His Name Is…..

I Am Poster Laminated (Best-Selling Names of Jesus Posters)

The Posture of Worship

My husband and I have a very colorful denominational experience under our belts.  He grew up Catholic.  I grew up United Methodist.  We became engaged after both of us worked and worshipped at a pentacostal church.  We assisted the developing ministry of a non denominational church when we were newly married.  After we had our son we attended a Southern Baptist church in Rhode Island.  We moved to Georgia and attended a Christian church church plant. (Christian is also a denomination).  We are now attending a Southern Baptist church.

This journey has exposed us to all types of worship styles, from the very traditional to the contemporary.  We have stood still in reverence and awe of God as we have sung worship songs …… and we have danced in the church with hands upraised and filled with joy.  Both styles of praise have a role in the worship of God.

The only thing that can be irreverant is the motivation of the heart.  When I go into the house of worship or into my quiet place for time with God, with what motivation am I coming to Him?

Going Beyond Gratefulness

In the middle of the day yesterday, I picked up one of my devotionals, “Tozer on the Almighty God”, and was convicted  by what it said:

“…God’s children rarely go beyond the boundaries of gratitude.  I seldom hear anyone in worshipful prayer admiring and praising God for His eternal excellence.  Many of us are strictly “Santa Claus” Christians.  We think of God as putting up the Christmas tree and putting our gifts underneath.  That is only an elementary kind of love.  We need to go on.  We need to know the blessings of worshiping in the presence of God without thought of wanting to rush out again.  We need to be delighted in the presence of utter, infinite excellence.”

Being Spiritual vs. Being a Christian

Over the years the prayer habit I have found hardest to practice is one of quieting my thoughts and not getting my “honey do” list out for God first thing.  In an effort to get my thoughts focused I tend to go to a gratitude list. “Thank you God for our good health, thank you for the roof over our heads, thank you for answering our prayer for so and so.”  But less often do I just praise God for who He is before evaluating my heart or giving thanks.

Saying thanks to God for all He does and all He spares us from,  is definitely an important part of prayer.  Evaluating our hearts and asking forgiveness are important parts of prayer too.

The thing is,  regularly worshipping God for who He is, is one of the characteristics that sets the Christian apart from the “spiritual person”.

Lots of people are spiritual.  Lot’s of people believe there is a power greater than themselves, that something bigger than them created all of this world.  Plenty of people would say they “pray”.  They think that if they say “thanks” enough, make good choices most of the time, and are nice to people then they are at peace with God .  Their ‘karma” is in good shape.

The differenece between the Christian and the spiritual person is that the Christian believes that she makes bad choices and that her bad choices separates her from the Creator of her very life.   The Christian believes she needs God’s forgiveness and pardon so she can live at peace with Him in this life and into eternity.  The only way she can get that pardon is by stating that Jesus took the punishment she deserved on himself so she would not have to pay the consequence of being forever separated from God, that her bad choices deserve.  She has declared that there is one God and one Savior.  She has pledged her heart to Him.

His Name

When I wear my wedding ring each day, when I respond to someone calling me “Mrs. Clarke”, when I fill out a form with my married name, I am declaring that I am Michael Clarke’s wife.  I am his and he is mine.  I am saying to the world, “I am that guy’s wife.”

God wants me to do the same thing with Him.  He wants me to declare that I am His.  He wants me to identify myself with His Son.  He suffered the consequences of my bad choices.  I am His now.  I wear His name.

God doesn’t need to hear me praise Him.  He knows who He is.  But I need to remember who He is and who I belong to.  I need to remind myself that I am not just spiritually minded,  I am a Christian..  I have pledged my allegiance to Jesus.When I go to pray during my day or I participate in church, before anything else  I need to remind myself of Who that Jesus is.  Why did I commit my heart to Him way back when?

I did it because He is the Almighty, the Beginning and the End.  He is my Beloved and the very Bread of Life.  Jesus is my Deliverer over and over again.  I have found Him to be Faithful and True.  He is a Good Shepherd who tends to me with gentleness and wisdom.  He is the High Priest who led my heart to God and the Holy One who deserves my praise.  There is no one greater than the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and yet he denied Himself and became the Lamb of God.  He is my hope, my Messiah.  I can be weak because He is Mighty God for me.  When the world is raging and the Enemy is hot on my heels He comes to me as the Prince of Peace.  I have done much wrong and wronged others but He is my Redeemer.  I have the assurance of living eternally at peace with God because Jesus is the resurrection and the Life.  And I am glad that I walk through each day guided by the Wonderful Counselor.

With joyful tears  I type these words because my Jesus is so sweet and wonderful.  Though He is Almighty, All Powerful, Mighty God,  He doesn’t lord it over me.  He gives me the choice to worship Him.  And when I do, when I speak His name, reminding myself of His character and identity, I don’t feel like I am worshipping a dictator.  Instead, I feel lifted up, I feel love,  I feel strengthened, I feel cared for.  What earthly ruler leaves his subjects feeling that way when they praise him?

I don’t take enough time in prayer to just remind myself of who He is and praise Him for just being so awesome.  But I should and I will try.  Psalm 22:3 says, “But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel.”  God inhabits my praise.  I want to invite His presence into my prayer time.  Am I taking time out of my day to be with an idol of my own making hoping if I’m grateful enough, and make mostly good choices, that my karma will be okay?  Or am I taking time to worship a very real, powerful, wonderful God who I want to know more just because He is who He is and I am grateful and  proud of this Christ who I follow?

In these next two weeks leading up to Easter I plan on posting the names of Jesus and the verses where they can be found in the Bible.  I encourage you to join me as I take time out before I do anything else in my prayer time to just worship God for who He is.  Let’s examine our worship, our prayer time and fill it with praise , reminding ourselves of the character of God.

Let’s slow down and appreciate Jesus for Who He is.

(I want to give credit to Amazon where I found the image of this poster.  This isn’t the exact one that I have but it is similar.)


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