The Name of the Lord is Worthy to be Praised


Mark Gouge, Message
November 22, 2015


Take your Bible and open up to Psalm 113 if you would.  Psalm Chapter 113 and what a beautiful time of worship this morning; Bryan and the musicians, unbelievable.  Thank you for taking us into God’s throne room so we can lift up His wonderful name.  Amen?


And this morning I want to talk to you about the name of the Lord is worthy to be praised.  Not anything else, not anybody else but the person of God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen?


While you are turning there, I want to summarize a familiar story.  I live with three little girls and I will be honest, it is one of my favorite movies as well; and as I explain this, you will probably recall seeing it yourself or maybe even other cartoons or movies that go into a small little snippet and recap this story.  But in a far away, long ago kingdom, Cinderella is living happily with her mother and father until her mother dies.  Cinderella’s father remarries a cold, cruel-hearted woman and makes Cinderella the servant of the house.  She has two step-sisters, Drizella and Anastasia.  And when her father dies, Cinderella’s wicked step-mother turns her into this servant.


Meanwhile, across town, there is a king who has a son and it is time for that son to marry.  And he calls every eligible maiden in the kingdom to a fancy ball where his son is able to choose his bride.  Cinderella has no suitable party dress, so enter her two friends, Jacque and Gus, the little mice and some birds, they lend a hand in making her a dress.  But the evil step-sisters rip it apart.


And at this point, enter the fairy godmother, the pumpkin carriage, the royal ball, the celebration, the stroke of midnight and the glass slipper left on the steps as she runs away.  Everybody with me?  Then the prince comes and finds that slipper and throughout the next foreseeable future, he goes around the village trying to see whose foot fits in that slipper.  And he eventually comes to Cinderella.  The slipper fits and she is taken from a servant girl in the house, lifted to the top of the seat in the kingdom.


And what a story.  And I am sure as you hear and see a story like that, all of us can identify at some point, right?  We probably wish that somewhere along the lines in our life as a kid, maybe even in your job, maybe even in your community, you have thought or daydreamed about going from an insignificant, unknown person to someone who is exalted, right?  I know, for me as a boy, I wanted to be Michael Jordan or Larry Byrd or Cal Ripkin.  I am an Oriole fan, by the way.  And maybe you have had a similar situation in your life.


But as we look in Scripture, we see a very similar overall, overriding truth.  You and I were lost and dead in our trespasses and sins.  And God saw fit to leave His high and exalted throne to come to this earth to seek out, to condescend and stoop down and to change the lives of the poor and the needy and the sinful.  And that is what we are going to look at this morning.


Let’s read Psalm Chapter 113 together if you would.  “Praise the Lord!  Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!  Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!  From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!  The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory is above the heavens!  Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princeswith the princes of His people.  He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. (Say this last line with me) Praise the Lord!”  Amen!


Let’s pray.  Father, as we look into Your Word this morning, I pray that You would grip our hearts, Lord, to help us understand that You and You alone are worthy of all of our praise.  We love You this morning and ask that You would speak to us in a real and powerful way.  In Your name I pray.  Amen.


This is a wonderful Psalm and this Psalm starts a section of six consecutive Psalms called the Hallel.  And this particular set of Psalms they were sung on recited at several of the Jewish feasts, in particular that of the Passover.  And before the Passover meal, they would sing or recite Psalm 113 and 114.  Following the meal, they would sing or recite Psalm 115, 116, 117 and 118.  And if you think about, we are not given in Scripture, but if this were to be true to think about as the Lord celebrated the Passover in that Upper Room with His disciples, that this could be a set of Psalms that they sung or recited which gives particular attention…turn over one page to Psalm 118.


When you think about the fact that the Lord may have sung these words right before He is handed over and betrayed.  Verse 6, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”  Verse 17, “I shall not die, but I shall live and recount the deeds of the Lord.”  Verse 22, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  And then Verse 26, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  We bless you from the house of the Lord.”


