Proclaiming His Name
About the Guest
In ancient times, names carried powerful symbolism, but in today's often trivializing culture, the power of names can sometimes get lost in the mix. Find out why the names of Jesus are so significant, and how you can teach them to your family. Hear insights from Franklin Graham, Dennis Rainey, and Crawford Loritts.
Crawford LorittsCrawford Loritts (B.S., D.Th., Philadelphia Biblical University; D.Div., Biola University) was the senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. He has served as a national evangelist with the American Missionary Fellowship and the Urban Evangelistic Mission, and as Associate Director of Campus Crusade for Christ. He co-founded Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. He is a frequent speaker for professional sports teams, including three Super Bowls and the NCAA Final Four...more
Dennis RaineyDennis Rainey cofounded FamilyLife®, a ministry of Cru®. Since the organization began in 1976 through 2017, Dennis’ leadership enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry in more than 109 countries around the world helping families discover the joy God intended for their relationships with God, spouse, and kids. Dennis has authored or co-authored more than 35 books, including best-selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close and has received two Golden Medallion...more
Franklin GrahamFranklin Graham has devoted his life to meeting the needs of people around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The eldest son of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, he serves as President and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Under his leadership, Samaritan's Purse has met the needs of poor, sick, and suffering people in more than 100 countries. As an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, he has led crusades around the world.
Find out why the names of Jesus are so significant, and how you can teach them to your family. Hear insights from Franklin Graham, Dennis Rainey, and Crawford Loritts.
Proclaiming His Name
Bob: There is a lot about the Christmas season that pulls us in all kinds of different directions, but Dennis Rainey says we need to narrow our focus on the One whose name is above all names.
Dennis: Psalm 8:1 says, “Oh, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth.” He is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords. He is the Savior of the world, and He represents far more than that baby in that lowly manger. And there needs to be, at Christmastime, I believe, more of a holistic context to our Savior’s life.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, December 5th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Your Christmas celebration will be a very different kind of celebration if your focus is on the One whose birth we celebrate. We’ll talk about that today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. And I know, at your house, you can’t get passed the name of Christ at Christmas because it’s all over your house; isn’t it?
Dennis: It’s hanging in the windows. His name is above every name in our house. I’m going to tell you what—it’s going to be in front of our grandkids until we are gone.
Dennis: But that’s really what Barbara wanted to do. She wanted to create a tradition—a practical one—that was biblically-anchored and able to be easily passed on to your children, and your grandchildren, and, really, to adults—to celebrate the reason for Christmas—and it’s the names of Christ. This year, she’s celebrating the Savior names.
Bob: Yes. Over the last couple of years, she’s been creating ornaments for Christmas trees, calling them Adorenaments®. Each year, she’s taken seven different names or titles for Jesus and created ornaments out of them—this year, His Savior names—
—which are all displayed on a variety of different kinds of crosses from different continents and different eras of Church history. You put all of that together on one Christmas tree, and you can’t mistake what the season is all about.
Dennis: I just walked by one that’s completely decorated. It also has, at the very top, one other name of Christ—called The Bright and Morning Star. It’s a giant tree topper that is a star—that possesses the name of Christ from—I think it is Revelation,
The point is—that families need help in establishing traditions that, really, celebrate the One who is at the center post of Christmas. And frankly, there is no better way to do it than to, really, couple the names of Christ and the cross, along with the cradle here, at Christmastime—it is the reason why He became flesh.
Bob: Well, and we’re going to hear today from you, and from Franklin Graham, and from Crawford Loritts—
—with some thoughts about the name of Christ and why it ought to be our focus during the Christmas season. You mentioned that families need help during this season and throughout the year. This is a time of year when we need some help too.
Dennis: We do. In fact, I was talking with a 40-year-old dad. He kind of peeled back his heart—he said: “Dennis, a lot of families, our age, are losing hope. I mean, these are really tough days, culturally, to be living out our faith. We need all the help we can get to be able to do that.” That’s why FamilyLife Today exists. It exists to bring practical biblical principles in a relevant, authentic way—to your home, to your marriage, your family—and to pass them on so you don’t just survive in this culture but you thrive and you’re successful.
And so, we are coming to folks all this month saying, “There are a group of families who have made a matching gift available to match, dollar for dollar, every dollar you give—up to $2,000,000.”
And I just want to challenge our listeners: “If you’ve benefitted personally—if your marriage is better / if you’ve had a family member that’s benefitted—maybe, it’s one of your kids—you found out about Passport2Purity®, and you took your child through that—or you’ve come to a Weekend to Remember® because you heard about it, here on FamilyLife Today—if you’ve benefitted, I think it’s fair for us to say, “After you support your church, would you join with us in being generous and keeping FamilyLife Today coming into your home to help you be successful in life’s most important relationships?”
