Thursday, July 30, 2009

The greatest name of all

Today’s Reading: Acts 4:18-20 (NIV)

18 Then [the Sanhedrin] called [Peter and John] in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Good morning!

While attending a Faith Sharing© class at my church just a few short weeks ago, we talked about how we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to telling others about the love of Jesus Christ. Do you remember what it was like when you first invited Jesus into your heart?

I do not remember a time when Jesus was not there for me. I have always loved to sing, and when I was a little girl, my favorite part of the week was the Sunday school sing along at church. All of the children would gather in the fellowship hall and sit near the feet of our pianist. If I got close enough to the piano, I could feel the notes vibrate as our musician played the beautiful accompaniment. I loved watching her feet, as she pumped the piano pedals. I learned many songs about Jesus, as I sat at her feet and sang. One day in heaven, I intend to thank that wonderful musician for leading me to Christ. I may not recognize her face, but I would know her feet anywhere! They are forever beautiful to me. After church, I would run outside to our swing set and sail through the air on my glider, singing every Sunday school song I had learned that morning. I know my neighbors could hear me singing through their open windows, as the words of the songs floated through the breeze. I was sharing the love of Christ as I sang my joyful songs and I didn’t even realize it! I just couldn’t help myself.

I grew up in a culture when families went to church faithfully. Not only did we know our where our neighbors worshipped, but we knew the days and times of their worship services! There were several families on our block who attended the Catholic parish just down the road from our house. Our next door neighbor attended a Disciples of Christ church just a few blocks from our United Methodist church. There were many Sunday mornings when we would follow each other down the road as we traveled to our respective sanctuaries. On Sunday afternoon, my sister and I would go outside to play and we would sing Sunday school songs to our friends, retelling the stories of Jesus that we had shared that morning in circle. They would tell us about the art work they made during craft time during class. We loved re-enacting the preacher’s sermon with our own personal spin, of course! We would try to imitate our pastors’ voice inflection, as we recited the Scripture verses that he read out loud. We asked each other questions and tried to understand the deeper meaning of what we had learned. There is just something very special about being able to share our faith with our neighbors and friends.

How well do you know the neighbors in your subdivision today? Do you know something of their beliefs? Do they worship anywhere? Have you invited them to come and worship Jesus Christ with you?

Peter and John knew they could not obey the Sanhedrin’s order. They couldn’t wait to tell the world about their risen Savior, who is alive and working in the hearts of all who call on His name! In Jesus’ name, people were finding real joy, for the very first time in their lives. They knew what it meant to be truly loved and forgiven for all the wrongs they had committed against the Father and each other. Their bodies were becoming whole and healthy; their souls strong and encouraged in the faith. Who could keep the love of Jesus and His salvation story a secret? Who would want to? There is life-changing power in the name of Jesus. His name is the greatest name of all.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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