Friday, August 19, 2016

fan the flame...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

I was so inspired by Tamara Peterson’s beautiful artwork, as well as her caption: God did not create us to be timid. He gave us a gift to light the world around us. How do you light your world? How do you spark creativity in those around us? Tamara’s wonderful gift of artistry inspired me while I was worshipping with our worship leader, Conrad Johnson, to the anointed combination of the two hymns, Holy Spirit + Set A Fire…Let us become more aware of Your Presence…Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control, I want more of You GodI felt led to do a word study of 2 Timothy 1:6b-7:

NASB: kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you…for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.


Amplified: stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you…for God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

NLT: fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Living Bible: stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you…for the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.

Phillips: stir up that inner fire which God gave you…for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.

Wuest: keep constantly blazing the gift of God…for God did not give to us a spirit of fearfulness, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Young's Literal: stir up the gift of God…for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


Kindle afresh (anazopureo from ana = up, back or again + zoos = alive + pur = fire) means to keep in full flame. Stir up the fire. Add fresh fuel. Cause something to begin again, to reactivate or to cause to begin to be active again. The present tense conveys the sense of progressive, continuous action. Keep kindling the gift afresh or make it your aim to continually keep it at full flame.
 
Gift (charisma from charis = grace, English = "charismatic") means a gift of grace (the result of grace), an undeserved benefit. The suffix –ma, indicates the result of grace and refers to that which is freely and graciously given.

Spirit (pneuma from pnéo = to breathe) means a blowing (wind), a breathing (breath) and can refer to the seat of the inner spiritual life of man, capacity to know God.

Timidity (deilia from deilos = fearful, timid) means lack of mental or moral strength, timidity (lacking courage, self-confidence, boldness or determination), reticence (inclination to be silent or uncommunicative in speech), cowardice (lack of courage or resolution) or shameful fear that is generated by weak, selfish character. The picture is one who is in a state of fear because of a lack of courage or moral strength. Deilia is never used in a good sense, whereas another word for "fear" (phobos) can be used in either a good sense (fear of the Lord) or a bad sense.

Power (dunamis from dunamai = to be able, to have power) power especially achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability), the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Dunamis is the root from which we derive the English word dynamic, (synonyms = energetic, functioning, live, operative, working) which describes that which is marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change. That which is dynamic is characterized by energy or forces that produce motion, as opposed to that which is static. Another English word dynamite, is derived from dunamis and since dunamis is used by Paul to describe the "power of God," some have suggested that the gospel is "God’s dynamite". This is misapplication of this English derivative in an attempt to try to picture the lifesaving power of the gospel. Dunamis does not refer to explosive power, as if the gospel will blow men to bits but as discussed above, it refers to intrinsic power. The gospel is dynamic, God’s dynamic, and so is powerful in the transformation of human lives.

Love (agape) describes the unconditional, unselfish, costly love that God is (1Jn 4:16) and which God shows (Jn 3:16) and which was "poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" at the time of our new birth (Ro 5:5). Agape love is produced in the heart of the yielded, surrendered saint by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22) and has as its chief ingredient, self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved (Jn 3:16).

Discipline or "sound mind" (sophronismos from sophron in turn from sozo = save + phren = mind) so literally this word describes "a saved mind" or "a sound mind." Not only is such a mind secure and sound but it carries the additional idea that this mind is self-controlled, disciplined, and properly prioritized. Sophronismos describes sound-mindedness in action and the opposite mindset is one predisposed to excessive self-indulgence or lack of good sense. Sophronismos describes the individual marked by a sense of sobriety (temperance, moderation), sound judgment, exercise of prudence, moderation, prudence (prudence includes the ability to govern and discipline oneself, sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs, skill and good judgment in the use of resources, caution or circumspection as to danger or risk).

Pastor David Jeremiah writes: “We have been released from the spirit of fear by the Holy Spirit, who has placed us in the body of Christ. We have received the Spirit of adoption. This adoption provides for every believer release from the bondage that he once knew. The picture that Paul uses is the contrast between slavery and sonship. Slavery, with its fear and isolation, stands for our old lives before knowing Christ. We are told by the writer of Hebrews that Christ died that He might destroy the one who had the power of death and release those who were subject to a fear of death (Hebrews 2:14–15). The perfect love of God has cast out the fear to which we were once enslaved (2 Timothy 1:6b-7; 1 John 4:18). Anything that involves a believer in fear of bondage cannot possibly be the work of the Holy Spirit of God. It must come either from his own heart of unbelief or as a temptation of the evil one. Our sonship implies perfect spiritual liberty and the absence of all legal features which would bring us once more under the Law."


