Friday, April 27, 2012

The Honor of His Name

One of my favorite parts of teaching is the small group presentation I assign halfway through the semester. By then the students have gotten to know each other a little, so they are comfortable working together. I give each group an assignment and time to work on it in class. The energy in the room is high, but it is focused on the tasks I’ve given them. Their conversation has a purpose. I walk around observing the groups, and although I don’t take notes of what is happening, I’m aware of the group dynamics.

I think God observes us like that. When we get together for fellowship, He watches and listens. Jesus said that when two or three of us gather in His name, He’s there with us (Matthew 18:20). I think He likes watching us. He takes notes of who fears Him and who’s thinking about the honor of His name.

The energy in a room of Christians is a lot more exciting than the energy I see in my student groups. Not only is Jesus present, but the Holy Spirit is dwelling in each of us. As we talk about God, the Spirit works in us to produce nothing less than worship. We usually start by talking about ourselves.

“How are you?” “Okay, but I could use prayer about . . .” “Miss … isn’t here because she’s hurting. Let’s pray for her.” 

And then we move on to tell how God has answered our prayers and all the awesome things He’s done for us.

“I saw the doctor last week and that problem had just disappeared.” “Praise the Lord, the loved one I’ve been praying for is coming around.”

So we thank Him and end by praising Him for who He is, not just for what He’s done. And that honors Him. It pleases Him when we think about the honor of His name. Our conversations, when they are Spirit filled, are about His name - who He is. He is loving, just, patient, kind and righteous.
That’s what we should talk about.

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