VIDEO What A Beautiful Name It Is

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Words and Music by
Ben Fielding & Brooke Ligertwood
© 2016 Hillsong Music Publishing.
CCLI Song No. 7068424

Held by God

I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

As I was nearing the end of lunch with my sister and her children one afternoon, my sister told my three-year-old niece, Annica, it was time to get ready for her nap. Her face filled with alarm. “But Aunt Monica did not hold me yet today!” she objected, tears filling her eyes. My sister smiled. “Okay, she may hold you first—how long do you need?” “Five minutes,” she replied.

As I held my niece, I was grateful for how, without even trying, she constantly reminds me what it looks like to love and be loved. I think sometimes we forget that our faith journey is one of learning to experience love—God’s love—more fully than we can imagine (Eph. 3:18). When we lose that focus, we can find ourselves, like the older brother in Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son, trying desperately to win God’s approval while missing out on all He has already given us (Luke 15:25–32).

Jesus, help us to be deeply rooted in Your love.

Psalm 131 is one prayer in Scripture that can help us to “become like little children” (Matt. 18:3) and to let go of the battle in our mind over what we don’t understand (Ps. 131:1). Instead, through time with Him we can return to a place of peace (v. 2), finding the hope we need (v. 3) in His love—as calm and quiet as if we were children again in our mothers’ arms (v. 2).

Lord, we are so grateful for those in our lives who remind us what it means to love and be loved. Help us to be ever more deeply rooted in Your love.

Like children, we can learn to rest in the love of God.

By Monica Brands 


Psalm 131, written by David, is one of fifteen “songs of ascents” (Pss.120–134). Pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem sang these songs to celebrate the annual feasts (Deut. 16:16). In this psalm, David acknowledged that there are some things about God that he just couldn’t understand (cf. Deut. 29:29; Job 42:3; Eccl. 11:5; Isa. 55:8–9; Rom. 11:33–34). But David chose not to be troubled by matters that properly belonged to God (Ps. 131:1). Instead, like a weaned, contented child enjoying the protection and provision of a mother (v.2), David simply trusted God with a childlike faith and quiet confidence. Psalm 131 is a prayer of humility (v. 1), contentment (v. 2), and hope (v. 3).

How does reflecting on the character and love of God comfort you and allow you to rest in Him?

Sim Kay Tee

The Freedom of Salvation

Galatians 3:10-13, Galatians 3:21-24

Most of us are accustomed to working for a reward. We get paid for a completed job, and there’s a bonus when our effort exceeds expectation. It’s understandable, then, why so many people assume salvation depends upon our actions. But thankfully, that is simply not the case.

God gave commandments to reveal His standard for holiness, but—with the exception of Jesus—no one has ever obeyed them perfectly. In fact, James 2:10 points out that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” Just one single jealous thought, unkind comment, or dishonoring action is all it takes to be a lawbreaker, according to God’s specifications. In other words, if salvation depended on our inadequate self-righteousness, nobody could be saved. God’s laws weren’t intended to save us; rather, they were intended to show our helplessness and point us to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:24).

Our heavenly Father knew that our own strength was insufficient for keeping His law. Yet out of grace, He sent His sinless Son Jesus to take the penalty we deserved for our wrongdoing—death (Rom. 6:23). The Savior bore our iniquities, died, and rose from the grave. In doing so, He conquered sin so we can be free.

Jesus’ death and resurrection broke the bonds of sin. Are you living in the freedom His blood made possible? We can do nothing to reconcile ourselves to God; our only hope is to accept the free gift of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. In surrendering our life to Him, we find genuine liberation.

Summing up Submission

“Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

Although this book was written to Christians during a time of horrible persecution, much of it is concerned with submission. Believers are to submit to the government (2:13-17); slaves to their masters (2:18-20); wives to their husbands (3:1-6); husbands to their wives (3:7); and each one to the other, as in our text, in just the same way Christ submitted to God’s plan for His suffering and death (2:21-25).