Bob: You can make a yearend donation right now. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click the link at the top right-hand corner of the page that says, “I Care.” Again, your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar. Or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY. Make a donation over the phone. You can also mail a donation to FamilyLife Today at PO
Box 7111, Little Rock, AR.
And our zip code is 72223. And we do hope to hear from you. In fact, we hope you won’t put this off. We hope you’ll get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you.
Dennis: You said, “Hope,” three times there, Bob. And you know what? That’s what this broadcast is all about: Help for today. Hope for tomorrow. If you believe this broadcast does that—helps deliver what God’s blueprints are for life, marriage, and family—we truly do hope you’ll stand with us right now.
Bob: And we’re going to turn our attention, right now, to a conversation we had a while back with Franklin Graham, talking to him about why the name of Jesus is so significant and so powerful and why it ought to be at the center of our attention during the Christmas season.
Dennis: Here, in America, names don’t have the attached meaning as they do in a Middle Eastern culture. The name of Jesus was an important name for Him to bear. How so?
Franklin: He is the Son of the Living God, and there is no greater name than the Son of the Living God. When we come to Christmas, what an opportunity we have to share and to remind people why He came. Jesus Christ came for the sick—He didn’t come for the healthy. He came for the dying. He came for the lost. He came to give His life for those that were separated from God.
And we look at sin around the world and how it has infected every strata and fabric of our society. Everything is corrupted and polluted. That’s why He came. He came to save us from this filth and this trash / this dung heap we live in.
Bob: You would think, in the midst of that, Franklin, people would be open to hearing about something that could remedy that sin sickness—
—and yet, the name of Jesus is—well, some people just hate hearing it. I can’t think of another—we think of major world religions—the name of Buddha is not brought into disrepute. Nobody says: “I hate Buddha. Stop using that name!”—Muhammad—same thing. There is something unique—whenever you bring up the name of Jesus Christ, it’s almost like the name carries with it the power of conviction. People put their hands over their ears and say: “Stop that! I don’t want to hear that name,” because it exposes their own sin.
Franklin: They want to continue their sinful lifestyle. They want to continue to live an immoral life. They don’t want God’s standards.
I’m a pilot. And at 41,000 feet, if I stick my head out that window, I’m not going to live very long. Why? I’m outside the parameters, where God made me. I like to scuba dive, and I’m not really good at it; but I can tell you, right now—
—“You can put your nose just one quarter of an inch under water—just a quarter of an inch—and you’re not going to live very long unless you have some type of breathing apparatus.” Why? We are outside the bounds that God made us, but the world doesn’t want to hear that.
What are we, the church—what are we going to do? I think we need to be reaching out to these people and loving them—caring for them and giving them the hope that we have in Christ—and doing it in love, not condemning.
Dennis: Whether you are speaking before a nation on national television or whether you are at a kitchen table with those beady, little eyes looking at you, you have an important assignment. Your assignment, wherever you are—whether the boardroom or the living room—is to lift up the name of Jesus Christ.
Bob: Well, of course, that’s an excerpt from a conversation we had a while back with Franklin Graham about our ultimate allegiance to and reverence for the name of Christ.
And Dennis, you talked about living rooms declaring the name of Christ—a lot of living rooms doing that as people have placed the ornaments that your wife, Barbara, created for Christmas trees that we call Adorenaments that all showcase a different name of Christ. A lot of trees are covered with names of Jesus this season.
And if our listeners have not yet seen the new set of Adorenaments that Barbara has created, they can go to her website, which is EverThineHome.com. And the ornaments are available there. You can see what they look like and decide whether you’d like to have your Christmas tree reflecting names of Jesus this year.
And of course, the name of Christ should, not only inspire reverence in us, but it should inspire adoration, which is something that you talked about on a FamilyLife Today broadcast—this was a number of years ago.
Dennis: It’s just a privilege to talk about what one of the old favorites Christmas hymns proclaims—Oh, Come All Ye Faithful—“Oh, come let us adore Him.” Barbara and I frequently discuss, “How can we do a better job of focusing on Jesus Christ?” Christmas becomes, as we know, so materialistic—so focused on the events and the festivities. There is nothing wrong with the gift giving, and all of the places we go, and the people we see—it’s a good time for family bonding—but we want to bring it back to focus on Jesus Christ.
Bob: Yes, I think most folks know the story of the nativity: Mary and Joseph on the donkey, riding to Bethlehem—Jesus born / laid in a manger—the shepherds / the wise men—that has become so familiar to us that it can sometimes lose its significance.
