The Power Of A Name

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. —Proverbs 18:10

Nicknames are often descriptive of some noticeable aspect of a person’s character or physical attributes. Growing up, my elementary school friends brutally called me “liver lips” since at that stage of development my lips seemed disproportionately large. Needless to say, I have always been glad that the name didn’t stick.

Unlike my nickname, I love the names of God that describe His magnificent characteristics. God is so wonderfully multifaceted that He has many names that communicate His capabilities and character. To name just a few, He is:

Elohim, the God above all gods

Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides

El-Shaddai, the almighty God

Jehovah Rapha, our healer God

Jehovah Shalom, our God of peace

Jehovah Shamma, our God who is present

Jehovah Yahweh, our loving, covenant-keeping God

It’s no wonder the writer of Proverbs encourages us to remember that “the name of the Lord is a strong tower,” that in times of need God-fearing people run to it and “are safe” (Prov. 18:10). When unwelcome circumstances threaten you and you feel vulnerable, reflect on one of God’s names. Be assured—He will be faithful to His name. By Joe Stowell

Lord, remind us that Your names reveal Your
character. Help us to remember them in our times
of need and distress. Thank You for the assurance
that You are faithful to Your name.

God’s names, which describe His character, can bring comfort when we need it most.

Something Has to Change

Ephesians 4:22-32

Why is it challenging for us to follow a godly path? As we mentioned last weekend, two conflicting tendencies exist within every believer: the patterns of the corrupted old self—or “the flesh”—and the righteousness of a new nature in Christ. The characteristics of these opposing inclinations are vividly portrayed in today’s verses. The quality of forgiveness, or the lack of it, will largely determine which tendency prevails in our lives.

The inevitable result of unforgiveness is anger, bitterness, and malice. By refusing to forgive, we allow the old flesh nature to dominate and produce its poisonous fruit. Every area of our life is affected when we refuse to extend to others the pardon Christ so generously extended to us—in essence, we are treating those around us as we would never want the Lord to treat us. Thankfully, His mercy toward us has no limit.

Although the pain and injustice of an offense can break our heart or damage our sense of self-worth, a refusal to forgive denies God the opportunity to redeem the hurt. We want Him to change the offender and make him sorry for what he has done, but the Lord wants to transform us. Forgiveness frees us to live in our new Christlike nature and enables us to see others through eyes of grace and mercy.

Look again at verses 31 and 32. Which one describes you? As believers, we all long to exhibit the qualities of our new nature, but the Lord can produce them only if we are willing to exchange offenses and grudges for tender hearts that forgive. Something has to change—let it be you.

The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15)

True wisdom is “from above” and is “pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (v. 17). False wisdom, on the other hand, may come from the world outside us (“earthly”), the flesh within us (“sensual”), or the powers of darkness tempting us (“devilish”). All such wisdom leads to “envying and strife . . . confusion and every evil work” (v. 16). Believers, therefore, should be able to recognize the influences of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The good news is that each divine Person of the triune Godhead is on our side. The Father is opposed to the world, the Spirit to the flesh, and the Son to the devil, and they are well able to give victory.

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. . . . And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof” (1 John 2:15, 17). Thus, to overcome the love of the world, we must cultivate the love of the Father in our hearts and lives.

Similarly, to overcome the desires of the flesh, we should follow the leadings and convictions of the Holy Spirit, “for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other” (Galatians 5:17). Therefore, “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (v. 16).

The devil and his evil hosts use their own dark powers to tempt and destroy the people of God, but “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Christ assured Satan’s defeat when He paid for our redemption on the cross. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). HMM

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.—Proverbs 3:27, 28.

DO not only take occasions of doing good when they are thrust upon you; but study how to do all the good you can, as those “that are zealous of good works.” Zeal of good works will make you plot and contrive for them; consult and ask
advice for them; it will make you glad when you meet with a hopeful opportunity; it will make you do it largely, and not sparingly, and by the halves; it will make you do it speedily, without unwilling backwardness and delay; it will make you do it constantly to your lives’ end, It will make you labor in it as your trade, and not only consent that others do good at your charge. It will make you glad, when good is done, and not to grudge at what it cost you. In a word, it will make your
neighbors to be to you as yourselves, and the pleasing of God to be above yourselves, and therefore to be as glad to do good as to receive it. RICHARD BAXTER.

Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works

Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. Hebrews 10:24

How forcible are right words! — I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.

They that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. — If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

The LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. — Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Let … no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. — Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Job 6:25. 2 Peter 3:1. Malachi 3:16. Matthew 18:19. Genesis 2:18. Ecclesiastes 4:9,10. Romans 14:13. Galatians 6:2,1.

My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest

My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. Exodus 33:14

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy

God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. The LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. — Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. — In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. — Our sufficiency is of God.

Lead us not into temptation. —O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. — My times are in thy hand.

Deuteronomy 31:6,8. Joshua 1:9. Proverbs 3:6. Hebrews 13:5,6. 2 Corinthians 3:5. Matthew 6:13. Jeremiah 10:23. Psalm 31:15.