Passion – by Pastor Tony
President Donald Trump. Reading that name has probably caused you to have some strong feelings. Even the nomenclature I have afforded “the Don” may solicit a strong opinion. There seems to be a sharp and growing divide in our country. Some reading this are excited (positively) about the recent election, while others reading this are excited (negatively) about the recent election. What do they have in common? Neither are lukewarm. In fact, that “name drop” is helpful for me – because it may tempt someone, who might usually ignore this article, to give it at least a swift perusal. I’m shamelessly using your strong feelings to entice you to read.
Please lower your proverbial rocks and continue reading. Don’t worry; I am not intending on making this a political piece. On the contrary, my goal is to accomplish the very opposite.
The question we should ask ourselves is this, does the name Jesus Christ solicit as strong of an opinion? Is His name sufficient to earnestly capture our attention? Is His name above every name? I am not asking for a spiritual proclamation, but a recognition of the truth – based upon what we personally see to be true in our own lives. Or, are we merely saying that His name is above every name, but in practical life – there are other names that solicit a stronger feeling…
The problem runs deeper than mere feelings on the political landscape.
Let’s look at the culture around us. What sells? Consider the content on television. If time is an indicator of anything (and to conclude otherwise is bliss – since that’s what ignorance is,) do a quick calculation of the number of television shows whose subject matter is – Jesus Christ. If someone who had never heard the name Jesus Christ were to spend a week enjoying the entertainment of this “Christian Nation” would they even know anything about Jesus? Is His name practically above every name?
You might say, ‘Hey! I have no control over what is on television!’ Fine. That’s a debate for another periodical. But let’s consider then your own heart. To what activities do you look forward? After a long week of work, what subject, name, or activity most interests you? Are you drawn to discuss the name that is above every name? Sure, we are a people that start our week thinking about His name (as long as we are not busy on Sunday morning “washing our hair”). But, when we are exhausted and the week has become more than we can bear – to what do you turn as a relief?
What name are you most desperate to learn about? Is the newest episode of that civilized English show about Mrs. Abby: “NCIS: Downtown Abby” more exciting for you than the boring old gospel of Mark (after all, you’ve heard all the stories before, right?)? The tangled web of 1st and 2nd Kings is nothing compared to the exciting drama found on our tiny-beveled flat screens (hopefully hanging beautifully on our walls). Or are you one of those who gave up television? Instead, you are caught in the endless debate about which service is best? Amazon flix? Net Prime? Etc. Or are you the sort who is in an endless search for the next great video on me-tube – especially when it is on our awesome new hand-held device (the galaxy iPhone 87xyz). The resolution is amazing. It’s going to be perfect for watching Football through ESP-Live!
This is a clarion call to every person who considers themselves a follower of Jesus Christ. There will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ as Lord. His Name will be proclaimed by all. The question is, are you finding refuge in His name today? Is His name above every other subject, object, noun, or activity? Are we merely loving the Lord our God with some of our heart, soul, mind and strength?
There ought to be no contest.
In Ephesians 1:21, Paul makes it very clear that the name of Jesus is not merely destined to someday be “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named.” No, His name is to be exalted in both “this age and also in the age to come.” In other words, when we think of the never-ending worship that will be happening in heaven – that should be no new activity for those who confess Him as Lord. To set our minds on things above (Col 3:2) is to have minds ever proclaiming, resting on and thinking of Jesus Christ.
At the mention of the Name of Jesus, our hearts should jump. Yet, I think we have been lulled into a solicitous slumber wherein our passion has been turned to other pursuits. We are as passionate against/for other subjects or nouns as we should be only for our Savior.
For those who have been forgiven, this article will cause you to more than smile. For you, His name should be rising. To others, I implore you, come and confess the name that is above every name.
Let the zeal of and for the Lord be our strength. May our hearts beat for His name alone.
Under the Name of Christ Jesus,
Pastor Tony Minell