A summary of this teaching is found in 1 Peter 3:8-12. “Be ye all of one mind” (v. 8), Peter tells us, and live in harmony. Paul taught, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). There are exceptions to the rule (e.g., the primary doctrines of Scripture), but the Christian normally should not be the one to break the peace. He should do everything short of compromise to live in harmony.

Continuing (see 1 Peter 3:8), we should have “compassion” for others (such as the rulers, employers, and spouses mentioned). We should “love as brethren” and choose to serve rather than be served. “Pitiful” is usually translated “tenderhearted,” and “courteous” implies “humble in spirit.”

We should return a blessing for a curse instead of replying in kind (1 Peter 3:9). We should choose our words, use our speech carefully (v. 10), and “eschew” (i.e., avoid) evil (v. 11), actively replacing evil behavior with good. Peace must be consciously pursued.

There is great reward in such a lifestyle and attitude. In doing so, we will “inherit a blessing” (v. 9) and “see good days” (v. 10). “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (v. 12). JDM

Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart

1 Kings 3:1, 3-15

We will now pursue the path of history, and enter upon the reign of Solomon.

1 Kings 3:1

A questionable beginning, a step full of danger.

1 Kings 3:3

This was contrary to express precept, yet the Lord dealt not severely with Solomon, for he saw that his heart was right before him.

1 Kings 3:5

Solomon worships God by day—God appears to Solomon by night. The night cannot but be happy when the day has been holy. The king had offered unto God a thousand burnt-sacrifices, and now the Lord rewards him in godlike fashion by giving him his option. “Ask what I shall give thee!” Nor is God less generous to each one of us under the gospel, for Jesus has said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”

1 Kings 3:6-8

It was a wise choice to choose wisdom: young Solomon was already wise when he thus asked of the Lord. He did not ask for grace, which would have been the best gift of all, but he chose the second best, and his reason’s for the choice were in the highest degree praiseworthy. He must have often thought upon this matter while awake, or he would not have come to so excellent a decision in his sleep.

1 Kings 3:13

The greater includes the less. Wisdom brings wealth and honour: let us seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all these things shall be added unto us. Christ Jesus, who is infinite wisdom, is the choice of every believer.

1 Kings 3:14, 15

Gratitude led him to present his sacrifices in the right place. Our love to God should always lead us to a growing attention to his commands. There was now a noble career open before Solomon, and for many years he pursued it most commendably. Those who begin life by seeking wisdom may expect prosperity.


My God, my soul hath one desire,

I seek for wisdom still,

Let Jesus be mine all in all,

And I’ll obey thy will.


Do Not Render Evil for Evil Or Railing for Railing

1 Peter 3:9

One day when I was flying on a plane, I noticed that the woman next to me seemed to be seething about something. I asked her if everything was all right, and she erupted in anger about something her husband had done to her. She angrily said, “I am furious at my husband. I’m so mad at him that I am determined to find a way to pay him back for what he did to me! You just watch! I’m going to get him so badly that he’ll be sorry for the rest of his life for his actions! By the time I’m finished, he’ll be sorry he messed with me!”

As I listened to this woman vent these very angry emotions, I thought of how many husbands and wives in the world would probably say these same words about one another from time to time. Her words grieved me deeply, for I knew the raging conflict between this woman and her husband, if not properly resolved and reconciled, would be the key that unlatched the door to their marriage, enabling the devil to come inside and inflict serious harm to their relationship.

The way a husband and wife respond to conflict and disappointment is very important. They can choose to be forgiving and merciful, allowing the conflict and the improper attitudes and behavior to be covered by the blood of Jesus. If they make this choice, the two of them will be empowered to walk in peace, to experience uninterrupted unity, and to remain the powerful team God intended them to be as husband and wife.

However, a married couple can also choose to constantly remind one another of their past wrongs and failures, holding each other hostage by laying the blame and guilt for every problem at one another’s feet. If the couple chooses this latter course, they will open the door for the devil to get into their relationship and make a mess of their marriage.

