Cheerful Giver



January Newsletter


Information and news from other PNC churches.




Rev. Stephen Snodgrass



Recently, while reading through the first issues of the Pilgrim Nazarene Herald, I came across a tremendous article written by Jay Pannebaker, the first editor of the Herald. In this article he lays out … well I’ll just let you read it for yourself. “The Name of Jesus!”

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

The name of Jesus is honey to the mouth, melody in the ear, and joy to the heart.  Though I struggle to find the right words or clumsily work the king’s English, yet if I preach the name of Jesus and your heart is in tune with Him, He can present to you such morsels of truth until your mouth will be dripping with honey. Although sometimes it seems my words are strong or I get too loud with excitement, yet if I preach the name of
Jesus, He will serenade you with the choicest of music until the sweetest of melodies resound in your ears. And though sometimes my stammering tongue finds it impossible to deliver and do justice to the burden within my soul, yet if I preach the name of Jesus, He can take the mere efforts of man, add to it an abundance of Divine Presence until the heart overflows with great joy.

In Bible times, a good name was highly treasured. The name often signified the individual’s purpose in life, or it could signify a major event that was to take place during that person’s life. As for our Lord, both of these were true of His earthly life, but a close examination of this passage finds that His name means so much more.
The first thing that grabs our attention is that His name was chosen by God the Father, for the angel told Joseph, “thou shalt call His name JESUS.” I remember the excitement around our home when it was time to name our children. We consulted books, we had our favorites we had discussed for months, but the most important thing was to appropriately name this precious bundle of joy that was mere moments old. Only time can tell how well the names of my children will match their character, but the Infinite Mind chose the best and most appropriate name for Jesus—which means the salvation of the LORD. This decree of the Father shows His loving desire to redeem the world. We needed a Savior; He sent His Son, JESUS.
Secondly, we notice that the name of Jesus characterizes His relationship with His people. The personal name of Jesus has no meaning apart from His people. Who are His people? Anyone who recognizes the need of salvation. Martin Luther said, “He never gave Himself for our righteousness, but He did give Himself for our sins. My soul’s first link with Christ was not my goodness, but my badness; Not my merit, but my misery; Not my standing,
but my continual falling; Not my riches, but my greatest need. He did not come to admire my beauty, but to reform my deformity. He did not come to reward my virtue, but to forgive my sin.” L. B. Bridgers, the hymn writer, said it this way:

“All my life was wrecked by sin and strife;
      Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
      Stirred the slumb’ring chords again.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
      Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
      Keeps me singing as I go.”

Lastly we see the name of Jesus conveys His main work—“He shall save from sin.” During this season, as the case has always been, man’s greatest need is his salvation; and God answered by giving the Greatest Gift. No mediocrities, God gave His best—the spotless Lamb of God. As we examine this gift closely, we find that Jesus can save because He took our sins upon Himself. He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah who said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Not only did
He become our personal substitute, He paid in full the debt of our sin. Such is the work of Jesus. The scriptures declare that His saints shall be without spot or wrinkle. So
complete is His work, that no sign remains of the devil’s activities which once consumed the soul.

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