Friday, April 25, 2014

In the Name of Jesus Christ

By Melanie Rigney

(When the high priests asked by whose authority the disciples cured the crippled man, Peter responded:) “It was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead … there is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:10, 12)
The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22)
(After the disciples’ nets were filled,) Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. (John 21:12)

Jesus, you know how it feels to be rejected. Help me to be confident that when no one but you is with me, I have all I need.

The words of Psalm 118 have come true: The stone the builders rejected has indeed become the cornerstone. Jesus, scorned by nearly all of his contemporaries, including most of those who claimed to love him, has by his resurrection shown he is indeed the messiah.
And what was Jesus’s reaction when he returned to the earth? He didn’t seek to exact vengeance. Instead, he showed people how much he loved them, in tangible ways such as in filling their nets, and in intangible ways such as opening their eyes to his presence. Jesus’s example and the power of the Holy Spirit would enable Peter and the others to do much they would have never dreamed of when their time came, to stand fearless before and speak boldly to the high priests, giving all credit to the Lord. They were no longer afraid—of rejection or anything else.

For some of us, fear of rejection is one of the ways the evil one attempts to enter our souls. We let small or large hurts, intentional or unintentional, fester. And if we find ourselves on top down the road, it’s so tempting to taunt our former persecutors and fair-weather friends and to grab the credit for what we’ve accomplished. Instead, may we emulate Jesus’s example of love… and Peter’s example of fearlessly proclaiming the Lord’s greatness.

Just for today, give the credit to God when people compliment you about an accomplishment—and mean it.

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