Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

December 4

W. H. Clark, 19th century, Refrain by Ralph E. Hudson, 1843–1901
I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever … for you have exalted above all things Your name and Your Word. (Psalm 145:1 and Psalm 138:2)
The Bible teaches that there are two things our Lord honors above all else: His Name and His Word. These two priorities should also be the most sacred trusts in our spiritual lives. A name is an individual’s main identification, as well as the carrier of his reputation. In the Bible, God renamed individuals—Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:22–32) and Saul to Paul (Acts 13:9)—to reflect more accurately their changed lifestyles. It is only normal, then, to defend one’s name at all costs.
To many people today, the names “Jesus” and “God” are merely words to use in blasphemy. To those of us who associate these names with divine love, such talk cannot be dismissed lightly. Christ Himself spoke out against becoming sacrilegious in our speaking when He cautioned His disciples never even to swear either by heaven or earth (Matthew 5:34–37). And it should be remembered that one tenth of the moral law deals with profaning God’s name, with this serious warning—“The Lord will not hold him guiltless …” (Deuteronomy 5:11). Even our approach to the heavenly Father in prayer must always be done with reverence—in the name of Jesus (John 16:23).
Let us determine to use this Christmas season to truly magnify His name and to proclaim His worth together:
“Jesus”—O how sweet the name, “Jesus”—every day the same;
“Jesus”—let all saints proclaim its worthy praise forever.
—W. C. Martin
The stanzas of “Blessed Be the Name” first appeared in 1891 in Hymns of the Christian Life. The melody was likely one of the early folk hymn tunes used in the 19th century camp meetings.
All praise to Him who reigns above in majesty supreme, who gave His Son for man to die, that He might man redeem!
His name above all names shall stand, exalted more and more, at God the Father’s own right hand, where angel-hosts adore.
Redeemer, Savior, Friend of man, once ruined by the fall, Thou hast devised salvation’s plan, for Thou hast died for all.
His name shall be the Counselor, the mighty Prince of Peace, of all earth’s kingdoms Conqueror, whose reign shall never cease.
Refrain: Blessed be the name, blessed be the name of the Lord.

    For Today: Job 1:20, 21; Psalm 8:1; 34:3; Isaiah 42:8; John 10:3

Reflect on this truth: We are bearers of the divine name—CHRISTians. Worship your Lord with this musical expression—

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