Have you ever found yourself in such a frightening situation that it pushed your “panic button”? Some people face that kind of fear because of a dreadful circumstance. Others may fear failure, rejection, illness, or death. Children often fear the dark and want their parents to hold their hand as they walk into a dark room. Whatever you fear, you don’t have to handle it alone by working harder, trying to control things, living in denial, or worst of all, backing away from God and His promises. God does not give us a spirit of fear. Challenges that seem beyond our abilities and make us feel inadequate aren’t intended to make us fear, but rather to drive us to our Lord Jesus Christ Whose grace is sufficient, so that we develop a God-confidence that cannot be shaken. As we honestly admit what we’re afraid of, our fear can actually draw us closer to the Lord than we ever thought possible. Reading God’s promises in the Bible gives us assurance that we are not alone in this fearful circumstance. God has promised to be with you in every situation and to never leave you or forsake you, so you can put your trust in Him. He is the source of our courage and security, as the Holy Spirit gives us His power, love, and a sound mind. He alone can turn our fear into faith.

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your Word that promises Your presence with me, giving me Your resurrection power, Your agape love, and the sound mind of Christ. You have said that when I’m afraid, at the very point of my anxiety, I can put my trust in You and experience Your peace and protection. I am able to accomplish what You ask of me only through Your power. Thank You for Your Word because in it I learn that You are my sufficiency! May my confidence always be in Your finished work on the cross. No matter what dark and frightening circumstances I may face, help me to trust You and stir into flame the strength and boldness that Your Holy Spirit gives me every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.”—Corrie ten Boom

Look up – Meditate on 2 Timothy 1:6b-7. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on 2 Timothy 1:6b-7. Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”

Look out – Meditate on 2 Timothy 1:6b-7. Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Monday, August 15, 2016

the glory and wonder of Jesus Christ

artwork by Tamara Peterson

As I pondered Tamara Peterson’s beautiful artwork Glory and Wonder while listening to the anointed new hymn by Mosaic MSC Glory and Wonder, All the glory and wonder overcome my deepest fears, Oh God our Loving Father You have come to meet me here…I was drawn to two of my favorite Scriptures…

Psalm 37:4

Amplified Bible: Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.

Expanded Bible: Enjoy serving the Lord, and he will give you ·what you want [L the requests of your heart].

Good News Translation: Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desire.

Living Bible: Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires.

and

Philippians 3:10a

Amplified Bible: For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.

I discovered a great acrostic memory tool for the word, “delight,” which describes how I have come to apply this verse to my life...

Daily
Everything
Laid
Into
God’s
Hands
Totally

During my study of these Scriptures, I came to a place in my life where I wanted, more than anything else, to love God more. I began to pray, Lord, I want to delight in you! God is so inconceivably good. He’s not looking for perfection. He already saw it in Christ. He’s looking for affection. That’s why every lasting change will invariably be a change of heart. He’ll even supply the heart, if we’ll ask Him.

Lord Jesus, give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, give me a heart that seeks Your forgiveness for past sins, and welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I surrender all. Morning after morning.


Look up – Meditate on Psalm 37:4 and Philippians 3:10a. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on Psalm 37:4 and Philippians 3:10a. Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”

Look out – Meditate on Psalm 37:4 and Philippians 3:10a. Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  

 * If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

 

Monday, August 8, 2016

God is with us in the dark...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

As I pondered this captivating artwork by Tamara Peterson, I remembered a question I heard Pastor Andy Stanley ask,

"What would a girl, just like you, do, in a situation just like the one you are in, if she was absolutely certain that God was with her?" 

That question helps me to remember the Truth that I know and believe…God is with us in the dark…His name is Emmanuel, God with us…He will never leave us or forsake us…listening to the anointed hymn, He Is With Us, by Love & The Outcome while studying Hebrews 13:5b:

Amplified: for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Barclay: for he has said: “I will never fail you and I will never forsake you.’

NLT: For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Phillips: God has said: 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.’

Wuest:  For He himself has said, and the statement is on record, I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you.

Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest writes: “Forsake" is a compound of three Greek words, eg meaning “in,” kata meaning “down,” and leipo meaning “to leave.” Leipo has the idea of forsaking one, kata suggests rejection, defeat, helplessness, and eg refers to some place or circumstance in which a person may find himself helpless, forsaken. The meaning of the word is that of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness in the midst of hostile circumstances. The word in its totality means “to abandon, desert, leave in straits, leave helpless, leave destitute, leave in the lurch, let one down.” There are three negatives before this word, making the promise one of triple assurance. It is, “I will not, I will not, I will not let you down, leave you in the lurch, leave you destitute, leave you in straits and helpless, abandon thee.” All of which means that our God will come to our rescue when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances.”