When Peter writes to husbands and wives in First Peter 3, he urges them not to let this kind of wicked behavior be a part of their married lives. He says, “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

Notice that Peter says, “Not rendering evil for evil….” The King James Version I am quoting begins with the word “not” because the Greek denotes a strong prohibition to stop something that is already in progress. The implication is that the husbands and wives to whom Peter was writing were already carrying out these improper and destructive actions; therefore, he was strongly warning and forbidding them to stop this wrong behavior. The Greek actually means, “Stop it! Don’t do it anymore! You should never do this!”

Then he used the word “rendering” to describe the attitude that many of them seemed to be demonstrating to each other and that he was forbidding them to continue. The word “rendering” is the Greek word apodidomi, which actually means to pay back. It is the idea of getting back at someone for what that person did to you. It refers to sending back exactly what was sent to you. You could say that this word pictures a person who is determined to do to someone else exactly what the offender did to him. In other words, this is payback time!

How many times have you heard husbands and wives say they are going to “get back” at their spouse for what he or she did to them? I’m telling you, friend, this is the wrong route to take!

What you sow is exactly what you reap. It is far better for you to sow mercy and forgiveness than to get into the business of sowing bitterness. Even though it may seem very difficult to forgive and to let go of the offense, it is far easier to take this route than to sow wrong seed and thus get trapped in a destructive cycle of sowing and reaping bitterness and strife that will ultimately hurt you, your marriage, and your children.

Peter tells us, “Not rendering evil for evil….” The word “evil” is the Greek word loidoria. This Greek word tells us exactly what the husbands and wives to whom Peter was writing must have been feeling. This word loidoria pictures a person who feels (whether or not those feelings are based on actual truth) that he or she has been ill-treated, misused, berated, and abused. This person considers himself victimized, oppressed, mishandled, harassed, manhandled, violated, defiled, imposed upon wrongly, debased, and humiliated. The Greek word loidoria (“evil”) thus projects the ideas of insult, injury, hurt, and damage.


Peter’s words in this verse could accurately be taken to mean:

“Do not pay back one insult with another insult….”

“Do not get back at your spouse by injuring him or her the same way you were injured….”

“Do not retaliate against your spouse by abusing him or her in the same way you have felt abused….”

“Do not pay your spouse back with the same treatment he or she has given to you….”

Before you rush into “railing” at your spouse for the injustice that you perceive has been done to you, let God first speak to your heart about your own role in the matter. “Railing” at one another is not God’s way for you or your spouse to respond to disappointment. That is the way the flesh responds, but it is not God’s way in a marital relationship. He has a far better way for you to respond that will release power and bring blessing to your marriage!

Peter says you and your spouse are called that you should inherit a “blessing.” Do you see the word “blessing”? It is the Greek word eulogia, a compound of eu and logos. The word eu means good or swell, and it describes something wonderful or pleasurable. The word logos is the Greek word for words. When compounded together, the word eulogia means good, swell, wonderful, and pleasurable words.

You can be sure that at some point along the way, your spouse will disappoint you and let you down. Even if he or she doesn’t mean to do it, it will happen simply because your mate is human or because you have expectations that are impossible for anyone to meet 100 percent of the time.

So when your flesh gets riled up and feels like it has been violated or mistreated, don’t immediately blow your top and start acting ugly in response. Instead, run to the Lord and ask Him to help you perceive this situation correctly. If you’ll let the Holy Spirit work in you, He will show you how to return kindness for every injustice you perceive has been done to you. A right response from you can change the entire situation. A wrong response from you will only aggravate the situation and make it worse.

Instead of paying back acts of unkindness with harsh, retaliatory remarks or calculated acts of revenge, make the decision that you are going to respond to every incident by speaking a blessing over your spouse! In other words, when you think of something negative that your spouse has done, determine not to give in to the urges of your flesh to retaliate. Choose instead to return those inconsiderate acts with words of love.

If something has happened that tempts you to be bitter, refuse to take offense. Instead of responding with words that attack and tear down your spouse, decide that you’re going to speak words that build him or her up. Instead of paying back an insult with an insult, make the decision to speak a blessing!

