“Throughout life I have seen billboards and bumper stickers, heard slogans and declarations, ‘Jesus Saves.’ I wondered in youth about the appropriateness of placing the Lord’s name on all kinds of surfaces, speaking it in varying occasions, perhaps out of context with surroundings. As I have come to know the Lord, come to increase my love for my fellow children of God, I have come more to understand that JESUS is the context, and although I would not want to speak His name in vain, His is the name that must be spoken for the salvation and hope of man. I lift my voice to declare, ‘JESUS saves! Come, follow Him.’”Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 16 December 2023
This year as a family, Monica, our girls, and I have been reading and studying together The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as so titled in the King James version of the Holy Bible. It has been an uplifting and joyous journey to know more fully together His story and build on our own personal and family witness of the Son of God. From the sweet circumstances of angelic visitations accompanying His humble birth, to His infinite atonement, resurrection, and the acts and testimonies of those early apostles and martyrs, our exploration of the Word of God has elevated our spirits, and brought loving peace and hope.
It is not always easy to understand the scriptures. With the Lord’s help, the Still Small Voice of His Holy Spirit, our understandings can be increased, confusion turned to clarity, and fear replaced with calm assurance.
Yes, some of the things that we read in the Bible, and especially in the Book of Revelation (The Revelation of St John the Divine) can invoke thoughts of insecurity and fear. The symbolism used describing past and future events with beasts and an evil dragon, the weaponry of coming wars, and tribulation that will plague humanity, can make young minds timid and old hearts fail, if we fall short of seeing and embracing the love and truly heroic nature of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. He is called Savior, because that is exactly what He does, Jesus saves. The Lord will rescue the timid mind and keep the old heart beating strong with hope in Him.
In our studies as a family earlier this week my young daughter Jodie experienced some of the trepidation that one might feel reading upcoming events represented in John the Revelator’s vision. I could see it in her demeanor, feel it by the Spirit, and I knew reassurance was needed. We read together revelations of prophets, loving answers from the Lord Jesus Christ to all who would seek comfort and knowing.
We read of men who had come through great tribulation, now arrayed in white robes, in the presence of the Lord, before the very throne of God. John knew these to be those who had “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). It is by Jesus Christ, and only through His infinite atoning sacrifice and grace that we can be made clean from our sins and return to the presence of our Almighty, and loving Heavenly Father. So much did God love His children, Jesus loved His brothers and sisters, that the infinite atonement was made even unto the suffering and endurance of all pain and sorrow, conquering death, and vanquishing the adversary and hell forever.
Therefore, those who had washed their garments clean in the blood of the Lamb, the blood of our Lord, by making and keeping covenants with him, are found “before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15-17).
With the gentle reassurance of the Lord, peace was restored to Jodie’s timid mind and troubled heart just in time for nightly prayer and heads to be laid down on pillows at rest.
In such a way we may also have assurance in the Lord, knowing that if we follow Christ, make and keep covenants with Him, we will also be made clean in Him, lifted to the presence of our Heavenly Father. By grace Jesus saves, for love’s sake, if we but follow. Yes, our tears will be wiped away, our sorrows made no more, in the only way that it can be so, by His sacrifice, by His blood. There is no cause for fear in Him.
May we too turn “unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps [we] may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day” (Mormon 9:6). This is my hope also, my testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, His saving grace and invitation to follow Him. It is my personal witness that Jesus lives, that Jesus saves. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.