Aigner. Pappagallo. Calvin Klein. Levis. Izod. Those are just some of the names carried back "in the day" of the late 70s/early 80s. The days of the prep, pink and green and interchangeable purse covers. Billy Joel. Elton John. Olivia Newton John. Michael Jackson. These names and their music floated out of my transistor radio during my teen summers laying by the pool. Bill Clinton. George Bush. "W". These names represented choices on ballots over the years. We Americans are people who wear names on our tooshies, in our heads and emblazoned on our hearts. Names instruct us how to spend our money and our time. We're obsessed with designers, celebrities, politicians and newsmakers. (Where else in the world would people pay for tickets to see Charlie Sheen?) As I listened to a sermon by Louie Giglio a few weeks ago on this very topic, I reflected on the enormity of my capacity for loving names. But what about The Name? After Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus, Jesus said this in a vision, "But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel." (Acts 9:15) Louie challenged us to consider that each of us has been created to be a name carrier, but whose name do we carry? So often I'm sidetracked by all the names the world offers that I forget to headline The Name. That's why I want to use Fridays to make the name of Jesus the banner. I'm also feeling led to focus on The Name in another way. I'm going through John with the 3 questions:
- What does it say?
- What does it mean?
- How does this apply to me?
If you want to learn more about this simple Bible study method, follow this link to Anne Graham Lotz's website. You can work through John with me, and I'd love to hear what you're learning.
This week I did the 3 questions every day but only did John 1:1-14. I think you could actually spend a lifetime trying to wrap your head and heart around those verses, but 5 days was really good too. Here are the verses to soak in. Have a great Friday and remember to carry The Name.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)