Posts Tagged ‘Acts 2:26’

Call on the name of the Lord

August 24, 2018

The Verse of the Day for July 24, 2018 comes from Psalm 116:1-2 in the Revised Standard Version:

[Thanksgiving for Recovery from Illness] I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The Psalmist acknowledges his love for the Lord who heard him when he called upon His name. Because the Lord “inclined his ear unto” the one who called upon Him, the caller will continue to call as long as he lives.

Verse 4 reiterates the same:

Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech thee, save my life!”

This declaration continues elsewhere in Psalm 116: 13, 17:

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

In addition to these references, other verses also remind us to call upon the name of the Lord:
1 Chronicles 16:8 and Psalm 105:1

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

We find a similar exhortation in

Isaiah 12:3-5 (RSV):

3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

4 And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.

In the Old Testament we find reference to a coming day when those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, as Acts 2:21 reveals:

And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Romans 10:13 expresses the same views:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that believers are encouraged to call upon the name of the Lord. Note this invitation extended in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV):

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

One of the most often quotes passages from Jeremiah relates a promise given by God to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-13, a passage that applies to Christians today as well:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Recently I came across a series of five poetic stanzas written twelve years ago during a time when I called upon the name of the Lord in light of references to some of the specific names of the Lord:

I call upon Jehovah Jireh, who provides

Even in times of famine in a barren land,

With more than enough you continue to lead and guide.

You uphold and supply with your gracious right hand.

 

I call upon Jehovah Rophe, the Lord who heals

Diseases through the power of life-giving blood.

Whole in spirit, soul and body, your word reveals

That you will work all things together for my good.

 

I call upon Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our banner.

Descending in favor to bless, the gentle dove,

A sign to remind us of your gracious manner,

That your presence remains a canopy of love.

 

I call upon the name of the Lord, Jehovah Shalom,

Who dispels doubt and fear and surrounds me in peace.

As you lead us into battle, let your Kingdom come.

We plant and water but you alone give the increase.

 

When I have grown weary in the struggle at length,

In my distress I call on the name of the Lord.

I rejoice in knowing He shall renew my strength,

For He is faithful, as I stand upon His Word.

The Verse of the Day as an expression of thanksgiving for recovery from an illness seems custom-crafted for me today. I am in final stages of publishing my book which expresses my gratitude to God for my recovery from a potentially devastating illness.

When diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, I did not see the diagnosis as “a death sentence,” but I saw a “life sentence” that transformed his thinking. I share lessons learned from this life-changing process, revealing my holistic strategy to combat prostate cancer to show how I emerged, not just as a survivor but more than a conqueror.

Be sure to check out Lonnell E. Johnson’s

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs

The book should be available to the public in Mid-October. I will keep you posted.

We close with this song of worship reminding us to “Call upon the Name of the Lord”:

All one in Christ Jesus

January 12, 2016

Galatians-3-26

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the following blog entry on the Verse of the Day for January 12, 2016 focuses on the Church, the Body of Christ, which is described in Galatians 3:26-28 in the New Living Testament:

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

God is very concerned about diversity, not only in nature and in other features of the universe but in every aspect of life, particularly among people. Acts 17:26 also makes known that God “. . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; Holman Christian Standard renders the verse this way:

From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.

When the Church emerged as a new entity on the Day of Pentecost, God provided an amazing display of diversity. When those who waited for the promise of the Father that Jesus Christ spoke of as he departed to heaven, there was an amazing gathering of individuals who came to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost:

Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven (Acts 2:5).

Although God demonstrates diversity in all of His creation, He also desires a demonstration of unity within that diversity. The Church, the collective body of believers, all those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and who endeavor live out the precepts and principles of their faith also provide an illustration of unity within diversity. One of the terms used to describe this example of diversity is “the mystery,” a metaphor used to describe the union of Jew and Gentile into one new man, the Body of Jesus Christ, the quintessential example of unity within diversity.

Paul speaks of “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Paul was the first to receive an understanding of this concept which was later more fully revealed in Ephesians and elsewhere in the Scriptures. As believers we endeavor to synchronize our desire to comprehend to a greater degree the mystery of the one body with God’s desire to show teach us, as expressed in this poem:

Oh, To See the Mystery
Ephesians 3

Enlighten our eyes that we might openly see;
Expand our minds and widen our comprehension
To understand the temple of the mystery.
Teach us to fully comprehend each dimension
And ascertain the magnitude without measure:

Reveal to us the true length,
though it is endless;
Teach us to find the full breadth,
though it is boundless;
Help us to reach the vast height,
though it is measureless;
Teach us to probe the great depth,
though it is fathomless.

Show us your divine design for the inner man.
Make plain the purpose, the pattern, the symmetry
Unfolded in the blueprints of your master plan
For the One Body, temple of awesome beauty.
Share with us the value of this priceless treasure,
Held in the secret places of your good pleasure.
Show us the riches of the glory of this mystery
Which is Christ in each of us, the hope of glory.

The Church is the ultimate expression of oneness or unity of purpose, of unity within diversity.

Frontline Music offers Galatians Meditations that focus on Galatians 3:24-28