“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.” Philippians 2:9
There is power in the name of Jesus, but so often we forget about this power. We want to share our beliefs with others, yet fail to mention Jesus’ name in conversations.
Ward Brehm explains how he was able to get more comfortable sharing the name of Jesus along his journey as a humanitarian in Africa.
“Jesus says, ‘lift up my name and I’ll attract men’ (John 12:32). I always go back to the fact that He does the attracting. But we have to be bold enough to lift up that name above them all.”
Ward shares a personal example from one of his trips in Africa, highlighting what he has learned about sharing Jesus in everyday conversations.
“I had a fascinating experience with the difference between Christianity and the name of Jesus in Rwanda. President Paul Kagame had taken over immediately following the genocide that totally destroyed the entire country, where over a million innocent Rwandans were massacred.”
“In the course of our conversation talking about the social economic impact and all the things going on, there was a lull and I just snuck in, ‘Mr. President, is there any role for the church in the rebuilding of your country?’”
“His eyes were glaring, he leaned over the table, pounded the table with his fist and he said, ‘there is no place for the church in the rebuilding of our country! The church was complicit in the genocide, Christianity failed our country.'”
Despite pushback from President Kagame, it didn’t stop Ward from taking another approach.
“There was another lull not long afterwards and I said, ‘Mr. President, do you think that there might be a role for Jesus in the reconciliation of your country?’”
“It was amazing, I’ll never forget it. The president, totally relaxed, sat back in his chair with a huge smile on his face and he said, ‘Well of course there’s a role for Jesus. If the people of my country had been following Jesus, this never would have happened!'”
Ward reminds us that while religion may be poorly received, the name of Jesus is welcomed everywhere.
“You can say spirituality with no problem, anybody can talk about that. You can mention God. But the name of Jesus always gets a reaction; sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s amazing, but there is always a reaction. My theory is it’s because that name has such great power.”
As Christians, we don’t have to be ashamed to speak the name of Jesus. We can confidently lift him up knowing that it will bring glory to our Father in Heaven.
Ward Brehm is a Twin Cities entrepreneur, leader in African humanitarian efforts, and nationally-known public speaker and commentator on relief and development in Africa. He was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his work in Africa by President George W. Bush.