“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, ESV)
This is the last post in the Bearing the Name series. Originally I thought I could cover the subject matter in three or four posts, but realistically I could go on for a while without running out of material. But I think it’s time to move on. We have learned that the commandment, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Exodus 20:7a, ESV), likely meant you shall not bear or carry the name of the LORD in vain. We are image bearers, created in the likeness of God. We are name bearers, witnesses to the world of God’s great plan of salvation.
The salvation plan of God through the blood of Jesus was never meant to be kept as a secret!
Sure, it can be scary to tell others of your faith, and it is becoming harder all of the time. You and I will be mocked. We will be called unthinking, judgmental, and hateful. We will be called “holier than thou.” Undoubtedly we will hear the truth of the Bible disdained as people try to justify their affinity for sin by rewriting God, Jesus, and the Bible to fall in step with their own morality and plan of salvation. And we will be told that a loving God would not send anyone to Hell. Of course, people, of their own volition, choose hell by refusing to bow before the Messiah of scripture.
A God that looks different from the God of the Bible is an idol. A spotless, sinless Lamb, Jesus bore our sin on the cross. The death He died was for us, and the life He now lives is for us. That Jesus didn’t have to die to purchase our salvation is not only untrue, it is blasphemous!
So what of it? If we tell them what they want to hear so that they will leave us alone, we have already taken a solid step away from the cross. Away from Christ.
If we would walk through the scriptures, we would find that we aren’t promised a life of ease, but one of heartache, pain, grief, peril, persecution and sword. But these aren’t threats. Rather they are markers, reminding us that the path we tread is hard, but Jesus is worth it all. I could have said “but it (heaven) is worth it.” But without Jesus, Heaven would no long be Heaven.
We bear a name. Jesus. The joy of seeing Him one day along with the promised Holy Spirit make everything worth it. Bear His name in a worthy manner. When people taunt you for your faith, look to Jesus. When they call you names, show them the Jesus that you see.
Of course, no one will make any of those accusations or call those names, so long as we live our lives silently, bearing poor witness of His name. Be strong in faith, be ready to give an accounting of the reasons for your faith. Know the Word, and the TRUTH of the Word. Know the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill yourself of these, and when they poke you, you will spill Jesus all over them.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!