Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Worth of His Name

Your name, Lord, endures forever, your renown, Lord, through all generations.
Psalm 135:13

Psalm 135 opens with two lines that are both an invitation and a command. "Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD." Scripture has a lot to say about God's name. We are encouraged to praise His name (Ps. 30:4), to exalt it (Ps. 34:3), to fear it (Ps. 86:11), to love it (Ps. 69:35-36), to call on God's name (Ps 116:13), and to ascribe the glory due to His name (Ps. 29:2) and much more. 

Why so much emphasis on a name? A person's name carries their character around from conversation to conversation. This is their reputation. You can sense it in the way a person's name is spoken. When someone is loved or even revered their name is spoken in sweet tones. When someone is reviled or hated then their name can sound like a curse coming across your lips (Psalm 102:8) (Sadly, many today so revile our God that they do use His precious name as a curse). In this way a person's name is like a shorthand for their entire character. When you drag a person's reputation through the mud, you give them a bad name. In the same way, when you praise someone, when you lift them up and glorify them, you praise not only them but also their name. 

This is why God's name will be remembered forever, because it is treasured. It is treasured because He is worthy of such honor. This is especially true of the name of Jesus. Countless believers throughout the centuries have laid down their lives for the name of Jesus. Had they been willing to revile Him, to curse His name, then they would have been spared, but they considered His name worth more than their very lives. Why? Because "salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

When all the kingdoms of men have faded into obscurity, when no one remembers the names of great generals or great football players anymore, a thousand years into eternity in heaven, still the name of Jesus will be treasured. As Philippians 2:9-11 says,
"God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
You might consider obeying Scripture's command today by singing praises to His name using this praise chorus written by Gloria and Bill Gaither.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
   There's just something about that name
Master, Savior, Jesus
   Like a fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
   Let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms may all pass away
   But there's something about that name

For further reading, consider this selection of what Scripture has to say about God's name:
  • Our trust is in His name. "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7
  • Jesus instructs us to pray "Hallowed be your name." Matthew 6:9
  • We are to baptize disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
  • Jesus prayed, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one." John 17:11
  • The Apostle Peter healed by the name of Jesus. "Then Peter said, 'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'” Acts 3:6
  • The Apostle Paul cast out demons by the name. "'In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!' At that moment the spirit left her." Acts 16:18
  • The Apostle Paul was prepared to die for the name. "Then Paul answered, 'Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'” Acts 21:13
  • One of the descriptions of Heaven in the last chapter of the Bible is as follows. "[God's servants] will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." Revelation 22:4

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