This week's "thought" comes to you from a devotional book entitled, "The Gift of Jesus." It contains devotional contributions from numerous pastors across the U.S., including Pastor Jeff Crook, who penned this entry, entitled, "Something About That Name." Since there is much truth in what he says, I thought I would like to share it with you. Enjoy.
"God also highly exalted Him and gave Him a name that is above every other name..." Philippians 2:9
"Every year a celebrity becomes wildly popular in the media, but before we know it, that name fades into obscurity. [Remember Spencer Tracy, Rita Hayworth, Gary Cooper, Gene Kelly, Farrah Fawcett, David Cassidy, Lynda Carter, Robert Redford, Brittany Spears,...]
Often we see the caption, "Where Are They Now?" Apparently, all names have a shelf life. All but one. There is a name that will never fade -- the name Jesus is timeless and without rival. God has exalted Jesus and lifted His name above every other name.
Does it seem as though the name of Jesus is being downplayed today? Are the name and fame of Jesus Christ fading? Absolutely not! We shouldn't think we need to "hashtag" or "favorite" the name of Jesus to keep His name relevant. The matter has been settled by God Himself. It is impossible to ignore the exalted name of Jesus. One day all people will bow at the name of Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord (Philippians 2:11).
Celebrities are forgotten. [We often strain to remember who some of them were, what they looked like, or why they were so outrageously popular!] World leaders fade away. Once-famous names inscribed on graveyard headstones become unfamiliar to the living. Yet the eternal Lord Jesus has an eternal name. When all others have been long forgotten, His name will still be spoken, honored and adored."
As I read this post I thought back to people I had so admired growing up. People I would have done anything to meet in person, speak with, or get their autograph. Yet as time marches on, it has a way of burying their importance in the dust. Their names may ring a bell, or sound faintly familiar, or written on a wall or book, but often times we cannot say why. And even if we can, we must sometimes confess, "I think they may have been an actor, singer, or writer, but I'm not really sure."
Yes, the names of people come and go. For instance, I loved my grandfather Clarence Evans a lot. As a young boy, he was one of the most important people in my world! Now he's been gone for 36 years, and though he was equally admired by other grandchildren, two of them have already passed away, and within decades most of the others whose lives he touched will also be gone -- myself included. Then, his name will be an unknown name to all the people who might possibly pass by his headstone as they walk through the cemetery in Norfolk, Massachusetts, looking at old gravestones. And the same will eventually be true of me, and all of you who are reading this post today.
So I ask: Who is all-important to you right now? Whose name do you praise, if any? What name is constantly on your lips, or in your regular conversations? Who or what are you investing your life, and precious time, and energy in? What legacy are you building to leave behind after you're gone? And even if you do happen to be admired by someone now, what will be said of you 25, 50, or 100 years from now?
You see, no matter who you are, or how important you may be to others now, in time your name will be forgotten (Ecclesiastes 1:11) -- unless it was recorded as part of the unfolding, timeless, and eternal plan of the eternal God. Only if your name is "inscribed in the palm of His hand" (Isaiah 49:16), and has been penned in the book of life written before time began (Psalm 139:16 / Revelation 13:8, 17:8, 20:12), will it ever be remembered years from now, or throughout the ages to come.
In fact, it will not only be remembered, you will be alive and kneeling in adoring worship before the One whose name is above every name! Because as God has promised, "Every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11). Throughout endless eternity those who lived for Jesus on this earth, shall live before Him in heaven, joining the uncountable multitude in praising Him whose name is above all other names.
May His name (and not any other) be exalted and adored by you now, Pastor Jeff