"There is none like you, O Lord; You are great, and your name is great and mighty."
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “Lear Jet”? Well, the Lear family named their daughter Chandra Lear—think chandelier. I also had a friend named Jerry Mello who named his son Marshall. Can you imagine growing up with the name Marshall Mello? Mary Ann is a friend of ours and when she got married, her husband’s name last name is Bachelor, so naturally her name is Mary A. Bachelor.
While people’s names can be very funny at times, the holy name of God should never be addressed irreverently or even casually. Jesus proclaims in Matthew 6:9 “Hallowed be Thy name.”
The Bible also teaches that the name of Jesus is to be treasured and cherished far above every earthly name. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).
The name of God was so sacred to the ancient Jewish writers that they used a special pen to write the name of God as they reproduced any Scriptures they were writing. Each time they came to the name of God, they would put down the regular pen and pick up a holy pen that was used only for writing God’s name. After saying a prayer, they would write God’s name with the designated pen and then resume their work with the “regular” pen.
As believers in Jesus Christ we get to not only are saved by His name assurance, but we also have amazing access to our heavenly Father because of the name of Jesus!
Following a bloody Civil War battle, Jack kneeled by a mortally wounded soldier on the field. He could see that Bill, his best friend, was dying. Bill also knew he was dying, so with trembling fingers he reached into his blood-stained pocket and handed a letter to his comrade. “Jack,” Bill said in a raspy tone, “I didn’t have time to mail this letter. I know you don’t have much family or money. If you live through this war, take this letter to my folks in Connecticut. I told them all about you and what close friends we are. They’ll take good care of you, and anything that was mine is yours.” Moments later, Bill breathed his last.
Jack did survive the war, but times were tough. For months, he and other war veterans would ride the trains looking for some farm work hoeing weeds in exchange for a hot meal. They came to be known as “hoe boys,” later called “hobos.”
In the course of his wanderings, Jack eventually found himself in Connecticut. He made his way to the address on the letter Bill had given him so many years before and found there a large New England home. Jack timidly walked up the steps and hesitated. He looked down at his torn, ragged clothes and dirty hands. He mustered the courage and knocked on the great oak door. When the door opened, there stood a dignified grey-haired gentleman and his wife. But before Jack could speak, the man said in sympathetic tones. “I’m sorry, young man. These are hard times, and we just can’t feed and clothe every hoe boy who knocks.” Dejected, Jack turned away, but then he remembered the letter. “I have a letter from Bill.”
“You knew our son?” The woman asked.
“My name is Jack; we were best friends.” At that moment Jack handed the blood-stained envelope to the couple. With tears in their eyes, they read the last letter from their beloved son. When they regained their composure, they pulled Jack into the house, saying, “Anything that was his is now yours.”
So what made the difference in this touching story? The name of their beloved son was the key to the opened door. Jesus promises us that when we come to the Father in His name, we will have the same reception. “Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you....Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23, 24).
Remember what I said in my sermon the other day, “Think of God’s name as the key that unlocks a treasure chest of valuables that we all need in our lives!”