That day when the woman sitting next to me on the airplane talked about how she was going to pay her husband back for the things he had done to her, I could see that she was headed down a road of revenge that would only aggravate her situation. The same is true in your marriage. It’s all right to talk about things that disappoint you, but that kind of discussion needs to take place in a healthy, productive way. Make sure your mouth is filled with sweet words instead of harsh words—and never let yourself get into the retaliation business, for that will only make your situation worse.

The Holy Spirit will show both you and your spouse how to respond in every situation with words of kindness. He’ll fill your mouth with good things if you’ll allow Him to work in you this way. In fact, as you speak the blessings the Holy Spirit wants you to speak instead of making argumentative, insulting remarks to your spouse, your words will become the very force that turns the situation around in your marriage!


Lord, forgive me for allowing myself to get so upset in the past that I have acted unkindly toward my mate and made ugly remarks in moments of rage. I’m wrong for permitting my flesh to control me in such an ungodly way. Even though my spouse has been wrong as well, he (or she) couldn’t have been any uglier or more hurtful than I was when I spoke those harsh, retaliatory words. Please help me to become more like Jesus—to release blessing after blessing as I speak only words of kindness to my spouse. I know that my words have the power of life and death, so help me turn around every difficult situation as I start speaking blessings into my marital relationship!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that I speak blessings into my relationship with my spouse. I don’t speak curses, nor do I pay back abuse with abuse or insult with insult. I am called to be a blessing; therefore, I AM a blessing and my mouth speaks good things even when I am tempted to say words that are not so edifying. I refuse to get into the retaliation business, for I am called to be in the blessing business! I take every opportunity—both pleasurable times as well as moments of conflict—to speak blessings over myself over my spouse, and over our relationship together!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Have there been times when the Holy Spirit told you to keep a tight rein on your tongue and to respond to a situation with positive words instead of ugly words? Did you obey what the Spirit prompted you to do, or did you go ahead and verbalize the anger you felt?
  2. What happened when you responded to a bad situation with words of kindness instead of with retaliatory remarks? Or what happened when you returned insult for insult in an argument with your spouse?
  3. Are you willing to ask the Holy Spirit to prepare you for the next time you face a potentially explosive situation in your marriage? Will you make a firm decision beforehand to respond with great patience and kindness so your response can disarm all potential for strife in the situation?


Several Resolutions For Those Who Are Serious About Their Calling

William Law (1686-1761 A. D.) in his classic work, “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life” puts forth some thought provoking ideas for the committed follower of Jesus Christ:


“The devout… are people who do not live to their own will, or in the way and spirit of the world, but only to the will of God. Such people consider God in everything, and make every aspect of their lives holy by doing everything in the name of God and in a way that conforms to God’s glory.”


“[The Savior and His apostles] teach us:


To renounce the world and be different in our attitudes and ways of life (Ephesians 4:17-24)


To renounce all its goods (Luke 14:26-33; 18:22, 23; Philippians 3:7, 8)


To fear none of its evils… (Luke 12:32; John 14:1, 27; 16:33; Hebrews 13:5, 6))


To have no value for its happiness (Psalm 37:1, 2, 7; 73:2-20; Proverbs 3:31; 24:1)


To be as newborn babes who are born into a new state of things (1 Peter 2:2, 3)


To live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:15-17)


To take up our cross daily, to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23, 24; John 12:25, 26)


To profess the blessedness of mourning, to seek the blessedness of poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:3, 4)


To forsake the pride and vanity of riches… (1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19; Proverbs 23:4)


To live in the profoundest state of humility (Jeremiah 45:5; Matthew 18:2-4; Romans 12:3, 16; Galatians 6:14)


To rejoice in worldly sufferings (Acts 5:41; Matthew 5:10-12)


To reject the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17; Colossians 3:1, 2)


To bear injuries, to forgive and bless our enemies… (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36; Romans12:14-21)


To give up our whole hearts and affections to God (Deuteronomy 10:12, 13; 1 John 5:2-4)


To strive to enter through the straight gate into a life of eternal glory.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)



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