Sunday, November 25, 2012

In His Name

In His Name
Nov 26, 2012
John 10:25-26  ". . . The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep."

Jesus was very clear that we should do our works of service in His Name.  This means we are to represent Him in all that we do and be clear we are doing it In His Name, making it obvious we are  Christians.  This requires a figurative "name badge" or declaration that we are serving others BECAUSE of Jesus, FOR Jesus.  Jesus was the first example of this, declaring everything He did was in His Father's name.  We are to do likewise.  We are to welcome "the least of these" in His name.  We are to serve others, in doing so we will be serving Him.  If you simply do good things for others, but not in His Name, however, will they count?  This creates a difference between humanitarian efforts and Christian service.  If it isn't clear to the one being served that Jesus is the reason behind the generous act of kindness, then it is simply a humanitarian effort, with no Heavenly benefit.

I have an acquaintance who demonstrates the most amazing acts of service.  She is a wonderfully generous woman who sacrifices much to meet the needs of others less fortunate than herself.  She delivers meals to elderly shut-ins several times a week; she spends time visiting people in nursing homes who have no family; she serves meals to the homeless; she gives generously to help meet the financial needs of those who are struggling financially.  For years she opened her home to children whose families were unable to provide them with all they needed.  For all apparent purposes, she appears to be a wonderful representation of all Christ commanded us to do in the New Testament—take care of His sheep.  She leaves one thing out, however.  Though it is all wonderful, none of it is done IN HIS NAME.  The people she serves have never heard the name of Jesus coupled with her work.

It is not enough to do good works of service or perform valiant, humanitarian-type efforts.  Jesus wanted the work that we do to point to the Lord.  In this world, there are many who do good things for others but if they do so only out of the kindness of their heart, then it does not point toward the Lord.  We are supposed to do our acts of service, making it clear that the Lord is behind it all.  If you are a Christian and you do good works, then make it clear you are doing so because of the Lord.  It is all supposed to point toward Heaven.  Everything is supposed to be done "In His Name."  This means we are to share the Love of Jesus in a verbal manner during or immediately after the act of generosity.  If the circumstance doesn't allow you to discuss Christ, it should still be clear it is because of the name of Jesus that you do such nice things.  Christian acts of service should be our number one witnessing tool.

The reason for this is two-fold.  First, the Lord does not want you to get praise or glory when the act of service is appreciated.  The glory needs to go to Him alone.  Secondly, the Lord wants there to be spiritual fruit involved for the person being served.  In meeting the physical needs of others, there is limited spiritual benefit to them unless they know the "who" and "why" behind the generosity.  Jesus was the first example of this hundreds of times over in the Bible. Before He would speak to their spiritual needs, He met their physical needs.  However, EVERYONE knew the generosity of Jesus came from above.  This is what brought people to the Lord.  In doing our acts of kindness, it is critical to be leading them toward the Lord with every opportunity.  It is not enough to serve them, it MUST be done IN HIS NAME.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   Matthew 25:39-41, Matthew 25:44-46, Mark 9:36-37, Mark 9:40-42, Luke 9:47-48

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