"I will be with you..."

Paul wrote this reminder to the Christians in Colossae... "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

If you are a student of literature you might remember that in Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo asks the question, “What’s in a name?” 

I have known Christians who -- experiencing some form of strife -- would find comfort in whispering the name “Jesus.” We also invoke the name of Jesus as we strive to comfort and cheer others who are suffering or bereaved... and we know from experience that it can bring joyful hope to the fearful or depressed heart.

Mrs. Lydia Baxter, the writer of the poem we know as the hymn "Take the Name of Jesus with You," knew the meaning of that special name “Jesus.” Although she was bed-ridden, an invalid much of her life, she remained cheerful and patient. How? She would tell her friends, “I have a very special armor. I have the name of Jesus. When the tempter tries to make me blue or despondent, I mention the name of Jesus, and he can’t get through to me anymore.”

This poem was written while Lydia at the age of 65 when she was on her sick bed - just four years before her death in 1874. She was known as an avid student of the Bible throughout her lifetime... a person who loved to discuss the significance of scriptural names with her friends. She would inform them that Samuel means “asked of God,” Hannah—“grace,” Sarah—“princess,” and Naomi—“pleasantness.” But the name that meant everything to Lydia Baxter was the name “Jesus.”

Take a moment to reflect on the words that she wrote. I think you will find that they still provide a comforting reminder of the peace and joy that result as we carry His precious name, as well as the “joy of heav’n” that awaits us.

  Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe; it will joy and comfort give you—Take it, then, where’er you go.

  Take the name of Jesus ever, as a shield from ev’ry snare; if temptations round you gather, breathe that holy name in prayer.

  O the precious name of Jesus! How it thrills our souls with joy, when His loving arms receive us and His songs our tongues employ!

  At the name of Jesus bowing, falling prostrate at His feet, King of kings in heav’n we’ll crown Him when our journey is complete.

  Chorus: Precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven.

  (Borrowed/inspired by a devotional of Kenneth Osbeck.)