New Series: From This Side of the Pulpit; A reflection of a preacher from his side of the pulpit.
It was June, 2001 that the Lord’s people at Eastside Baptist Church invited me to become their pastor. While reflecting over the past 14 years of preaching I decided to hunt down a file of hand written sermon notes. It may come as a surprise to some, this practice of hand written sermon notes has not changed; with the exception of a few seasons of trying to do my sermon work on a computer, (not very consistent with this method.) There are about 40 sermons or so that are saved on 3.5 inch discs (yes, I was that cool).
For several years now, my sermon notes start out on a small notebook in my back pocket, they eventually get formulated into hand written notes in the margin of my wide-margin bible and eventually make way to blog posts.
For nearly the past 5 years, by the kindness of friends in Nevada, my audio sermons are archived at SermonAudio.com.
Today’s blog post was first a sermon preached at Eastside Baptist Church, circa 2001. While going over old sermon notes I noticed that I didn’t give good citation to some of the quotes or sources. This is not the work of a good writer. the main outline of this sermon came from hand written notes from a sermon by Paul Powell
The Sweetest Name I Know
Shakespeare asked the question, “What’s in a name?” He said that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. In a sense that is true. You could call a rose a stink weed or a skunk blossom and not change the fragrance of that rose. But in another sense a name means everything. If I were to give you a check for $10,000.00, the people at the bank would laugh at you and tell you that the check was not worth it. But if you were to be given a check from a millionaire worth $10,000.00 you would be a richer man. It’s the name that makes the difference – there is something in a name.
If I announced that I was going to preach at the Roper Auditorium tonight, a few of our faithful members would be there. If I announce that Billy Graham was going to preach there tonight, there would not be enough seating.
The name of Jesus, there is a name that means something! It means something in heaven – it means something on earth – it means something in hell.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
His Name is a Powerful Name:
Think of the names in the past.
- Alexander the great: at the age of 33 he had conquered the known world. At the age of 33 he died in drunkenness and debauchery. (citation needed)
- Caesar: He led the Roman legions to conquer one land after another. One day a dagger in the hand of his friend, Brutus, conquered him. (citation needed)
- Napoleon: He brought Europe to her knees before him. He died in exile on the island of St. Helena. (citation needed)
- The Kaiser, Hitler, Mussolini, each one powerful names that went down into defeat.
- France once boasted of the power of Louis the Great. It was said that he was the one great man of the world. But one day he was conquered by death. At his funeral the great cathedral was packed with mourners. The came to pay a final tribute to the one whom they considered great. The cathedral was dark except for one lone candle which shone over the golden casket. At the appointed hour Massilon, the court preacher, stood up to address the assembly. He slowly reached over and snuffed out the one candle which had been put there to symbolize the greatness of the king. Then from the darkness came just four words, “God only is great.” (citation is needed)
- The energizer bunny even wants you to “feel the power.” Everyone who has ever bought a battery knows that the power will eventually die.
People of the world claim greatness and power for a while, then death cuts them off.
But not so with Jesus. He had power to create the world. He has power to change the course of history and the destiny of nations. He has power over death and disease. He has power over the grave His power never diminishes and some day all of heaven and hell and earth will know this name.
Jesus; that’s the sweetest name I know!
His name is an Exalted Name:
Richard Whitney had a good name. His ancestors came from England. His father was president of a Boston Bank. His brother was a partner in J.P. Morgan Company. Richard was a leader in prep school and college. He bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for $65,000.00. Five times he was elected president of the Exchange. He signed 2,000 membership certificates for the Exchange. Then one day they found that he had misappropriated funds which had been entrusted to him. He lost his good name, lost his big job, and was sent to prison for five years. Then the New York Stock Exchange called in all the certificates which he had signed, erased his name and had them signed by the new president. The name of Richard Whitney was no longer a good name for a broker to have hanging on his wall. (citation needed)
Today, this could be said of others like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Pete Rose, Daryl Strawberry, Arthur Anderson, and countless others whose name today carries nothing but shame.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)
The name of Jesus is and will be exalted.
Jesus, the sweetest name I know!
His Name is a Saving Name:
Listen to what the Scripture says about His name:
- “You will call His name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins.” (Luke 1:31)
- “There is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
- “Whoever calls upon the name of Jesus shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Call upon your goodness and there is no salvation.
Call upon your good works and there is no salvation.
Call upon your charitable gifts, and there is no salvation.
Call upon your religious formalities and there is no salvation.
But call upon Jesus and you will find full salvation.
His name is a powerful name, His name is an exalted name, and His name is a saving name.
Call upon His name!