Dennis: Yes, and the thing that I’ve never liked about the nativity scene by itself is—it leaves Jesus in the manger. I’ve often thought how inadequate it is to just proclaim a baby—not that that is insignificant. I mean, the incarnation is so magnificent—it’s a mystery!—but the Savior I worship is more than a baby—He is the King of kings / He is the Lord of lords / He is the Savior of the world. He represents far more than that baby in that lowly manger.
And there needs to be, at Christmastime, I believe, more of a holistic context to our Savior’s life. Psalm 8:1 says, “Oh, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth.” And it’s interesting, Bob, how many times in the Scripture we are challenged to go back to the names of God and to realize that’s how we get to know Him.
I think, many times, as we approach the Christmas season, we do it with our traditions—that are rich / that have a lot of symbolism—but that, again, may leave out the Savior—who left the cradle, who left the stable, and who walked among men perfectly—who stood up and proclaimed Himself as the Water of Life, who said He was the Vine, who proclaimed Himself as the Door.
Our children need to know that Savior. They need to know the One who did come and clothe Himself in such humility to become a baby but also a Savior—who walked among men perfectly, but who also went to the cross and died on our behalf, and then, rose again on the third day so that He might offer us eternal life.
Who doesn’t need to know the Wonderful Counselor? Who doesn’t need to know the Mighty God when dealing with, perhaps, a rebellious teenager who refuses to follow our lead?
Or who doesn’t need to know the Eternal Father and have the sense of hope that—yes—we will suffer for a while but there will be a place called eternity, where we will see Him as He is and we’ll become like Him.
And finally, the Prince of Peace—I mean, what a wonderful thought to think about Jesus Christ being the One who offers peace to a world that is mad. I mean, we are a culture that doesn’t know peace. We have a lack of harmony in relationships / we are discontent—we run to and fro. We just need to take a deep breath, and pause for a moment, and meditate on the Savior—the Savior of the world who did come and who offers that peace to us today.
Bob: You know, most of the time, during the Christmas season, when we reflect on Jesus, we are not thinking about the triumphant Christ—the grown up, the ascended, the majestic Christ—we are thinking about a baby.
Bob: In fact, we had a conversation, a while back, about this subject with our friend, Crawford Loritts, who is a pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. He reflected on the fact that the Christmas celebration does begin in a manger, but we should not leave it there.
Crawford: You know, one of the problems with Christmas is that Jesus is stuck in childhood. And whenever we celebrate Christmas, we also ought to have Easter as a backdrop—Good Friday and the Resurrection—and never forget the purpose of His coming.
You know, that expression, Savior, has been used so often that many of us don’t know what it means. The word, Savior, means deliverer. It implies that we needed to be delivered from something—that we were imprisoned to sin and that we are in prison to ourselves—that we’re condemned; you know?
In fact, John says in John, Chapter 3, “He who does not believe is condemned already,” and that Jesus came to lift the condemnation. That’s what Romans, Chapter 8, is about; isn’t it? “Therefore, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
So, when John declares in 1 John, Chapter 4, that God sent Him as the Savior of the world—some of us add Jesus to our lifestyle. We think that we can continue doing what we’re doing but just acknowledge Jesus and that will be deliverance. No. He says: “You’ve got to do it My way. You’ve got to turn to me—neither is there salvation in any other—exclusively turn to Me as your source of deliverance, and you’ll find it.”
Dennis: I remember, as a little boy in my mom’s Bible study class, really becoming convicted that I needed a Savior—I was a sinner / I was under God’s wrath. Now, that’s not something we talk a lot about today, but I had a sense of reverential awe—
—and I believe a healthy fear of who God was and His authority to judge me as a sinner.
Crawford: Before our family can appreciate the greatness of our God in the person of Jesus Christ, they have to understand the depths of sin. You can’t be delivered unless you embrace the fact that “I’m in bondage, and I can’t get out of this mess by myself.”
Bob: You know, as I thought about Jesus being referred to as the Savior of the world, I had the same thought you had, Crawford, which is that word, Savior, doesn’t get used much except in religious circles. “What’s a synonym?” I was thinking—and all of a sudden—it dawned on me: “A synonym for that is rescuer.”
Bob: I thought the Father sent the Son to be the rescuer. We’re in a season of the year when, again, we think about the birthday of the King—and we celebrate Jesus’ birthday—
—but, as you said earlier, we’ve got to have our eyes on the climatic event of His life, which was the cross—where the Father sent the Son, and He became the rescuer of those who were perishing—those who would hear His voice, and heed His warning, and say, “I trust You.” He was there to rescue them / to save them from their sin.
Dennis: Crawford, what would you say to someone who said, “I want to be saved from the eternal wrath of God,”—which the wrath of God poured out upon sinners, as the Bible describes it, could only be compared to an unending fire—hell?
