Summary: What the name Jesus means to me and my personal relationship with Him, written for our Christmas Eve service.
LUKE 2: 1-20
ISAIAH 9: 6-7
Christmas Eve Service Dec. 24, 2005
Pastor Thomas N. Bell, Campbell-Erwin Baptist Church
Tomorrow, so many thousands of years ago the world received the greatest gift of all mankind, a gift that altered the history of man forever. A gift of hope, peace, joy and love. A gift delivered to us in the lowliest of settings, a stable containing a manger in which the very Savior of the world would lay. You see God the Father wanted the world to know of His grace and mercies, His blessings, His awesome power and love for mankind. He came Himself, incarnate in a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger. The gift of course is Jesus. He came to live among us, to preach and teach of His Father’s Kingdom, to be an example to us, to fill our every need.
We are so blessed to know and recognize this gift, but there are those still today that refuse to see and hear of the King of Kings, the Lord of All, Savior, Messiah, Emmanuel. You and I both know that there are people who do not have a personal relationship with the Son of God. It is our duty as Christians to share this wonderful news of our Savior with those who are lost, struggling with their demons, struggling with the issue of sin in their lives. Yes, there are many who believe the sin and the lives they are dwelling in this very day are too far gone to ever begin to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Tonight I need to, and want to, share with you my personal relationship with Jesus. What the Name Jesus means to me. Perhaps through my words you may find something that will enable you to strengthen your personal relationship with Him. Or, even better find a way to help you share this great news of the Christ with someone who is lost and struggling. When I see or hear or think of the name Jesus, the sweetest name I know, I have a number of specific points that come to me. I have always seen His name letter by letter and what each letter brings to me. This is what I want to share.
J- is for Joy. Nehemiah 8:10 reads,” the joy of the Lord is my strength.” For me to know Jesus is my joy, and through this joy I derive strength. I receive strength to minister, to counsel, to face the pressures, trials, and tribulations of life to face anything that comes my way. Yes, strength to carry me through, God promises that if He can’t lift us out of turmoil He is there to carry us through. There are many people who face these same things and do not know the joy of the Lord and therefore continue to suffer. We have a duty to make them aware of the tremendous power of our Lord’s strength to lift them out and above all trials. I receive strength in great and pleasurable times as well. I see joy in the dew of the morning as it hugs the blades of grass; I see joy in the sunrise and the sunset. I see joy in the eyes of a newborn child; joy in my wife, my family and friends. I see joy in the midst of this congregation, I see joy when a lost soul accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, and from every one of these I gather strength. I pray that each of you can also say the joy of the Lord is your strength. When I think Jesus I think of joy.
E is for eternal life- God’s promise to us. 1John 2:25 says “ and this is what He has promised us, eternal life.” God does not break promises. He is a promise keeper. There is doubting His word. The gift of eternal life is free to all who will accept it. Romans 6: 23 tells us plain and simple, “ the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” How much clearer can this be? I am so privileged to know for certain that I know where I am going to spend eternity. There are those out there today who do not have the foggiest idea of where they will be spending eternity; either spending eternity with our Heavenly Father or in the Lake of Fire. Tell them there is choice to make and the best choice is free. God promises us eternal life with Him through Jesus Christ. The only way to the Father is through Jesus. When I think Jesus I think eternal life.
S- is for sanctification. This means to be made pure, holy, to be set apart. Hebrews 10:10 tells us “We will have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” John 17:17 Jesus says “sanctify them in the truth, thy word is the truth.” Yes, Jesus offered His body to sanctify us once and for all. The day He hung on the cross and died for us, he made us pure and holy. Praise be to God for sending His Son. Knowing the truth, the word, sets us apart, purifies us, and makes us holy. How do we know the word? We have the greatest book of all time available to us. A book that answers every question you could ever ask, it is called the Bible. Grow in the word by using it, reading it, sharing it, discussing it with other Christians to grow in it. Most importantly share the truth, the word of God with those who need it most. When I think Jesus I think sanctification.