Bible Reading: Mark 14:26-50
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Out of this whole passage today…God put one word, one name, on my heart…Jesus. I hope that the Grandkids will hear this devotional…and for the rest of their lives every time that they hear the name “Jesus”…they will smile and thank God for saving them.
What’s in a name? Did you know that most names have a meaning? How about your name? What does it mean?
- Austin: comes from the Latin name Augustine (which comes from Augustus) and means “honorable, respected”…and speaks of someone who is in a position of importance and prominence
- Bradyn: comes from an English word that means “broad valley”
- Landon: comes from an old English word that means “long hill, or ridge”
- Gia (from Giovanna): is the feminine form of the Italian name “John” which comes from the Greek name “Joannes” which comes from the Hebrew name “Yochanan” which means “Yahweh is gracious”, or “God is gracious”
- Caleb: comes from a Hebrew word that means “to have a whole heart” which speaks of someone who is “bold”
- Taylor: comes from an English word that speaks of the occupation of a person who is a “tailor”…someone who makes and loves clothes
- Wesley: comes from a Teutonic (German or Celtic tribal people) word that means “protecting army”.
Those are my Grandkids…and I do mean “Grand”! I am very, very proud of you guys…and gals! Let me tell you what I think when I read the meaning of your names…
- Austin: You are my firstborn grandchild and will always be special to me for that reason. But I also think that God has something special in store for your life and that He is going to raise you up to serve Him in an “honorable” and important way.
- Bradyn: I love your tender heart. Like Jesus, you are sensitive towards the needs of others. Not just the people you know…but like a “broad valley” your compassion and kindheartedness extends far out to everyone you meet.
- Landon: You are fun to be around. You make me smile and laugh. When I read about Jesus…He seemed to make a lot of people smile and feel good, also. He lifted them up so that they were standing on a “ridge” above their problems and struggles. I believe that God is going to use you to encourage and lift other people up.
- Gia: God has been “gracious” to allow us to become a part of your life. And in you we see His grace…His love and provision when we are helpless. Let the Lord use your life, your story, as a testimony of His grace.
- Caleb: You do have a “whole heart”. You are faithful, true, and loyal. I believe that you will live your life as a bold man who has strong beliefs and convictions. You will honor God with your life.
- Taylor: God is your “tailor”…and when He made you He did a beautiful job. Let your beauty not only be on the outside…but on the inside, in your heart, as well. Now, take the beauty that God has given you…and pour it into the lives of other people.
- Wesley: You are a rough and tumble little guy. Use the strength that God has given you to care for others, to “protect” them and keep them safe. Tell them how to become a part of God’s forever family. That is where the greatest security of all is.
What’s in a name? A lot.
There is another name that you are familiar with and it too has a very important meaning…Jesus. An angel commanded his father, Joseph, to name Him Jesus before He was even born. It is His personal name that friends, family, and others used. It is used specifically of our Lord 972 times in the New Testament (NASV).
Jesus comes from the Hebrew word “Joshua” and it means “Jehovah is salvation”. In the Old Testament, Moses asked God what he should call Him, what His name is…and God said, “Jehovah”. So, every time that we say the name “Jesus”…we are proclaiming the fact that…”Jehovah (God) saves us.”
While there were other people in the Bible who were also named Jesus, when it comes to our Lord His name has a special meaning. Because when it comes to Him…not only does His name proclaim the fact that God saves us…but, His name also proclaims the fact that He is the way that God saves us.
Right about now, you may be thinking, “Okay, Granddad, that’s cool. But I’ve got a question. Jesus saves us from what? I haven’t fallen off the boat. There isn’t a lion chasing me. What does Jesus save me from?” That’s a great question and I am so glad you asked it. It just goes to show that I have very intelligent grandchildren (you got it from Grandma). Anyway. The Bible teaches that God made us absolutely perfect. But that at some point…every one of us…no exceptions…chooses to do something that God doesn’t want us to do. The Bible calls that sin. Why would God say that there are things that He doesn’t want us to do? Two reasons. One, when God made you He made you in His own image. In other words, you are patterned after Him. That doesn’t mean that you are a god. No, no, no. But, it does mean that your nature is based on His nature (His love, His righteousness, His wisdom, etc.). God made us to live in a way that is in keeping with His own nature. When we do what God said not to do…we sin…we are going against His nature. And when I sin…it is a dishonor, it is disrespect to God because I am saying that God’s nature, God Himself and His way of doing things…is not the best way, or the right way, or the way that I choose. When I do that…I separate myself from God by choosing something other than Him. There is a second reason why God doesn’t want us to do some things. If I am made after His nature…and I do something against His nature…then I am also doing something against my own nature. And when I do that…it causes me harm. God didn’t make me to do that. And He loves me so much that He tells me that there are some things that I should not do…because they will harm me.
When I do what God has said not to do…when I sin…it separates me from God…
- the God that made me.
- the God that knows what is best for me.
- the God that desires for me to have a relationship with Him.
- the God that provides for me.
- the God that loves me.
- the God that protects me.
- the God that…
Well, I could go on, and on. But I think that you get the idea. Sin separates me from God. But get this…even when I do what God has told me to not do, even when I sin…God still loves me. So, He sent Jesus to provide a way for me to be saved from the consequences of my sin. Oh, now it’s beginning to make sense. “Jesus”…His name means, “Jehovah is salvation”, “God saves”. Here is how it works. Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life. He then gave His sinless life to pay for my sinful life. That is how God saves me from my sin. But there is a catch…it doesn’t happen automatically. I have to accept what Jesus has done for me…what He has done to save me from my sin. I have to accept Jesus as my Savior.
Let me give you an illustration. Let’s say that some folks go out fishing in a boat way offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The Captain tells everyone, “Do not go towards the back of the boat.” Why? Because there are high waves rocking the boat and they might fall overboard. One guy decides that he wants to fish off of the back of the boat…even though the Captain told them not to. Suddenly a big wave hits the boat and the man falls overboard. The waves wash the man away from the boat. Quickly, the Captain tells the First Mate to dive overboard with a rescue float and save the man. Risking his own life, the First Mate dives into the water and swims towards the drowning man. He reaches his hand towards the man and tells him that he is there to save him. Now, at that moment…the Captain has provided a way for the man to be saved…and that is the First Mate. But, and this is important…the man must be willing to let the First Mate save him. He could say, “No,” turn away, and drown. Or, he could allow the First Mate to save him.
That’s the way it is with Jesus. God sent Jesus to save us. He dove into the water…He came to earth. Now, we have to allow Him to save us. It is our choice. He reaches out His hand and says, “I have paid the price for your sin. But you must allow me to save you.” We can say, “Yes”, to Jesus…or, we can say, “No”. Jesus is God’s plan to save us. Jesus saves.
Now, let me ask you something. If you were the man who fell off of the boat and the First Mate swam out to save you…would you let him save you? Well, of course you would. You don’t want to drown. So, how about Jesus? Have you accepted Him as your Savior…the One who swam out to save you from your sin?
What’s in a name? A lot. And from now on, every time you hear the name “Jesus”…you will think, “Jesus saved me.”
Love you more than bunches and bunches,