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“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.” The name of Jesus. One thing that feels to me like it has changed is the ease at which people use the name of Jesus in a derogatory way. It is a curse word among too many today. But in today’s reading, the name of Jesus is the name that saves. We read, “It was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean … in his name this man stands before you healed.” Namely, (no pun intended) it is the name of Jesus that saves. And used properly, it is a name that saves. Used improperly, we commit a sin.

For some, the use of the name in a negative way is likely the result of its having become a habit. The word is said without the slightest thought. And yet the name of Jesus saves.

Maybe we use the name of Jesus poorly because we really do not realize or know that Jesus really wants to save us. Life is hard. There are real challenges and real difficulties. Yet Jesus wants to help us overcome these difficulties because he has overcome sin and death. He has won the victory. We sinned, but he paid the price.

So take some time to think. Jesus wants to save you. It can be the case that we reduce religion to a set of rules, some of which we do not agree or like. But really, Jesus sets forth a way we should live because he loves us. Jesus is like a loving parent who seeks the best for their children even (and maybe most especially) when their children think their parents are mean because parents do not let their children do whatever they want to do.

So, as we move into spending 5 with Jesus, do you know Jesus longs to save you? Do you know his name has the power to save you? Do you know he loves you more than you can ever realize? How is it we use his name? Do we use his name in vain, as a curse, or do we recognize the power that is in the name of Jesus by using the name in prayer?

Today as you enter into your silent encounter with Jesus, call on his name, the name with power, the name that saves. Call on his name softly. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, to realize the way in which he longs to save you.

Now as in previous days, get yourself ready for this encounter. Find a spot where you can pray in silence. Sit up straight, feet flat on the floor, focus on your breathing. Think about the Holy Spirit coming into your soul and then going out again into your soul. Then, when you are ready, set the timer and use the name of Jesus as your prayer.

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