Pastor Charles Spurgeon said: “It would hardly be possible in English to give the full weight of the Greek. We might render it, “He himself has said, I will never, never desert you, and I will never, never, never abandon you.” Though that would be not a literal, but rather a free rendering, yet, since there are five negatives in the Greek, we do not know how to give their force in any other way. Two negatives nullify each other in our language. In the Greek, they intensify the meaning following one after another. It means that in not one single instance will the Lord leave you, nor in any one particular will He leave you, nor for any reason will He leave you. If you have cast yourself upon His infinite power and grace, He will carry you to the end. Not only will He not desert you altogether, but He will not leave you even for a little while. He may seem for a small moment to hide His face from you, but He will still love you and still supply your needs.”

Robinson Crusoe, the chief character in a novel by Daniel Defoe, was shipwrecked and stranded on an uninhabited island. Life was hard, but he found hope and comfort when he turned to the Word of God. Crusoe said, “One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, ‘I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? ‘Well then,’ said I, ‘if God does not forsake me…what matters it, though the world should all forsake me?’ From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be happier in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable that I should ever have been in any other state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.”

Have you ever been alone, really alone? If so, there’s good news. If you have invited Christ into your life as Savior and Lord, you’re never alone. You have His constant presence. Here is His promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And from God the Father: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Recognize with the psalmist that there’s no place you can go where God is not with you (Psalm 139:7).

What can I do to help? If we want to be followers of our Savior, we should be reaching out to the lonely all around us. But we can’t be with them all the time, nor can we fully know their pain. Our presence may help, but we are never enough. Only God can meet the needs of the lonely. And here is the good news. In Jesus He has revealed Himself as “Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” One day G. Campbell Morgan visited an elderly woman who lived alone. Before leaving, he read, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). “A great promise,” he said. With a twinkle in her eye she retorted, “Dr. Morgan, that’s not a promise. It’s reality!” For her, Emmanuel was the ultimate cure for loneliness.

Bible Teacher Beth Moore writes: “His name, Emmanuel, "El" means "God," the rest of the word means "with us," the "with us God." He created us to be with us. He gave each of us a longing for Him by creating every single human being with a "with" need.”

Pastor Charles Swindoll writes: “Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn't come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety.”

When trouble or tragedy strikes, we long for God, the living God. Uncomfortable circumstances may continue, but God will prove Himself our sure refuge because He has promised He will never forsake us. His name, Emmanuel, means “God with us.” Because of this truth we can continue to call on the Lord with confidence that He will hear and respond because of His unfailing love.

O Heavenly Father, Emmanuel, thank You that You are the “with us God.” Thank You for Your promised presence with me today. Although my circumstances may seem overwhelming, I call to You with confidence because You are all powerful and You love me. I praise You that you are Emmanuel—God with us—in everything we experience as we walk through this broken, hurting world. Help me to be Your hands and feet today, Your words of comfort and encouragement to those who need to know “where You are” in their times of deep need. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Look up – Meditate on Hebrews 13:5b. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on Hebrews 13:5b. Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”

Look out – Meditate on Hebrews 13:5b. Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  


Monday, January 25, 2016

Name Above All Names--King of Zion

artwork by Krista Hamrick

artwork by Krista Hamrick




Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 


My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.

Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics



Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:


Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)
 
I was inspired by Hillsong United’s anointed Zion Acoustic Sessions while studying Psalm 9:11

ERV: Sing praises to the Lord, who sits as King in Zion. Tell the nations about the great things he has done.

Expanded: Sing praises to the Lord who is king on Mount [dwells on] Zion [the location of the Temple]. Tell the nations [among the peoples] what he has done.

NCV: Sing praises to the Lord who is king on Mount Zion. Tell the nations what he has done.

Benson Commentary: "As the special residence of his glory is in heaven, so the special residence of his grace is in his church, of which Zion was a type: there he meets his people with his promises and graces, and there he expects they should meet him with their praises and services. Declare among the people his doings—Not only among the Israelites, but to the heathen nations, that they may also be brought to the knowledge and worship of the true God. Sing praises to the Lord—As the result of these views of his character, and at the remembrance of his doings. The heart of the psalmist is full of exultation and joy at the remembrance of the divine interposition, and he naturally breaks out into these strong expressions, calling on others to rejoice also. Which dwelleth in Zion—As Zion was the place where at this time the tabernacle was set up, and the worship of God was celebrated, it is spoken of as his dwelling-place.
Declare among the people his doings—Make general and wide proclamation of what he has done; that is, make him known abroad, in his true character, that others may be brought also to put their trust in him, and to Praise him."

