This sermon is part of the sermon series "Seeing and Obeying Christ". See series.
It was probably 20 years ago; I was sound asleep one night when the phone rang. I grabbed blindly for the receiver, clattering on the phone cradle, but I was so far under that I couldn't really wake up. I got the phone to my ear but didn't say anything. Then I heard a voice, flat and menacing. He just said, "You thought we'd forgotten you." I was desperately trying to wake up, but I couldn't clear my head. On the phone there was just silence, but I was sure he was still there. My mind was racing to think who might be threatening me. The man who got angry a few weeks ago when we wouldn't give him money? I was getting scared, very scared. The silence continued as I fought to come to. I sensed this was something dark, something diabolical.
I couldn't even speak, but somehow I simply blurted out, "Jesus!" Suddenly, it all went away. I came wide awake and realized I did not have the phone in my hand, that it was still across the room. Yet I knew that what had happened was more than a dream. I wasn't frightened. I was exhilarated at the power of Jesus' name. It was a kind of adrenaline rush. I got up, turned on the bathroom light, washed my face, and cleared my head. Then I went back to bed. I felt a great peace. As I was falling back asleep I heard a melody in my mind. It was beautiful, like a lullaby. I recognized it but couldn't place it. The next morning it came to me: It was a tune from Les Miserables, and the words, which I didn't even fully know then, are "You will keep me safe, and you will keep me close; I'll sleep in your embrace at last." I've always felt that my heavenly Father hummed me to sleep that night. That night I saw the power of Jesus' name over evil.
Today, in our study of Mark, we come down from ...
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