Dennis: To rescue those, Crawford, who are listening, right now, who are saying, “I want to know the Savior of the world,” how can they do that?
Crawford: In this regard, I want you to relax and draw comfort. The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
You’re very desire to know the true and living God is a pathway to the cross. The mission statement of Jesus—in Luke, Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost.” If you sense that you are lost, that is good news because you are what God is looking for. He’s looking for you, and He’s found you.
Now, all you need to do—because the price has been paid—Jesus died on the cross / all of the sins of the world were laid upon Him—Paul cries out and says, “That He became sin for us in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
What you have to do, right now, is to acknowledge, before God, number one, that “I am sinner.” Number two—believe that Jesus Christ has died on the cross in your place and for your sin. And number three, turn from your sin and embrace Him as your personal deliverer. You can do that—you can express that through prayer.
Now, I’d like to have a word of prayer with you right now. If you want to know the true and living God, pray this prayer along with me: “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross in my place and for my sin. I turn from my sin, and I embrace You as my sole—only—rescuer/deliverer from my sin. Forgive me of my sin. I can’t save myself. I can’t rescue myself, but thank You that You can and You will. I trust You. Thank You for saving me—I believe Your Word. In Jesus name, amen.”
Dennis: And the promise of God to that sinner, who prays that prayer and who places their trust in the Rescuer is—you will be rescued from the wrath to come, and you will be given eternal life, not when you die, but right now.
In John 17, Jesus said, “And this is eternal life that you might know Him who sent Me, Our Heavenly Father.” Walking with Him, knowing Him, experiencing Him, living your life in His presence, and seeing Him empower you on a daily basis—that adds meaning and purpose to your life that I think—well, it proves you’re a child of God.
Bob: You know, you think about this season of the year, and you think about the number of folks who will celebrate Christmas—
Dennis: And miss it.
Dennis: As Crawford was praying there, inviting folks to join with him and receive the One who came to forgive their sins and pay for the penalty of their sins, I was thinking of the first year that Barbara created Adorenaments. One of the young men who helped her is named Jim.
Jim was hanging those first names—from the Gospel of Luke and Isaiah—on the tree—the Christmas names of Christ. As he was doing so, he was explaining who Jesus is. His son, who was elementary age—I think eight or nine years old—indicated: “Daddy, I’d like to know this One. I’d like to know Him as my Savior.” He prayed to receive Christ, right there, by the Christmas tree.
And I think, as parents, we need to realize our responsibility is to introduce our children to Jesus Christ. We are the pastors of our home. We are to be the spiritual priests that introduce our children to the One who came to redeem them from their selfness / their sin and to give them that purpose that we talked about.
Bob: Well, and again, having resources like what your wife has been working on for the Christmas season—these Adorenaments that she’s created for the Christmas tree—
having those available as tools make it easier for us, as parents, to do exactly what you are talking about us doing.
And if our listeners have not yet seen Barbara’s Adorenaments for this year, they are beautiful. You can see them at EverThineHome.com. That’s Barbara’s website where all of the resources she’s been working on are available. You can order from her, online, if you’d like. Again, it’s EverThineHome.com to see the Adorenaments.
And if you have younger kids—if you have preschoolers—and you are looking for a way to engage them in the kind of discipleship that Dennis was just talking about, go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and see “The Twelve Names of Christmas™.” These are 12 ornaments for preschool kids to use. There is some interactive stuff—some coloring they can do—so that they can have a dozen ornaments of their own that teach them about who Jesus is. Again, it’s called “The Twelve Names of Christmas.” You can see those ornaments, online at FamilyLifeToday.com.
You can call us if you’d like to order any of these resources by phone. Our toll-free number is 1-800- “F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY.”
Finally, a quick reminder about the matching-gift opportunity that we are praying we will be able to take full advantage of, here at FamilyLife. We’ve had some friends of the ministry who have agreed to match every donation we receive, during the month of December, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to a total of $2,000,000. That’s the reason we are asking you to consider, right now, making a yearend contribution to support the ministry of FamilyLife Today.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper right-hand corner that says, “I Care.” You can make an online donation. Or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to make a donation over the phone. When you do, your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar. You’ll help us take advantage of this matching-gift opportunity. So, we do hope to hear from you.
And we want to say, “Thanks,” in advance, for your support.
And we hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to talk about some of the challenges families face during the holiday season—maybe, it’s a relationship issue that you face with extended family members; or maybe, it’s the whole issue of gift giving and materialism and how we deal with that with our kids. We’re taking questions from Facebook® and Twitter®. Dennis and Barbara Rainey will be here to answer your questions. Hope you can be here as well.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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