Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Name of Jesus

I'm giving you about 5 minutes of my sermon from this past Sunday. I preached on the power of the name of Jesus from Philippians 2:5-11. I spent all week thinking about what I wanted to share with the church and the following flowed straight from my heart.

-His name has made people drop to their knees and a day is coming when his name will bring every human being who has ever walked on this earth to their knees again.
-His name has the power to sweep people off of their feet
-His name will be spoken on the tongues of those who confessed him while on this earth and his name will be spoken from the mouths of people who failed to confess him on this earth
-His name made the demons shudder.
-His name sparked curiosity in rulers like King Herod who weren’t even interested in a coming Messiah.
-His name has offered hope to the hopeless and encouragement to the faint-hearted.
-His name has been the source of comfort in waiting rooms and funeral homes throughout this world.
-In the words of a great author today, the name of Jesus “is good news for sick people and is disturbing for those who think they’ve got it all together. "

-This world is not in need of more churches with more programs; instead they are in need of people who understand the seriousness of speaking the name of the One and Only.
-The name of Jesus can’t be watered down to morality and good ethnics, though we’ve tried, but instead the name of Jesus is a way of life to be embraced and lived out
-His name is a name that demands better morals and ethics for our lives. We can be moral but not alive...Morally pure, but devoid of any life, joy, or celebration
-The name of Jesus isn’t just about bringing smiles to faces, but it is also about making knees knock, hands tremble, and voices quiver; because though he is a great companion, he is also the King of kings and the Lord of lords and the Lion of Judah.
-The name of Jesus transports us from complacency to action, from ordinary to something daring, from staleness to participation.
-His name is not an invitation to tiptoe through life, though I, and we, have tried, but instead his name begs people to run, hop, skip, and (heaven forbid) dance through life
-We are guilty of treating his name as if it is a battery than has run out of power and we are simply waiting for the day when God will come re-energize; instead of embracing the greater reality—that the name of Jesus still has the power to penetrate into the deepest places of our lives.
-In a world in which people live in fear of death each and every day—fear of terrorism, fear of tragedy, fear of sickness—the name of Jesus asks us, “Do we believe in the resurrection anymore?” Or do we truly believe that his name has the power to lift up the dead from the ashes, to resurrect dead bodies, and to make all things new right here and now?
-We, the churches of Christ have done many things well, I would not be ministering in a C of C if I didn’t like them, but one thing that we are guilty of is that too often we have tried to get Jesus into the heads of people, but we failed to get him into the hearts. We have emphasized study and memorizing and knowing, but we have failed to invest in the formation of the heart of our people.
-We’ve believed a person will gain access to heaven because he is knowledgeable about theology, because he can win at a game of religious trivia, do good things, associate themselves with Christian morality…” but faith establishes roots when Jesus enters into the center of our being (DM)
-Our world is not in need of more formulas attempting to piece together the biblical story; instead our world needs people who will lift up the name that is above every name. (We’ve messed around with formulas too long)
-We want the name of Jesus to cover over our sins, but in many ways we have become what Dallas Willard calls “Vampire Christians”—that we just want Jesus for his blood; not for his new life
-We have made Jesus to be the place of safety. We say to the world, “Come to Jesus and you will be safe.” Though he is the shepherd of his sheep and the protector of all his children…the presence of Jesus isn’t necessarily safe. There are safer ways to live than by being a Christian. His name is demanding, and all-consuming, and it embodies every form of sacrifice and selflessness.
-His name promotes safety but it also promotes danger. If Jesus preached in NY, LA, and DC what he preached on the hillsides of Judea, we’d lay him in his grave again.
-His name isn’t a key to financial success as so many write about today, because for his followers his name was motivation to live fearlessly. In losing everything, they gained everything.
-Our hands are not big enough to carry a wallet and a cross.
-It is a name that won’t allow us to point fingers at the world in attempts to tell them how dirty they are because his name is not a name used to demoralize or dehumanize. His name is a name that gives value and dignity to every human soul.
-His name has the power to calm the soul and stimulate the soul.

-The name of Jesus is above the every title of power that this world knows. His name is above every law in the land.
-His name lifts up the sinners. His name brings the dead to life. His name can heal the sick. Free the prisoners. And proclaim release to every captive. His name is what will drive the church into the 21st century.
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-I want to live and minister as if I truly believe that his name is above every name, and that his name still has the power to bring people to their knees and confessions from our tongues.
-His name is the fire in my bones.

-It is the name that won’t let me go.
-It is the name that wakes me up in the morning.
-I want that passion. I want that passion for us.

5 comments:

Olivia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivia said...

Thanks Josh! I was going to ask you for a copy of this, but now I don't have to. :-)

Makarios said...

Mmm, good message - good reminder. Thanks

Tammie's Thoughts said...

Thanks, Josh!

mouseclicker said...

Josh, thank you for pointing us in that direction! If we are to help people see Jesus we must first see Jesus ourselves not with our knowledge but also with our hearts.

I also want that passion for myself and our church!