Sunday, December 15, 2019

Advent Day 15: Name

Advent Words Day 15: Name

"...To those who believed in His name..."  John 1:12

At the end of the book of Luke, the resurrected Jesus appears to His disciples. Luke 24:45-48 says,

"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

The Good News of repentance and forgiveness of sins is bundled up as a beautiful gift in the precious name of Jesus. The Apostle John tells us in our verse today that in believing in His name we find acceptance and are given the right to become children of God. We will look in depth at that gift tomorrow. Today we will focus on "the name that is above every name" (Philippians 2:9).

In ancient Israel in Hebrew thought, a name represented who one was, their character and nature. Of the phrase "in his name" W.E. Vine says, "His name expresses His attributes, character and acting." Thus, the name of the Lord expresses everything He is and all that He does. So, to believe in His name means you are believing in everything about who He is and what He has done. And to believe in someone means you place your trust fully in who He is. 

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10

One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is found in Exodus chapters 33 through 34. There God describes His name; who He is, His character and nature:
"And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence." Exodus 33:17-19
"Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."  Exodus 34:5-7
God's name will express who He is repeatedly with the words found in Exodus 34:6-7 throughout the Old Testament. And in the New Testament the name of Jesus will do the same.

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:31

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:13-14

"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26

"And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us." 1 John 3:23

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:13

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father." 
Philippians 2:9-11

Praise the name of Jesus!

Join me in responding creatively to the Advent Words in John's prologue. You can share your creative response on Instagram using #adventwords2019 or join the Words Challenge Facebook Group and share your creative response there. 

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