Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Take Comfort in "The Name"

     Scripture teaches us a powerful truth in 2 Peter 1:3:  "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.."  Did you catch it?  God, by His divine power, has not only called us to salvation, but He has also given us full provision to live a life that glorifies Him in godly living.  We cannot earn salvation nor do we have the power to change our lifestyle.  However, as we humbly come before God in sincere repentance, He gives us a new heart.  Yet, His provision for us is not at an end.
     This past Sunday in our Sunday School class, we discussed how to "adore" God as taught in the Lord's Prayer.  Most of us in the class had never considered the phrase "Hallowed be thy name" and what it really means to believers.  There is so much more revealed about God's character in the names He is known by.  In fact, we learned that the Jewish people so revered God's name that they refused to use the name or write it on their documents or buildings.  Even today, many Jewish people write God as G-d to show their respect for His holiness.
     When we look at the names for God, we begin to see how the Lord provides all we need for life and godliness.  The book "Studies on the Sermon on the Mount" by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones includes these descriptions:  "El means His 'strength'; Elohim means 'His power'; Jehovah means 'the self-existent One', 'I Am that I Am';  Jehovah Jireh 'the Lord will provide'; Jehovah Rapha, 'the Lord that healeth'; Jehovah-nissi, 'the Lord our banner'; Jehovah Shalom, 'the Lord our peace'; Jehovah-ra-ah, 'the Lord our Shepherd'; Jehovah-tsidkenu, 'the Lord our righteousness'; Jehovah-shammah, 'the Lord is present' (Studies on the Sermon on the Mount, pg 334).  Do we understand that God here presents Himself as the fulfillment of all we need?  In Him, we are complete.  Without Him, we stumble in the darkness.
     When I think that God first sought us when we as yet did not seek Him, and then, sent His only Son to die for our sins, I am amazed.  Then, as if salvation were not enough, God places within us His Holy Spirit to guide and teach us all truth.
     His provision is total and in this, we should take comfort.  Whatever weighs us down is no match for the power of His Name...the Name above all Names.  Today, let us be encouraged to think on the names of God, His holiness, His righteousness, and remember that we are His children through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, He will care for us as a tender shepherd.  No matter what the burdens He will provide all we need for life and godliness "through the knowledge of Him"  Selah!

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