Pastor John Gill writes: “The psalmist having determined in the strength of grace to praise the Lord himself, and show forth all his marvelous works, and given his reasons for it, both with respect to himself in particular, and with respect to the people of God in general, here calls upon others to engage in the same work; the Lord is not only to be praised, which may be done by celebrating the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands; by giving him thanks for mercies temporal and spiritual, and by living to his glory; but his praises are to be sung by a modulation of the voice in musical notes, as the word used signifies; where the same word is used of the singing of birds; and this is to be done by the saints jointly, in concert together, as Paul and Silas in prison sang the praises of God; and there is great reason why they should join together in this work, since they share the blessings of divine grace in common together. Jehovah, to whom praises are to be sung, is described as the inhabitant of Zion, the ark and tabernacle being there before the temple was built, which were symbols of the divine Presence. God by his essence and power is everywhere, he fills heaven and earth, and cannot be contained in either; his glorious presence is in heaven; his gracious presence is in his church and among his people; where they dwell he dwells, and where he dwells they dwell: hence the church is called by the same name as the Lord is here, the inhabitant of Zion; and this description of him points out the place where his praises are to be sung, in Zion; who are to sing them, the members of the church; and the reason why, because the Lord dwells in Zion; and is there a refuge for his people, and protects them.”


What does it mean to trust the Lord, the King of Zion? It means looking to Him as the source of our security and putting our faith in the grace, love, power, and protection of God when the inevitable pressures of life come. It means knowing as the psalmist did that as the mountains surround and protect Zion, the city of Jerusalem, God himself surrounds and shields His people. When we trust the Lord, we don’t have to focus on the wicked and what they are doing or might do to us. We don’t have to rehash our own woes. Even though there are problems the size of mountains facing us, we can cry out to the Lord who created the mountains and is able to move them. As we sing praises to Him, and focus on Him and His truth, He will encourage our hearts and help us to tell the nations about the great things He has done!

Lord Jesus, King of Zion, I put my trust in You today. You are my security and protection, my shield, my fortress, and my hiding place, and I sing praises to You. When enemies surround me and troubles multiply, help me to remember that you are ever faithful and that you surround and protect me, both now and forever. Thank You for the free gift of salvation, that we are justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, we are under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because we have placed our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for us and approval of us will never be determined by our performance is the most encouraging promise to which we cling—what great things You have done! In Your mighty Name Above All Names—King of Zion, we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Psalm 9:11

Look In
—as you meditate on Psalm 9:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on Psalm 9:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Name Above All Names--Yahweh




artwork by Krista Hamrick


Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 


My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.


Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.

Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:


Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”


Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)

 

 

I was inspired by worshipping with Conrad Johnson, our worship leader, to the anointed hymn, At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh) while studying Exodus 3:13,15

HCSB: Then Moses asked God, “If 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?’ what should I tell them?” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, 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; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.”

LEB:  But Moses said to God, “Look, if I go to the Israelites and I say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ then what shall I say to them?”
And God said again to Moses, “So you must say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my remembrance from generation to generation.’”

NOG: Then Moses replied to Elohim, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The Elohim of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”
Again Elohim said to Moses, “This is what you must say to the people of Israel: Yahweh Elohim of your ancestors, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever. This is my title throughout every generation.”

WEB:
Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you;’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”
God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Yahweh, 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, and this is my memorial to all generations.”

Pastor Ken Hemphill writes: “Most Bible scholars would agree that the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, as it is sometimes translated, would be the proper name of God. The other names, including the compound names, provide further revelation of His character and His activity. JEHOVAH (YHWH…or JHVH) Note that the 4 letters (tetra means 4) of YHWH are often referred to as the Tetragrammaton. Vowels were added to the Tetragrammaton (literally "four lettered name"…Prior to 6th century Hebrew has no vowels—added to text AD 600-700) yielding the Name...YAHWEH ... which is most commonly transliterated (transcribed from one alphabet into corresponding letters of another alphabet) as...JEHOVAH.
Various scholars have suggested different translations of the name of God used in this passage. The name is from the imperfect stem of the Hebrew verb "to be." The imperfect tense denotes an action that started in the past, continues in the present, but is not yet complete. Many Bible scholars follow the simple translation that we have in our text, "I am who I am." One of our Old Testament scholars at Southwestern translates it this way: "I AM who I have always been." I like this translation because it affirms that the God who spoke from the burning bush is the same God who worked through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also implies His ability and desire to work through Moses in the present and the future. However we translate this name, we can be assured that it affirms God's self-existence and His eternality.”

