Sunday, September 14, 2008

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

The devotion for today hit me when Spurgeon says, "See the value of a grace-wrought confession of sin! It is to be prized above all price, for in every case where there is a genuine, gracious confession, mercy is freely given, not because the repentance and confession deserve mercy, but for Christ’s sake. "

Some people in their misunderstanding of the tradition of praying 'in Jesus name' may criticize such practice. Some of the criticism is valid because it becomes for so many infant christians a magical phrase that invokes the power of God; and such is not the truth. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the Father does EVERYTHING for the sake of His Son by the Spirit. This means that he holds higher than anything else the glory of His name--that is the glory of His Son; not man or his free-will or anything else that men want him to put at the fore. The Bible is clear that he answers prayer according to His will (1 John). And Jesus says in the Gospels that "whatsoever you ask in MY NAME it will be given to you from my Father." To say In Jesus' name, Amen; you are saying that you acknowledge that God places His glory above everything else and rightfully so, and that these petitions be so in accordance with the glory reserved for His name. It letting your prayers rise to God in humility realizing that you deserve no answer to your prayers; yet it rises also with confidence because you are saying that from the bottom of your heart that you know you can approach God because of Jesus Christ, and that the Father is to grant your petitions for the sake of Christ's name and not your own. This is why praying in Jesus' name is absolutely necessary! If you do not say it in words, then you must be saying it in heart, but remember the true proverb, "out of the heart, thy mouth speaketh." So I do invoke the name of Jesus into every one of my prayers....with caution...doing my best by God's grace NOT to allow it to be an unmeaningful repetition, hurried, or magical. I hope that you do too or at least that you realize that God does everything for Christ's sake and will only answer those prayers that are in his name and according to the glory of his name. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Grace be with you all and the glory that comes from Christ's name, Chris

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“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
— Psalm 32:5

David’s grief for sin was bitter. Its effects were visible upon his outward frame: “his bones waxed old”; “his moisture was turned into the drought of summer.” No remedy could he find, until he made a full confession before the throne of the heavenly grace. He tells us that for a time he kept silence, and his heart became more and more filled with grief: like a mountain tarn whose outlet is blocked up, his soul was swollen with torrents of sorrow. He fashioned excuses; he endeavoured to divert his thoughts, but it was all to no purpose; like a festering sore his anguish gathered, and as he would not use the lancet of confession, his spirit was full of torment, and knew no rest. At last it came to this, that he must return unto his God in humble penitence, or die outright; so he hastened to the mercy-seat, and there unrolled the volume of his iniquities before the all-seeing One, acknowledging all the evil of his ways in language such as you read in the fifty-first and other penitential Psalms. Having done this, a work so simple and yet so difficult to pride, he received at once the token of divine forgiveness; the bones which had been broken were made to rejoice, and he came forth from his closet to sing the blessedness of the man whose transgression is forgiven. See the value of a grace-wrought confession of sin! It is to be prized above all price, for in every case where there is a genuine, gracious confession, mercy is freely given, not because the repentance and confession deserve mercy, but for Christ’s sake. Blessed be God, there is always healing for the broken heart; the fountain is ever flowing to cleanse us from our sins. Truly, O Lord, thou art a God “ready to pardon!” Therefore will we acknowledge our iniquities.

Spurgeon, Charles H.

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