What a thought to think that the Lord Himself may have actually sung that Psalm or recited it before He is taken out and betrayed.  So as we look at this Psalm and we describe the very nature of the Lord this morning, I want us to see how the Lord is described so that we will glorify Him who is worthy of all of our praise.


This morning as we look at it, I want us to see how the Lord is described in Scripture so that we will glorify Him who is worthy of all of our praise.  As we look at it, I want you to see first of all an invitation to praise.  Here in the Psalm, three times in the first verse and then the very last line, we are given a declaration, Praise the Lord!  It is not a suggestion.  It is not an option.  It is a declaration.  And I think it is worth noting that it is repeated.


Maybe as a child you remember this, those of you who are parents, maybe you go through this similar thing.  Do you have to repeat yourself to your kids or do you remember that as a child?  Right?  I mean, now Sue has to…I don’t ever get frustrated with the kids and have to repeat myself…but maybe something like this.  Girls, put your plate in the sink.  And they continue talking, playing.  Girls!  Put your plate in the sink!  Right?  And they still don’t respond.  Then you get a little bit more forceful and there is a period after every one.  Girls.Put.Your.Plate.In.The.Sink…and they still don’t listen, right?  And then it comes to a crescendo, right?  GIRLS, PUT YOUR PLATE IN THE SINK!  And you have to wipe the spittle off your mouth, right?  Has that ever happened to you?  Just me, I guess.


I think it is worth noting that the Lord is telling us, praise Me.  Honor Me.  Glorify Me.  Let’s look at what praise means.  It is not a half-hearted declaration.  You know, sometimes we can get half-hearted with it, right?  Well, praise God, it is Friday.  You know, praise God it is 5:00, the work shift is over.  Or whatever.  We get maybe loose with it.


But here, praise means to admire, to ascribe all worth to, to eulogize, to praise, to exclaim Hallelujah.  Praise is when we can see and acknowledge the Lord in all of our lives for who He is and realize He is worthy of all of our admiration, all of our affection, our full effort, not a half-hearted effort, a full effort in ascribing Him the praise that is due His name.


Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.” Our praise is to be directed to Him and not any other affection.  It is easy for us to have our attention, our affection, our worth ascribing to other things, isn’t it?  It is easy, unfortunately.


So as we think about that this morning, what are some things in your life and our lives that pull our attention and pull our time and our admiration from Him to other things?  We also see in Verse 1 the one who is to be praising and hearing the plea and invitation, Lord.  We need to be careful to point out that he is actually clarifying who he wants to praise Him.  Look at Verse 1, “Praise O servants of the Lord.”  Here we understand that the Lord is talking to the nation of Israel and they have all reason to praise Him.  They can look back in their history and understand that their family, their ancestors were slaves and servants in Egypt.  And God miraculously delivered them.  God was with them, even as they grumbled and complained in the wilderness.  God was with them every time they set up a false image, God would come and rescue them.  We teach this in Kids Church.  If you want to write it down, it is free.  I call it the ABCDE of the sin cycle in the Old Testament.  Israel would Abandon God’s rules and principles.  B, they would be put into Bondage.  C, they would Cry out for deliverance.  D, God would Deliver them.  And E, there would be Ease in the land. But unfortunately, they would go right back to abandoning God and His principles.  And yet, God still loved His people.  God would rescue His people.


And here he says, “Servants, praise Me.”  And as we come to know the Father through salvation in Christ, we are the ones to be crying out.  And His servants are the best people to praise Him, not anybody else.  We know Him best, right?  We should know Him best.  We receive the most favor from Him.  And let us, as His people, never be empty of praise for God.  May it constantly be on our mind.  Not once a year on a Thursday in November, but continually.


Then we see described who is to be praised.  We know the answer to this, don’t we?  God is to be praised.  Let’s look at how it is described for Him.  It says, “The name of the Lord.”  We are to exalt the revealed character from Scripture, magnifyd His every attribute, all His being, all His doings and revere the very name of God.


