acts 4:12] There is only one name above all others [Philippians 2:9] that can bring relief from the pain of the world. [Luke 4:18] There is only one name that we can call on in time of trouble when the spiritual enemy is attacking our very being. [2 Corinthians 10:3-5] It is the name that gave John Hess the strength to go through the pain they inflicted on him, because he declared all we needed was Yeshua. It is the name that has given countless people the hope for what is to come after we meet with the Father at His house.  [John 14:2]

There is only one name under heaven and earth that stirs up so much trouble for the Believer in that name. [Acts 7:55-59] But what people don’t understand is the power that is bound up in that name. Peter said, “In the name of Yeshua, Jesus, rise up and walk.” [Acts 3:6] The name that became flesh and walked among us [John 1:14] touched blind eyes and they could see. [Luke 18:42] He touched people and they could walk, [Mark 2:11] it was in His name that Peter changed lives. It is in this name that I am still here today because it was this name that I called out to when the rock thrower had my head in his sights. It is this name that a friend called out to when his car was sliding towards a cliff edge and his car stopped on the edge and he was saved. [John 17:12]

There is power in that name that we can’t even start to understand. [Deuteronomy 29:29] It was there in the beginning of time. It was there for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, when the troubles came. It was there for Moses when he held out his staff and the waters parted. It was there for Joshua when the waters of the Jordan parted at Jericho and when they parted for both Elijah [2 Kings 2:8] and then Elisha. [2 Kings 2:14] The name of Yeshua is there for us also if we are facing rough waters in our daily walk. [Mark 4:37-40]

Some say this power is now gone, if that is the case why are so many people being healed today when people have called out in the name of Yeshua? I don’t know why everybody is not healed, but I do know healing takes place. Yeshua said you could do greater things than these. [John 14:12] In saying this He never put a time line on that statement. If it was true then surely it’s true now, He is the same always [Hebrews 13:8] so His words must be true always. Yeshua said I am the resurrection and the life [John11: 25] and told Lazarus, “Come forth!” and Lazarus rose from the grave. [John 11:43-44] This was a demonstration of His power and a demonstration of what is to come.

One day Yeshua will stand on the Mount of Olives [Zechariah 14:4] and cry out ‘Come Forth’ and we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and rise to be with Him.  [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]  The people stood in awe at the wonders that Yeshua did while on earth. [Matthew 7:28] The people claimed Paul and Barnabas gods because of the work they carried out in the name of Yeshua. [Acts 14:11] This is the very name that the people of the past and of the present are able to overcome all things, because we have the perfect example placed before us, the example of the cross. “If you want to be my disciples then take up your cross and follow me.”  [Luke 9:23] Words spoken by our Lord then and still so true today. Things may never be 100% right in our lives, but one thing I do know, these words give us strength to overcome. A strength that comes from one who endured the pain of being nailed to a cross and then lifted up for all the world to see and ridicule. [Matthew 27:42]

The Son of Man, bleeding and suffering an agonizing death and yet he never uttered a word of condemnation to those who drove in the nails. Instead He forgave them, “Forgive them Father they know not what they do,” [Luke 23:34] He cried out forgiveness for all humanity if only they would accept it and live remembering the One without sin [2 Corinthians 5:21] who took on our sin, yes every sin in the world and buried it in the grave.

But the good news is and there is some very good news, He rose from the grave leaving our sin buried forever, if we would only leave it there. He rose victorious, sinless [Hebrews 9:28] and rose to be with the Father, something one in sin can never do. [Ezra 9:15] Sin holds us in death [James 1:15] but repentance - turning from our wicked ways brings life, [John 10:10] life in the Name Yeshua and life forever more. [John 6:40]

 As we age and our bodies no longer are able to do what they once could, we know there is life beyond this ailing frame we live within. There is a life that goes beyond time where the light of the Lord reigns and pain and trouble disappear forever. [Revelation 21:4] At the end of a service for a soldier passing, the ode of the Army is read, “At the going down of the Sun, they shall not grow old as we grow old, we will remember them.” How true this statement is in the words of our Saviour when He stated about those who would recognise His promise. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:16-21 

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