This section of hymns that I’m reading through now is subtitled, “Praise of the Lord-His Name.” Frequently, I have an unfortunate and terrible tendency to skip over headings and titles – perhaps it is evidence of the part of me that, a bit stubbornly, prefers to figure out the meaning of things myself and doesn’t like to have it told to me.
I was, however, reminded this morning in the first line of every stanza of Hymn 69, that the point of this section is to really cause us to appreciate the name of the Lord Jesus. It is a little difficult to understand how to love a name. Expectant parents may scan Baby Name books for months looking for the perfect name that they fall in love with, but that emotion of excitement and thrill must fall short of this kind of love for God and the precious name of Jesus.
Philippians 2:9 – Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.
There are examples upon examples in the Bible where people were healed, forgiven, encouraged, and even given power to heal and forgive by the name of the Lord. A search in the Bible for “name” is impressive in this way.
The name of the Lord is precious, but how to we respond appropriately with love toward this name?
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name in having ministered to the saints and in ministering still.
So, the kind of appreciation we have for this name is somehow related to love, and showing love has something to do with ministering. How can we consider what that could mean, to minister?
Perhaps the word “minister” conjures up the image of a single person before a congregation. To me, it brings up the word “service” and a few examples. Priests in the Old Testament (books of Genesis through Malachi) wore particular garments when they worshiped God and took care of holy things the place of worship. Service to God was in the old times sacred, and ministry, a very important responsibility. One High Priest, Melchizedek, not only prayed for Abraham in battle, but even brought out bread and wine to take care of him for his regular, human needs. Jesus even washed his own disciples’ feet and cared for them in many ways.
We can then see another mention of Melchizedek’s ministering act in Hebrews with an enlightening bit for our experience and enjoyment. Who is such a High Priest to us, today, knows our every need and who is willing to pray for us and care for us?
Hebrews 7:24-27: But He, because He abides forever, has His priesthood unalterable. Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them. For such a High Priest was also fitting to us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners and having become higher than the heavens, who does not have daily need, as the high priests do, to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins and then for those of the people; for this He did once for all when he offered up Himself. For the law establishes men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which was after the law, establishes the Son, perfected forever.
the “He” noted in Hebrews 7 is Christ.
Hebrews 9:11 – But Christ, having come as a High Priest of the good things that have come into being
Being a minister has a LOT to do with who the person is. But, we don’t have to fret over the kind of person we are and lament over any shortcomings. Ministering is an act of love. Loving the name of Jesus is to bring others to the source of love, to the High Priest who understands you thoroughly and lives to intercede on your behalf. If you can’t minister, “the Son, perfected forever” is more than able. Hebrews 7:25 is one of my favorite verses because it reminds me that I have an advocate on my side who prays for others when I cannot pray for them, and most personally and dearly, prays for me when I cannot pray, when I have no more faith left, and need God Himself to just be my faith and steep me in faith.
Through God in us who is such a minister, we are also able be ones who
1 Peter 4:10…as he has received a gift, minister[-] it among yourselves as good stewards of the varied grace of God…if anyone ministers, as ministering out of the strength which God supplies,
with the goal that,
in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
Praise of the Lord-His Name
Day 14 – 69
2. Thy name we love, Lord Jesus;
It tells God’s love unbounded
to ruined man, ere time began,
or heav’n and earth were founded:
Thine is a love eternal,
that found in us its pleasure,
that brought Thee low to bear our woe
and make us Thine own treasure.
As we care for our love for God, allowing it to grow in a normal day-by-day, little-by-little way, the grace God gives to us becomes a little of the dew to water others with and through this whole process, something beautiful happens…we become God’s treasure.
Deuteronomy 7:6 – For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God; it is you whom Jehovah your God has chosen from among all the peoples which are upon the face of the earth to be a people for His personal treasure.
What is within us is God’s treasure!
2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.
Just love this treasure.
Have a wonderful day, everyone!