|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.
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.
Amplified: The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross). God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins.
Expanded: You killed [murdered] Jesus by hanging him on a cross [ tree]. But God, the God of our ancestors, raised Jesus up from the dead! Jesus is the One whom God raised [exalted] to be on his right side [hand], as Leader [Prince; Ruler] and Savior. Through him, the people of Israel [ Israel] could ·change their hearts and lives [repent] and have their sins forgiven.
J. B. Phillips: It was the God of our fathers who raised up Jesus, whom you murdered by hanging him on a cross of wood. God has raised this man to his own right hand as prince and savior, to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins to Israel.
Pastor John MacArthur writes: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Peter got right back in that Sanhedrin and said, "Right. That's exactly what you did, you slew Him and hanged Him on a tree." The one that God raised up as your Messiah, you hanged on a tree. That word slew is an interesting word that's used only one other time in the New Testament, very unusual word. It means to murder with your own hands. So he says, "You not only slew Him but you hanged Him on a tree." Why does he say that? Well He was crucified. He could have said that, but to say hanged on a tree ties it in with Deuteronomy 21:23. The Old Testament said, "Cursed is anybody who hangs on a tree." That was the most shameful, despicable, cursed death a man could die, and they chose that one for the Son of God. After indictment there is always exaltation of Christ as Messiah, verse 31. "Him hath God exalted with His right hand." Right hand means power. God by power ripped Christ out of the grave and exalted Him and made Him a Prince and a Savior. Now you thought He was nothing. You thought He was something to be trampled, but God lifted Him up and made Him better than a Prince. The Greek word is Archegos, which means King, Pioneer. It's got so many meanings…Creator, Originator, Author. All of those words, Archegos, has so many concepts. Peter was a fisherman. Maybe one concept that we haven't talked about that Peter may have had in mind is this: on each ship there was a strong swimmer, who was called the Archegos. Whenever the ship got into trouble, his job was with a rope around his waist to dive in, swim to shore, secure the rope and then everybody else could get to shore on the rope. But the Archegos, was the guy who had to make his way there and secure the rope. He says Jesus Christ is the one who having been killed on this earth when the ship wrecked God lifted Him up, took Him to heaven, He left the rope there and all of us are able to reach it on the basis of His provision. And so Jesus Christ is the Archegos—the strong swimmer who secured the anchor to God and then the Savior who gathers us and takes us into God's presence. At the end of verse 31, "He offered you repentance and forgiveness and beloved there's no forgiveness for a man apart from repentance. That's the missing ingredient so much in the message of salvation. People always talk about salvation and they leave out repentance. That doesn't mean you become sinless. That means you're sorry for your sin and you say, "God help me and make me different." Forgive me, and He does. He is Prince and Savior.”
Pastor John Piper writes: "The Foundational Facts of Christianity from Peter's message here in Acts 5:30, 31…
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is high and holy, the glorious, exalted One. He reigns over all in heaven and on earth. Our Savior needs no house, for His dwelling place is all eternity. And yet He chooses to dwell with—literally to abide and make his home in—those who are anything but “high and holy” and who know it. Rather they are those whose spirits are humble, contrite, open, and teachable. They know how unworthy they are of God’s love and mercy. But God’s holy and loving heart is moved by individuals who humble themselves and acknowledge their weakness and dependence on him. Then He refreshes, revives, and gives new courage to these repentant souls. How gracious our God is!
Look Up—meditate on Acts 5:30, 31
Look In—as you meditate on Acts 5:30, 31 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.
Look Out—as you meditate on Acts 5:30, 31 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