Pastor Alexander Maclaren writes in his Expositions of Holy Scripture:
The fire that burns and does not burn out, which has no tendency to destruction in its very energy, and is not consumed by its own activity, is surely a symbol of the One Being, whose being derives its law and its source from itself, who only can say—“I AM THAT I AM”—the law of His nature, the foundation of His being, the only conditions of His existence being, as it were, enclosed within the limits of His own nature. He says, “I AM THAT I AM.” All other creatures are links; this is the staple from which they all hang. All other being is derived, and therefore limited and changeful; this being is underived, absolute, self-dependent, and therefore unalterable forevermore. Because we live, we die. In living, the process is going on of which death is the end. But God lives forevermore, a flame that does not burn out; therefore His resources are inexhaustible, His power unwearied. He needs no rest for recuperation of wasted energy. His gifts diminish not the store which He has to bestow. He gives and is none the poorer. He works and is never weary. He operates unspent; He loves and He loves forever. And through the ages, the fire burns on, unconsumed and undecayed.”

Pastor John Piper writes: “The most common and the most important name for God in the Old Testament is a name that in our English versions never even gets translated. Whenever you see the word LORD in all capital letters, you know that this name is behind it. In Hebrew the name had four letters — YHWH — and may have been pronounced something like Yahweh. The Jews came to regard this word with such reverence that they would never take it upon their lips, lest they inadvertently take the name in vain. So whenever they came to this name in their reading, they pronounced the word “adonai” which means “my lord.” The English versions have basically followed the same pattern. They translate the proper name Yahweh with the word LORD in all caps. This approach is not a very satisfactory thing to do, because the English word LORD does not communicate to our ears a proper name like John or Michael or Noël. But Yahweh is God’s proper name in Hebrew. The importance of it can be seen in the sheer frequency of its use. It occurs 6,828 times in the Old Testament. That’s more than three times as often as the simple word for “God” (Elohim – 2,600; El – 238). What this fact shows is that God aims to be known not as a generic deity, but as a specific Person with a name that carries his unique character and mission. (Note: The word “Jehovah” originated from an attempt to pronounce the consonants YHWH with the vowels from the word adonai. In the oldest Hebrew texts there are no vowels. So it is easy to see how this would happen since whenever YHWH occurred in the text, the word adonai was pronounced by the reverent Jew.) The most important text in all the Bible for understanding the meaning of the name Yahweh is Exodus 3:13,15. God has just commanded Moses to go to Egypt and to bring his people Israel out of captivity. Moses says to God, “‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “The LORD (that is, Yahweh!), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’” Two facts persuade me that this text provides an interpretation of the name Yahweh. One is that the name Yahweh and the name I AM are built out of the same Hebrew word (hayah). The other is that Yahweh seems to be used here interchangeably with I AM. “I AM has sent me to you” (v. 14). “Yahweh . . . has sent me to you” (v. 15). I think it would be safe to say that God’s purpose in this meeting with Moses is to reveal, as he never had before (Exodus 6:2), the meaning of his personal name, Yahweh. The key is in the phrase, I AM, and especially in the phrase, I AM WHO I AM. So here is where we ought to spend a lot of time meditating. What does it mean when you ask your God, Who are you? and he answers, I AM WHO I AM? I hope you can begin to feel how important these words are. There aren’t any words more important than these. Any words that you think might be are important only because these words are true. The more you ponder them, the more awesome they become.”

Our world has seen more change from 1900 to the present than in all history recorded before 1900, and things continue to accelerate rapidly. As time speeds by, measured not just in minutes or seconds but in nanoseconds (billionths of a second), everything changes. Technology changes so fast in our twenty-first-century world that we can barely keep up with the upgrades on our computers. Our bodies undergo the inevitable aging process, and we witness constant upheaval in the nations of the world. Material things change and deteriorate. The changes in the world do not change God one bit or thwart his plans. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, and his love extends to the next generation and the next. Our security can’t be found in any of the things in this ever-changing world. Instead, our security is in God and his promises.

Unchanging Lord Jesus, Yahweh, I praise You and worship You for Your love and faithfulness that extend from one generation to the next. Thank You that although our circumstances may change and the things around us pass away, You remain the same forever. Help me to find my security in your eternal sameness. Through all generations, even before you made the earth, You have been our dwelling place. You are God, without beginning or end. I am thankful that wherever I go, I don’t have to feel insecure or anxious because You are there! Thank You for Your faithfulness and loving-kindness that follows me all the days of my life. In Your mighty Name Above All Names—Yahweh, we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Exodus 3:13,15

Look In
—as you meditate on Exodus 3:13,15 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on Exodus 3:13,15 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

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