[CF Devotionals] 2008-09-18 - Precious Name

Eph 5:18-20 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (NASB)

I love to sing. I probably drive a few people to distraction from time to time without meaning to do so. I have sung in choirs since I was a small boy. And the lyrics have always drawn me in to find out exactly what the author is trying to express. There are times when a melody will catch my attention and I will go searching for the lyrics and be disappointed. Other times, they lyrics can put handles on thoughts and feelings that are difficult to properly express with spoken words. The handles give the listener a way to grab on to the power or simple joy of a thought when the words are coupled with the music - deep and strong or soft and sweet - that adds dimension to those words. From Pop to Classical, and Rock to Hymns, I love music.

Precious Name, Oh how sweet;
Hope of Earth and Joy of Heaven

Excerpt from "Take the Name of Jesus with You"
Lydia Baxter (1809-1874) pub. 1870, music William H. Doane, pub. 1871, public domain

Precious Name: The name being considered in this hymn is, of course, Jesus. In our meditations that name becomes very sweet when we begin to touch the thought of all that He did to relink mankind that had turned away deliberately from their Creator back to the Father. When we could not help ourselves He opened the door to Heaven again and paid the terrible price to carve out that narrow way home for each of us. (Eph 2:1-7)

That thought alone becomes almost unimaginable given a little thought, but there is some connecting tissue here in these words that follow.

Hope of Earth: He is the only hope of this world wracked by sin.  (Acts 4:11-12) Even those of us who manage to walk the way, and I will in no way put myself anywhere near the front of that group, will stumble and fall. The temptations of this world call to each of us, and anyone who thinks they have mastered them will likely be the next to need a hand up out of the gravel. Jesus Himself told us that He is the only way, the only hope and the only life that leads to eternity with God. (John 14:6) The definite article is used - the, singular, unique, only - way. But in a spiritually dark world, that solitary light burns brightly in the night carried by those who will take the name of Jesus with them. Like a star in the sky that light points the way home to others around us who need hope.

Joy of Heaven: Imagine the day that Jesus set aside his glory and arrived in Bethlehem as a tiny baby, son to Mary and step-son to Joseph. The cost is uncountable. These were undoubtedly two very special people. But even they both were members of a fallen race that needed the salvation that their Son, the Son of God, would declare to the world. We can only begin to reach distantly for the thought that would describe what Jesus left to come and help this rebellious world. The angels sang His praises and worshiped the three persons of the Trinity constantly. He was the Joy of Heaven, and the angels stood silently watching, maybe not understanding, as the race Jesus came to save crucified Him.

On the morning of the third day Jesus shattered the power of death and dissolved the power of sin over us as he left the tomb. Forty days later He returned to Heaven where He waits for each on who has accepted the free gift that His death and resurrection purchased. To those who will humble themselves and admit their failings, and ask forgiveness and turn away from their old ways, God waits to call them His sons and daughters. (Rom 9:25-27) Unfathomable grace.


Grace & Peace,

[ email mike ] jmhoskins@gmail.com