My daddy passed away in 1998. His legacy are the many sermons that he left both on paper and voice recordings. As I was sifting through the collection of his writings this one caught my attention. I remember him preaching this sermon and the emotional levels of his voice as he spoke about his Beloved Jesus. It was near the ends of the message when he began to recite the names that scripture has assigned to Jesus that he wept. His voice would crack now and then when he spoke a particular name given to Jesus.
In the end, my daddy had a list of over 200 names for Jesus and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said you aren’t done yet. Did you know when Jesus the Son of God returns to earth he will have yet another name? A name unknowable to any other person.
“His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself.” Revelation 19:12 NLT
One of the most powerful sermons my daddy shared as a pastor was titled, “A Name Above All Names”.
The start of the message spoke about the greatness of the name of Jesus. He shared that the book of Revelation tells us ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands times thousands of angels are at the throne of Jesus continually worshiping and crying out, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” It is non-stop praise session.
God has highly exalted Jesus and given Him a name which is above every name. Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, His Father!
Wow! That is a powerful proclamation. The name of Jesus is a name that is higher than any created being on the face of the earth or in the heavens or under the earth. It is name that is higher and above any angelic name that we read about in scripture.
Besides calling Him Savior, what do you know about the Bible Jesus?
My daddy continued his sermon by sharing an encounter he had with a man while working in his secular job as an electrician. He was on lunch break in the cafeteria of a local hospital and each day he noticed a man sitting alone counting beads on a necklace. By day three, my daddy’s intrigue got the best of him. As he passed by the table of this man, he asked, “Prayer beads?” The Hindu man answered, “No, praise beads.”
It was later in reading a story about a missionary that my dad fully understood ‘praise beads’. The missionary’s story spoke about meeting a Muslin man who wore a beaded necklace. The Muslin would work his way up the strand, caressing each bead and whispering inaudible mutterings.
The missionary’s interest was piqued and he asked the gentleman what the beads symbolized. “Praise beads for my God, Allah”, he replied. I have 99 precious gemstones on this gold chain and each one represents names that glorify and praise Allah. The missionary was surprised when the Muslin challenged the missionary if he could recite 99 names for his Christian God. Ashamed, the missionary could not meet the challenge.
This story is what prompted my daddy to match the 99 names of the Bible Jesus; the Jesus with a name that is above every name. A name far above any bead assigned to an Allah, Buddah, Mala and Rosary necklace.
I challenge you, as a Christian believer. Can you match the 99 names that this man had for his God Allah to your Bible God and His Son, Jesus?
My daddy initially came up with 30. It was a challenge that prompted him to delve deep into God’s Word and learn the true nature and descriptive names assigned to the God in whom he believed.
What is your current praise vocabulary? If it is limited to “praise the Lord, hallelujah, glory to God and Lord I worship You”, it might be time to step it up a notch and stop offering Jesus a gift box of praise that is half-empty. Maybe it’s time to enlarge your God and discover how well you really know Him.
If God seems a thousand miles away, maybe you haven’t taken time to know Him. I invite and challenge you to learn, discover and affirm the names given to our Biblical God. Your faith in His name will increase and the meaning and frequency and praise vocabulary of your prayer life will deepen as you go to your secret closet to speak to Him.
I look forward to sharing a list of over 150 names of Jesus in the near future. I am in the process of threading 100 beads to make a ‘Praise Chain’ to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My goal is to memorize and recite these names daily to increase my gift box of praise to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Author and Finisher of my faith.