Above Thy Name


  • Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

A Christian friend gave me a book to read a while back that was supposed to be a great book written by a preacher who had a marvelous move of God in the place where he was either visiting or his own church. I don't recall those particulars. Most probably everything he said really did happen and God was doing everything the author described as a mighty visitation from God. I'm not writing to tear down this man, his ministry or call what occurred a false manifestation.

As I read the first chapter, I didn't get very far before I read words referring to the bible as dusty truth and old love letters to the church. After reading that I wasn't interested in reading the rest of the book. Even if the experiences he describes are the greatest in history, I'm not going to read a book by anyone who belittles, makes light of or places experiences above the written word of God.

I was in a local department store and saw a person from a church I attended when I lived in Akron Ohio. She recommended me to read another supposedly great book. I wasn't interested in it at the time but a few months later I came across a copy from a relative and decided to give it a try. It was a popular book that many churches are teaching from and embracing so it must be good right?

Well, I read the first few chapters looking up every one of the scripture references. The author used so many versions and paraphrases that it took a great deal of time to look them up in the KJV. It was clear that the word of God was misused to prove points that the bible taken by itself did not actually say. Again, I don't care if the book taught good things, I don't care it the book causes many churches to explode with growth, and I don't care if the author is a really great guy, if the word of God is taken lightly, changed or misused, I don't want to read any further. 

The word of God is our only foundation for truth. Without the written word we wouldn't know about the creation of man, the gospel of Jesus, the future for this world, the Second Coming of Christ, how to be saved, heaven, hell or that Jesus saves from sin. Throw away, change or make light of the bible and our whole foundation is gone. We would be left with people's opinions or trusting in spiritual leaders who may or may not be telling us the truth. 

Do we want to take that chance?  As soon as someone says to me, "The KJV is full of errors," that raises a red flag in my spirit. The KJV is what taught me about Jesus. Growing up, I didn't have any other translation or version. Why should I throw away the book that taught me about God, what sin was and how to be saved?  There may be another great version out there somewhere but why bother with them if I already have one that I can rely on?  Why change just because someone says another version is better when God has used the KJV to teach me many good things and to bring me to Christ? So if I feel that way toward the bible I grew up with, why would I take a book written by someone everyone is going mad after and esteem it higher than or equal to the bible. 

In the Psalm it is written that His word is above His name.

  • I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 138:2

God places His word very high. Who do we think we are to tear it apart and change it? One way Satan could get us all into a false religion or a one world church would be first to downgrade, water down and make light of the bible. In the pretense of unity, love, peace and the good of all we can cast aside sound doctrine contained in the word and replace it with man's opinions.

If one reads the bible, he or she will clearly see that the majority are not the ones that are in the right most of the time. Jesus said, straight is the way and narrow is the path to everlasting life and few there be that find it.

I realize that the straight and narrow point to Jesus as the only way of salvation but throughout the word of God never are we told to follow the crowds and depart from the word to have unity. We are told only to have the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Spirit of God will never contradict the written word of God. We can't please God and please man at the same time.  

I am not putting down all experiences but we must never have experiential theology and put our feelings over the word of God. Many churches have great music ministries, have great children's programs, have trained worship leaders, dancers, mimes and such, but the greatest revivals throughout history have come about from the teaching of the word, not music or entertainment. 

  • For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
  • For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
  • How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
  • And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
  • But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
  • So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:12-17

The masses that were saved on the day of Pentecost were saved after hearing the preaching of Peter, not by a great praise and worship service with trained dancers. They were saved by the hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must not hold a greater importance to good feelings and experiences above the word of God. If we can't worship without getting worked up with music, there is something wrong. And don't get me wrong, I love good southern gospel music and the old hymns of the church. I love to sing myself and praise God while singing. Nothing wrong with that. The word though has to be what teaches us and what causes us to love the one we are singing about.

If the word itself doesn't stir us to worship then something is wrong. It is the word that quickens the spirit, it is the word that is our foundation and if we cast it aside for other things, no matter how good the others things may seem to be, we are in big trouble. 

I'm not against singing but we shouldn't have to depend on it to worship God. The word itself should be our main emphasis. So how is it? Our we going to get the kids involved with so much drama and music that they have to practice so much that the word of God takes a back seat?  How are they going to stand in this world as a Christian if they do not have the word of God hidden in their hearts that they might not sin against the Lord?  

We use the Psalms to justify music, dancing and other things but the same David that at one time danced before the Lord spontaneously (not practiced) was the same David who wrote about the importance of the word. Read Psalm 119. Never should entertainment, music, programs, and drama be substituted for the reading, preaching and teaching of the word.

  • But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24.

God seeks for us to worship in spirit and in truth. The truth is contained in the word. The truth should be hidden in our hearts by the word. Without the word there is no true worship. The word leads us into true worship. If we claim to worship God and neglect the word, how can it be true worship? The spirit and the word agree and work together. We can't have true worship without the word that quickens our hearts. The word brings conviction of sin, repentance and true conversion.

The word brings us back to God that we were once separated from by sin. Let us not cast it aside and substitute entertainment. We will lose our foundation if we do. For what will we have when the music stops?

Last of all here is what pleases God.

  • Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Do we tremble at the word of God?????


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