Wayne S. Walker

“Far above…every name that is named” (Eph. 1:21)

     INTRO.: A hymn which praises the name of Jesus as the one which is far above every name that is named is “Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know.” The text was written and the tune (Sweetest Name or Lovely Name) was composed both by Lela Long. Practically nothing is known about this person, other than that she lived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cyberhymnal says that the song was written before 1925, and this should be pretty obvious because records show that it was copyrighted in 1924. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song may be found in the 1977 Special Sacred Selections edited by Ellis J. Crum; and the chorus only is found in the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise edited by Alton H. Howard, in addition to the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.

     Among other hymnbooks in my collection, the song appears in the 1956 Hymns for Praise and Service published by The Rodeheaver Company; the 1957 All American Church Hymnal and the 1963 American Service Hymnal both published by John T. Benson Publishing Company; the 1967 Favorite Hymns of Praise published by Tabernacle Publishing Company; the 1969 Hymns of the Spirit (chorus only) published by Pathway Press; the 1972 Worship in Song Hymnal published by Lillenas Publishing Company; the 1972 Soul Stirring Songs and Hymns published by Sword of the Lord Publishers; the 1972 Living Hymns published by Encore Publications Inc.; the 1976 New Church Hymnal published by Lexicon Music Inc.; the 1987 Worship His Majesty published by Gaither Music Company; the 1989 Worship the Lord Hymnal published by Warner Press; the 1995 Rejoice Hymnal published by Tempo Music Publications Inc.; the 1997 Celebration Hymnal (chorus only) published by Word Music and Integrity Music; the 1997 Majesty Hymns (chorus only) published by Majesty Music; the 1999 Songs and Hymns of Revival published by North Valley Publications; and the 2006 Christian Life Hymnal published by Hendrickson Worship.

     The song expresses praise to the name of Jesus because of what it stands for.

I. Stanza 1 says that the name of Jesus is a name divine

“There have been names that I have loved to hear,

But never has there been a name so dear

To this heart of mine, as the name divine,

The precious, precious name of Jesus.”

 A. The name of Jesus should be dear to us because it is above every name and every tongue should confess it: Phil. 2:9-10

 B. It is the name divine because Jesus is the one who was prophesied would be God with us: Matt. 1:21-23

 C. As a result, the name of Jesus and what it stands for should be precious to us: 1 Pet. 2:4-7

II. Stanza 2 says that the name of Jesus is a name that is worthy of honor and acclaim

“There is no name in earth or heaven above

That we should give such honor and such love

As the blessed name; let us all acclaim

That wondrous, glorious name of Jesus.”

 A. There is no name under heaven by which we can be saved: Acts 4:12

 B. Therefore, we should give honor to Him who wears it: Jn. 5:23

 C. The name of the Lord is to be blessed indeed: Job 1:21

III. Stanza 3 says that the name of Jesus is a name of grace

“And some day I shall see Him face to face

To thank and praise Him for His wondrous grace

Which He gave to me when He made me free,

The blessed Son of God called Jesus.”

 A. Someday those who are Christians will see Jesus face to face, as He is: 1 Jn. 3:1-3

 B. Then, even as now, we shall thank and praise Him for His grace: 2 Cor. 8:9

 C. It is by that grace that He makes us free from sin: Rom. 6:17-18

     CONCL.: The chorus continues to remind us how sweet the name of Jesus is and how important it should be to us.

“Jesus is the sweetest name I know,

And He’s just the same as His lovely name,

And that’s the reason why I love Him so;

O, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.”

There have been many great people in the history of this earth, including the history of the Bible, whose names deserve remembering. There have been people even through the past years of my life who have helped me, and their names are still very dear to me. But as I think about all that God has made available to me through His beloved Son, “Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know.”

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