It is so energizing and exciting to participate in #Write31days, an online writing challenge where writers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in the month of October. Within the #Write31days category of Inspiration & Faith, I chose to focus on the topic of the Name Above All Names every day for 31 days. You can view each of my daily posts at this landing page.
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art prints, Name Above All Names Alphabet and Psalm 23 have 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.
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 on Amazon at this link.
I was inspired listening to Phillips, Craig, and Dean's anointed hymn, Your Name, while studying Philippians 2:9
NIV: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.
AMP: For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
Expanded: So God raised [exalted] him to the highest place. God made his name [or gave him the name] greater than [far above] every other name
Lightfoot: But as was his humility, so also was his exaltation. God raised him to a preeminent height, and gave him a title and a dignity far above all dignities and titles else.
NLT: Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,
Phillips: That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names.
Wuest: Because of which voluntary act of supreme self-renunciation, God also super-eminently exalted Him to the highest rank and power, and graciously bestowed upon Him THE NAME, the one which is above every name
The Apostle Paul is not referring here to the physical name as we think of it today but is using "name" as it was used in Scripture to represent the total person. In this sense, the Bible uses one's "name" to speak of the total person, as well as of the office, the rank, and the dignity attached to the person because of his position. Today we use a name as little more than a distinguishing mark or label to differentiate one person from other people. But in the world of the New Testament, the name concisely sums up all that a person is. One's whole character was somehow implied in the name. In this passage "name" speaks not only of the total Person of Christ but also speaks to His title which supersedes forever every title every given to anyone. In short, the Name of the Lord is what He is, it is Himself. Paul is presenting the divine paradox, foolish to the natural man—that the way up is down. That a cross precedes a crown. That the road of exaltation by the Father is paved by humble service to others for the Father's glory.
Author C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse ...You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
Our natural human tendency is toward selfishness instead of sacrifice and service, but in a world that rewards self-promotion and puts celebrities on pedestals, God calls us to assume a lowly place—as Jesus did when He came to earth to serve, not to be served. This King of kings and Lord of all lords made Himself nothing and didn’t cling to His rights as God but obediently humbled Himself even to the point of dying on the cross. He is calling us to join His family of servants, to bend over the fallen and lift their load, to be His hands and feet, and to call others to come to His side.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me a heart which desires to please You rather than to impress people. Thank You for forgiving me for my selfishness and for focusing on my life, my needs, my problems. Thank You for helping me to care more about others and their needs and to have a servant’s heart so that You can do Your work through me. In Your mighty Name Above All Names we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Philippians 2:9. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Philippians 2:9 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—as you meditate on Philippians 2:9 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.