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YODER: The Name of Jesus

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There’s power in the name of Jesus.

It’s not because the name is magical. There’s no inherent power in the name itself. The name Jesus is not a four-leaf clover that someone says for good luck and then wishes for the best outcome with fingers crossed and a rabbit’s foot in his pocket.

It’s faith in God that brings the power. Doing something in God’s name that is done to bring Him glory, not glory for the person who’s saying the name.

“Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, ‘In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.’ Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?’” (Acts 19:13-16).

Who are you?

If you’re saying the name of Jesus, you better know who Jesus is and you better know who you are in Him. There’s power in the name of Jesus when it’s spoken by those who believe. A power that we cannot fathom. A power that doesn’t come from us, but from the Lord God Almighty.

Husband Mel’s first wife, Janice, had the spiritual gift of healing. She received the gift after she herself was miraculously healed.

Mel and Janice were called to a young man’s hospital bed. He was unconscious, given no chance for recovery and was actually in the process of dying. Janice prayed a short prayer over him. The mother asked her, “What do we do now?” Janice told her, “We wait to see if the Lord heals him.” Janice knew whose name to call on. She also knew that Jesus is the healer, not her.

The young man miraculously recovered. The Lord healed him.

What happens to those who speak the name of Jesus with irreverence for their own gain and glory? What happened to the seven sons of Sceva?

“Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over-powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled 50,000 pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:16-20).

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high (far above evil)” (Proverbs 18:10 Amp).

Years ago I was with a group of children. I was part of a team who taught these kids about Jesus. We were not in a church, but in a store front. Many children were present with me. The other team members were picking up more kids. We were talking about the events of our day as we waited. It was fun hearing the kids share about their lives. It was wonderful hearing their laughter.

Two older boys walking by stopped and looked in the big window. The kids knew them. I could tell there was something off about the older boys by the children’s reactions. When the boys entered the building and stood near us, every hair on my head stood up. Whenever this happens to me, I know that I’m in danger. Somehow I sense the presence of evil. I believe it’s the Holy Spirit’s warning system for me. I’ve heard other believers say the same thing.

It sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. The boys were smiling, but they weren’t friendly smiles. They were bold and irreverent smiles. I sensed anger and danger behind them.

As I’m talking with them calmly, I’m also silently praying for help. Then it comes to me. I say, “You’re welcome to stay with us. We’re going to begin. Let’s pray.” I begin to pray. The second I mention the Lord’s name, the boys take off running as if they’re on fire. I finish the prayer, thanking the Lord once again for His amazing help and protection.

The children are unusually quiet. Looks pass between them. Then they tell me that the two older boys are gang members. They’re unusually quiet because they’ve just witnessed the power in the name of Jesus.

Life can be challenging. It can be chaotic. It can be scary. We feel that we have no control over what’s happening in the world. Over what’s happening in our own lives. It’s at that very moment when we come to the end of ourselves, and living life in our own power, that we can look up and see Jesus. The author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

The One whom God has highly exalted and given Him the name that is above all names. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Never forget. There’s power in the name of Jesus.

Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at Kathyyoder4@gmail.com.

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