Extolling the Name of the Lord Jesus
“…and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.”
My dear friends,
In 1993, there was a movie whose plot reveals the evils of mankind. It takes place on the Congo River and was called, “Heart of Darkness.” It was an adaptation of a famous book by the same title from century earlier. The heart of darkness. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to travel the Congo to find it. I need only to look at myself.
That brings me to Acts 19, which we read together at worship last Sunday. Something from that chapter stood out to me as I was reading: “and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.” (Vs. 17). Paul had been in Ephesus and was encouraging the brethren there. Many were coming to faith through his preaching, and a church was planted and growing. But there was also the work of Darkness taking place alongside the work of the Gospel. Isn’t this always the case? The evil one is busy stealing away the seed of the gospel at every chance he gets (Mt. 13:19).
Think of it. A new, small church that had virtually nothing. Opportunities to abandon the faith were everywhere. It was easy. After all, there were sorcerers nearby who came with a fine sounding message; even speaking the name of the Lord (Ac. 19:13). But in their midst, Aslan was on the move(to borrow from CS Lewis), and so they had all they needed. They had the Brethren, the Gospel and most importantly, they had the King on their side.
And the King was victorious, as the Gospel was preached by the Brethren. And the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled that day. The response in Ephesus was incredible: people abandoned their false gods and came to faith. “So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” The word of the Lord will always prevail over the powers of darkness.
Which brings me back to the Heart of Darkness. Do you struggle with sin, doubt or unbelief? Questioning your role in the Kingdom? It’s the heart of darkness, isn’t it? My friend, you must give room in your heart for the Word of God to prevail. What is it that crowds out the Gospel or steals your joy in the Lord?
I may not know what that is for you, but I know that in your own heart, as you give room for the Word, Christ will prevail. And in your soul, ‘the name of the Lord Jesus will be extolled’ as He overcomes remaining darkness.
Imagine a congregation filled with Christ-extolling hearts gathered in the light of worship and unity. There is no power of darkness that can prevail there. None at all. Let us prove that over again as we join the chorus of the saints in singing, “And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness, grim, we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure for lo! his doom is sure. One little Word shall fell him.” And the name of the Lord Jesus shall be extolled as you make room for Him! This is my prayer for our church today.