I, like many Christians, pray “in the name of Jesus.” At least I say the words before the almost mandatory finale, “Amen.” But what do those words mean… “in the name of Jesus?” Do we realize the impact of them? And do we realize that more than praying in the name of Jesus, we should live in the name of Jesus? Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
To live in the name of Jesus means, first of all, to live with His approval or His permission. A few years ago, many Christian teens bought WWJD bracelets to remind them of a monumental question, “What would Jesus do?” As great a question as that is, it’s not quite specific enough. Anyone may ask that question without actually knowing Jesus personally. More specifically we should ask, “Do I have Jesus’ permission to make this decision? Would He grant His approval.
In my role as Pastor, many people come to me for “approval” of various decisions. It may be a teacher asking permission to use a particular curriculum or a youth leader asking for approval to stage a certain event. My nod gives the go-ahead. It says, “I agree that this is a good idea and I endorse your following through with it.” It also says, “I’ll back you up if there’s a concern.” Jesus’ approval is no different. As you live your life today and as you make decisions, big and small, ask yourself, “Am I living with Jesus’ approval right now?