Monday, February 27, 2012

Keeping in God's Name

This weekend in my scripture reading, I came across the following three passages that have inspired me in my parenting, hometeaching and other calling-related responsibilities and efforts. I hope they might be helpful to you as well.

In John 17, we read Christ's prayer to his Father, shortly before his sufferings. In his prayer, among other things, he makes a report concerning his work in relation to his stewardship. He prayed, as recorded in verse 12: "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost."

Question: What does it mean to "(keep someone) in (God's) name?"

I found this verse in 1 Timothy, chapter 4 verse 6: "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained."

I found this statement in the Bible Dictionary, under the title of prayer:
Christians are taught to pray in Christ’s name (John 14:13–14; 15:7, 16; 16:23–24). We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when his words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent his mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart.
In John 15 Christ teaches the apostles how to "remain" and how to not wither as figurative branches cut off from their root vine. In verse 7 he admonishes them to allow "my words abide in you."

A few weeks ago I became intrigued with a radio program on, called The Light of Men. It's a dramatized representation of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. There are 11 30-minute episodes, and I got hooked. I listened to one a day, sometimes more. I loved hearing the words of the Savior in their context.

Looking back on that two-week period, I can tell that I felt differently then. I felt wiser, more sober, more enlightened, more compassionate. While those words were fresh in my mind, I suppose I might say, I felt like I more fully possessed what the Bible Dictionary passage above refers to as the "mind of Christ." It was awesome.

So what can I do, then, as a father, hometeacher or bishop to help "(keep someone) in (God's) name?" It seems that one of the main things I can do is to keep those I serve in remembrance of the words of Christ. When those words are fresh in our minds we are connected to the vine. We are "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine." Our prayers are more efficacious. Our minds are more filled with truth. Our hearts are more filled with love. Our lives are more filled with service.

If I can help those I serve do that, hopefully I can also one day report that "none of them is lost."

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