This is that time of year when many of the most gifted individuals in sports, music and entertainment will be recognized and given awards for their achievements. Others will be recognized for their contributions in politics, education and humanitarian efforts. In some of these cases, the recipients of these recognitions will begin their comments by saying, ” I want to begin by saying thanks to God”. Often a politician will conclude their speech with the words, “And God Bless America”. Without a doubt, all of us who love The Lord are thrilled every time we hear someone give God the credit.
In Acts 4: 1-31 we read a very interesting account. Peter and John have just witnessed the healing of a 40 year old man who has been crippled since birth. The priests, the captain of the temple, the Sadducees, the rulers, the elders, the scribes as well as Annas the high priest ask Peter and John in verse 7, ” By what power or by what name have you done this?” Peter and John’s answer to this question brought about huge anger from the religious leaders. In verse 10 Peter’s answer is ” let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole”.
How profound ! If Peter and John had just said, ” We want to give credit to God”, everyone would have been happy. It was their more complete description of who this God is that brought about such rage. Wouldn’t it be cool if the next time someone got up to give an acceptance speech, they said, ” I want to give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to thank Him for His death, His resurrection and His forgiveness for my sins”.
As a footnote, I wonder if this isn’t a great reminder for all of us when we witness. Are we talking about God, church and morality? Or are we witnessing with the clear message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen again? Verse 12 ” Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”.
Can you say JESUS?