What’s in a Name?


Any Christian of the Protestant stripe understands the frequent use of Jesus’ name. My Christian walk includes what many call Pentecostal, a fundamental organization which is known to use “in the name of…” frequently. You could say much of my practices in faith include using the phrase. I was taught early on to pray in the name of Jesus, I was baptized in the name of Jesus, and here’s the real kicker, we are taught to fight our spiritual enemies (demons) in the name of Jesus. I know that may seem weird to many, but what can I say, I’m a Pentecostal.

But how often do I “go out” in that name? To understand this facet of using His name, we must look back to the time when He instructs us to do it. At this time, names had more emphasis in explaining where a person came from or where they were going. Moses, for example, means “drawn out of water” denoting when Pharaoh’s daughter took him from the Nile.

The name Jeremiah designated to the Old Testament prophet means “appointed by God.” The name Isaac means laughter which recounts the time his mother Sarah laughed when she heard she would give birth at the age of 90.

So, it’s easy to understand why Jesus got his name before He was conceived. His name means to deliver or to save.

In the Name of…
In ancient days when an emissary would travel to a foreign land and greet its leader, he would start every introduction with; I come in the name of my leader. For example, a representative of Rome in the first century would start any negotiation with, “I come in the name of Caesar.” This use of name carried all the weight and authority of the power Caesar represented. Its military and economic might, as well as its practices in dealing with enemies.

When David confronted Goliath, he said to his enemy, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty.” This declaration put Goliath on notice, he was not fighting David in this battle, but Jehovah Himself.

Emissary of Christ
When Jesus wanted to do a test run on how His Church would perform, He sent His disciples out in twos and gave them His authority and power over demonic possession, disease, blindness, and deafness. They were successful in bringing deliverance and freedom to those afflicted. Some believe the Church does not possess this power any longer – I disagree. Although modern medicine plays an important role in healing disease and physical handicaps much more than when Jesus walked the earth, there are still many people suffering in many areas where the church can be more effective.

When the disciples “went out” in the name of Jesus, they went where the problems existed. Today, we have a ministry in hospitals, prisons, rehab centers, and homeless shelters. The servants of Christ who try to make a difference in these areas have the most powerful weapon available. The power and authority of Jesus Christ.

In the book of Matthew (28:18,19) Jesus told his disciples they would change the worlduntitled because all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him. Signs, miracles, and wonders would follow them wherever they went because He would be with them. The same holds true today.

Go Where I’m Needed
Although I have been baptized in His name, and pray in His name, it’s now time for me to “go out” in His name and take with me all the authority and power the name Jesus represents. My mission today is to have an impact on the lives of foster children and their families. To show the delivering power and love Christ has for them through my actions and efforts.

I am well equipped for this mission because God’s Spirit resides inside me, and when I look at the life of Jesus, he never denied anyone asking to change their situation, whether it was the blind, lame, or sinner.

Today, I am convinced the people who need Jesus the most are the widow and the orphan. I am also convinced our society will prosper if their problems are confronted. It’s my job to confront their issues with the love and authority which Jesus provides, and to boldly say in my spirit, “I come in the name of Jesus.”

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