HANDLE WITH CARE

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Imagine for a moment that your peers at work, at the gym, at school consistently made fun or your spouses name, used his or her name in a derogatory manner, devalued who he or she is and what they do? I’m sure most of us would hit the fan or cut those people completely out of our lives. Just how often are we allowing people to make fun of Jesus, ridicule his mission, and utilize his name as a swear word? It happens all too often and hiding behind “we just want to keep peace” we tolerate and fail to speak up for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

If Jesus is just a philosophy, great idea, ideal teacher, or a buried prophet then we can let these insults and abuse slip by without a word. After all, why speak up or get in someone’s face, if his name is just the name of a historical figure? Christians have a serous problem! Jesus is not a merely historical figure, good teacher, great philosopher or good example. Jesus is the living risen Lord who defeated sin, the power of the devil and death itself. He is the final judge of all mankind and the one to whom every “idle word” must be accounted for. He is both God and man, our creator and our only savior. How dare we treat him, or tolerate the abuse of others, and say nothing?

Philippians 2:8-11 presents this picture of Jesus, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Perhaps these four verses in Philippians ought to be titled: HANDLE WITH CARE!

The silence of Christians and the neglect we show toward the name that is above other names is embarrassing. We many sing on Sunday about “Jesus the name that charms our fears” but on Monday use his name in a flippant or humiliating manner. What is wrong with us? Why are we more concerned about how others view us than we are about how Jesus views us? Why are we ready to defend our political position but rarely speak up for the name of Jesus?

Christmas is just around the corner. Many Americans are amazed that the President of the United States has actually called Jesus the savior of the world. They are impressed that he had made the nativity central to the White House. They are stunned that “Happy Holidays” is actually being replaced with “Merry Christmas.” Our response to these events says more about how much we gave drifted from the name above every name.

How prominent is the name of Jesus in your heart? Does his name come off of your lips with reverence and praise or does it even pass your tongue at all? The problem with America is that Christians have preferred to get along and receive the praise of the world more than we are to stand up for the name of Jesus. It is time to not merely put Jesus back in Christmas. It is time to put Jesus in our hearts and minds as the only real reason for living and the only Lord and Savior of all!

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