Sunday, September 14, 2014

John Wycliffe on The Name of Jesus

John Wycliffe, 1330 - 1384
After church service yesterday, I decided to go to the church library and borrowed some books. Three books; John Wycliffe: Herald of the Reformation, William Tyndale: Bible Translator and Martyr, and Martin Luther: the Great Reformer. Before this, I have read Jonathan Edwards: the Great Awakener and Charles Spurgeon: the Great Orator (my favorite) – and more to come. This exciting biographical Heroes of Faith series by Barbour Publishing, Inc. explore the lives of famous Christian men and women throughout the ages. I like reading these 208 pages each of inspiring biography because they remind me to walk in the faith, to treasure Christ and His Word, and to make a difference in people’s lives.

I picked up John Wycliffe biography first and read through it. I want to share a sample of his sermon on ‘The Name of Jesus.’ Read and be blessed:

Whoever desires to love God, if you will neither be deceived nor deceive, if you will be saved and not fail, if you will stand and not fall, study to have this name Jesus constantly in mind. If you do this, the enemy shall fall and you shall stand, and the enemy shall be enfeebled and you shall be strengthened. Therefore, seek this name, Jesus, hold it and forget it not. Nothing so quenches flames, restrains evil thoughts, cuts away venomous affections, or alienates from us vain occupations.

This name, Jesus, truly held in mind, roots up vices, plants virtues, brings charity or love to men, gives men a taste of heavenly things, removes discord, produces peace, gives everlasting rest, and does away with fleshly desires. All earthly desires, all earthly things, it turns into heaviness. It fills those that love it with spiritual joy. The righteous man deserves to be blessed, for he hath truly loved this name, Jesus. He is called righteous, because he seeks earnestly to love Jesus. What can go wrong for him who unceasingly yearns to love Jesus? He loves and he desires to love, for thus we know the love of God to stand; for the more we love, the more we yearn to love.

It is said, ‘They that eat me shall not hunger, and they that drink me, shall not thirst.’ Therefore the love of Jesus by itself is delectable and desirable. Therefore no joy shall be lacking for those that seek earnestly to love Him whom angels desire to behold. Angels see Him always, and ever desire to see Him; for they are filled so full that their filling does not take away their desire, and they desire so much that their desire does not take away their fullness. This is full joy; this is glorious joy.

Therefore many men wish to joy with Christ, but as they love not His name, Jesus, they shall have sorrow without end, whatever they do. And if they give all things that they have to poor men, unless they love this name, Jesus, they shall labor in vain. For only such shall be gladdened in Jesus who have loved Him in this present life. Those that defame Him with vices and foul thoughts, and turn not again, there is no doubt but they are put out from the glory of God. Therefore a man shall not see the glory of God that has not joyfully loved this name Jesus.

In truth, an evil man does not find Jesus for he sees Him not where he is. He tries to seek Jesus in the joys of this world, where He shall never be found. Why therefore do you say, ‘We shall be saved in Jesus,’ while you cease not to hate Him, without whom you cannot have health?
I am not surprised that a man, being tempted, falls, if he does not have the name of Jesus lasting in his mind. Truly this name cleanses the conscience, makes the heart clear and clean, and drives away fear. It gets man warmth of love and lifts up the mind to heavenly melody.

O what a good name! O what a sweet name! O glorious name! O healthful name! O name to be desired! Wicked spirits will not abide with you when they behold Jesus, either in mind or hear you proclaim His name out loud. I sought to love Jesus, and ever the more I grew complete in Him love, so much the sweeter His name became to me. Therefore, blessed be the name of Jesus forever and ever. Amen.” (Refer to page 171 – 172).

Because of this name, Jesus, John Wycliffe burned with a desire to make God’s Word accessible to every individual. He was the first man who makes God’s Word available in English language. And for the rest of his remarkable story, get a book and read his biography… Enjoy reading! God bless you.
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