Your Great Name Devo

Standard

Lost are saved; find their way;

at the sound of your great name

All condemned; feel no shame,

at the sound of your great name

Every fear; has no place;

at the sound of your great name

The enemy; he has to leave;

at the sound of your great name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us,

Son of God and ManYou are high and lifted up;

and all the world will praise your great name

Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty

My savior, Defender, You are My King!

Most everyone calls me Geanna but the people that are closest to me have special names for me. My kids call me Mommy and my husband gets to call me Honey. In fact a lot of people are known by several names or nicknames and these names mean different things to different people. For example, when my kids call me Mommy, I hope they associate me with a loving authority figure. When my husband calls me Honey I hope he associates me with a loving spouse. So my question is what do we associate with the name of God? Is it just a word we use when we swear? Or is there something more in the name of God? Is there really power in just the sound of his name?

There are actually lots of names for God in the Bible and maybe someday I will do a series explaining some of them. There are just too many to do here right now but they are beautiful and each describes an attribute of God. But the one I want to begin with is the one that I believe is at the root of all the others. Let’s look at the Bible passage first. The context of this passage is as follows: The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. God tells Moses to go to Egypt and demand that the Pharaoh set them free. Moses is afraid and starts making excuses like, “I don’t even know your name. What if the ask me your name?”. I think you are caught up now so let’s jump back into the text:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘I Am the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

I am. Really? That’s the big, fancy name of God? I’ve got to be kidding you, right? Nope. That’s it. I even checked my Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon and that is the correct translation. Sounds simple, right? But think about it some more. I am. That’s actually quite significant. One way to take it is that God is always in a present state of being. He always is in a state of is. Not was, not will be, but is. I’m about to get a little trippy with this next explanation but I’ll try to be as clear as I can. Back in my college theology classes I remember a discussion that kinda blew my mind. It was about how God is outside of time. We can never fully understand God because we are bound by time- minutes, seconds, hours, days… you get the idea. But God created time when he created the sun and the moon (bear with me you non literal Creation believers). “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day,” (Genesis 1:3-5) Day is a measurement of time, God created day, therefore God created time. But God “is” before time. In fact he always “is”. In once sense he never was or will be because he just always is. Crazy, I know. It makes my brain hurt too. Talk about time travel- He is now, just as he is yesterday, just as he is tomorrow.

Another way to think about it is that maybe there just isn’t a human word perfect enough to be used for God’s name. We can describe him with words like, Redeemer, my Healer, Lord Almighty, My Savior, Defender, my King… the list goes on but aren’t these just human ways to describe an indescribable God?

But I still didn’t answer the question- Is there power in the name of God? In John 17:11b-12a Jesus prays, “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. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” There is further evidence of power in the name of God found in Acts 4:5-10. Peter healed a lame man and the Pharisees didn’t like it one bit so they took Peter and John into custody…

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there,

and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family.

They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,

then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

I just want to add a Hallelujah! to the end of that. Preach, preacher! Yes, there is great power in the name of God and in his son, Jesus. There is healing power, there is protective power, and there is saving power, too! “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Joel 2:32 & Acts 2:21). Have you called on the name of the Lord? Is he your Healer, Protector, and Savior? If not, won’t you please consider it?

I could go on forever if I were to keep picking apart this song. For example, the line that says, “All condemned, feel no shame” Well, that’s a whole post in and of itself. I know I have a lot to be ashamed for in my life but through Jesus, my shame has been taken away. You can read about it here. But for now this is…

The End.

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