Some of the things we don’t see in this passage.  We are not to praise Him for our things and possessions.  We can thank Him for that, right, but we are not to praise those things.  We have an amazing church.  We have an amazing campus.  But you know what?  We are not even to praise the church.  We are not to praise our campus.  We are not to praise our favorite music or our favorite whatever, our favorite Life Group, our favorite discipleship time.  We are to praise One and it is a God that we can know personally.


Spurgeon said, “We are to be bringing glory to His name, success to His cause and triumph to His truth.”  We are to be worshiping the very character of God, which reminds us how gracious it is that He even was graceful and merciful enough to reveal Himself to us, right?  He was under no obligation to do so.  He was under no obligation to let us know through His Word that He is holy and that we are not and that He provided a way of salvation for us.  He is under no obligation.  But praise His name, He did!


In today’s age, names are but mere labels to identify and distinguish one from the other, right?  And sometimes when we name our children, we have names that mean something to us, but it is not the same as it was in the time of Scripture and times of the past.  In fact, nicknames are probably more so, right?  Hey, there is Speedy.  Hey, there is Shorty.  Hey, there is Opie which still isn’t funny, by the way.  In Scripture, names reveal and describe God’s character.  In a broad sense of the term, God’s name equals all that the Bible teaches about Himself.  And we are to bring praise to His name.  And this is so deep and so powerful, we could spend weeks talking about this.


We know in I Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”  And in order to do this, we need to know Him and who He is.


Recently, I was challenged by a mentor and father of the faith in my life in my prayer time.  And I spent time with this man and I spent a lot of time with him and I love him.  We were having dinner one night and he was telling me about how God challenged him in his prayer time, which eventually challenged me, which eventually led to this message.  He said he was going through the Lord’s guide of prayer, you know, when the disciples said, “Teach us to pray,” and He gave them a guide to do so.  He said, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed it be Your name.”  And he said, “As I went through that, I got stuck on that.”  And so it led to a deep study on the name of God.  And as he described that, I went into a deep study of that and found that this is a part of our prayer time that we shouldn’t pass up.  It has completely changed my prayer time.


And we find several names of God revealed throughout Scripture and I am going to talk about them for a few minutes before we dissect the rest of the passage.  Wayne Gruden in his book, Systematic Theology, references Herman Bavink’s list of names given to God.  Some of these are from creation.  So as you go through Scripture, you see that he uses some names that He likens Himself to from creation.  He is referred to as the lion, an eagle, a lamb, a hen, the sun, the morning star, a light, a torch, a fire, a fountain, a rock, a hiding place, a tower, a shadow, a shield and a temple.  From our experiences with Him, He is referred to as the bridegroom, a husband, a father, a judge, a king, a man of war, a builder, a maker, a shepherd and a physician.  And these are just a few.  There is an exhaustive list in Scripture.  Even though God has no body and we are given great detail in who He is based on the name of the Lord, we are given in Scripture actual names for Him.  And I want to look at them for just a minute.


Elohim is one of the names in the Old Testament and it is used over 2500 times in the Old Testament.  And it means that He is the One True God, the supreme.  He is superior over all.  And there are compound names from Elohim.  I am going to list just a few of them that I got my beginning prayer time in and it is phenomenal.  He El Shaddai.  He is the Almighty standing above all.  He is El Elyon.  He is the Most High God.  He is El Olam.  He is the Everlasting God.  No beginning, no end, He is.


The next name is Yahweh.  It is used over 5300 times. His name was so sacred that after the Exodus, they wouldn’t even say it.  They used a different name, Adonai and over time, Adonai and Yahweh were compounded together to come up with the name Jehovah.  And there are a few names through Scripture that we see.  He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides.  We know the scene, right? Abraham and Isaac.  Abraham, I want you to take your son up on the mountain.  I want you to sacrifice him there.  Excuse me, God, is this the amen son that You have been promising me forever and now You want me to take him up and sacrifice Him?  That is exactly what I want you to do.  And he gets up there and you know the story.  He binds him up and he is ready to make the sacrifice and God stops him.  And there is a ram on the other side of the hill.  God provides.


Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my banner.  Exodus 17 describes after the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, Moses erected a statue for all to see and remember, the Lord is our banner.  He is over us.  And I love in I John where it says, “The Lord’s banner over us is (what?) love.”


He is Jehovah Shalom; the Lord is our peace.  Does that rest on your soul?  All the things in life?  Guess what?  He is Jehovah Shalom.  He is Jehovah Sabboath, the Lord of hosts.  I Samuel Chapter 1 describes Him as the Commander in Chief.  He is the Commander of Hosts.  He is our Jehovah Sabboath.


There is Jehovah Roi, the Lord is my Shepherd, Psalm 23.  Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord is my righteousness, which is awesome because you and I stand before God with no righteousness of our own.  He became our righteousness for us, Amen?


There are other names in Scripture, Adonai, Theos, Kurious, Father.  As we got to the New Testament and some throughout the Old Testament, direct us to Jesus Christ Himself.  And I want to read a list of names and I want you to think about each one.  He is Emmanuel.  He is the I AM.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  He is the Lamb of God.  He is the Morning Star.  He is the Vine.  He is the Word.  He is the Lord of Hosts.  He is the Rock.  He is the Almighty.  He is the Messiah.  He is the Light of the World.  He is our Savior.  He is the Prince of Peace.  He is the Redeemer.  He is our Anchor.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He is Wonderful.  He is Counselor.  He is Living Water.  He is the Bread of Life.  And praise God, He is our Advocate before God Himself.  He is the Only Begotten.  He is Jesus.  He is Savior and Lord.  And He is Worthy of all of our praise, Amen?  Because of His great name, we can with utmost confidence and deepest humility attribute all the worth that is due His precious name.


So I ask you this morning, how is your praise for God?  Yours, not the person next to you, not the person down there who really needs it, you know what I mean?  I am talking about you and I am talking about me.  How is our praise?


Then we see when and where He is to be praised.  Look at Verse 3, “From the rising of the sun to the setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  We are to praise Him from this time now and forevermore.  It is to be continual and one that does not cease.  Time is not to be an issue.  We are to be continually praising Him.  If you are awake, you are to be praising Him.  And somehow, some way, in my sleep, I want that to even bring praise to God.  Amen?


Also, think of eternity.  There is no time.  Charles Spurgeon said…and by the way, I do read more than Spurgeon.  I have another quote from somebody else in a minute.  “Praise is the rehearsal of our eternal song.  By grace we learn to sing and in glory we continue to sing. What will some of you do when you get to heaven if you go about grumbling all the way?  Do not hope to get to heaven in that style, but now begin to bless His name.”


Just as time is not to be an issue, neither is space.  “Let the whole earth, from the east to the west, be praising Him.  Let all the nations be praising Him.  If the sun rises in that place, let that place be praising Him.”  Everyone is to be enjoying the benefits of praising God, which drives us to our mission.  We need to carry the gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have no idea that they are to be praising Him.  If you walk out this door and make a left and go around over near our nursery, if you are in the BX, there is out in the lobby area, there is a wall.  Have you all seen it yet?  There is a wall with a list of countries and people groups who have never heard the name of Jesus.  And they are responsible.  They are accountable to God.  That should shake us that those people have no idea of the great name of Jesus.  May that drive us to go.  May that drive us to help people get there to go.


And I think of the scene in Revelation Chapter 7 where it says, “After this I looked and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, every nation, from all tribes and people and languages, standing before the throne, before the Lamb of God, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands crying with a loud voice saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne.  He is worthy of all of our praise.”


Church, as we grow strong together, let’s be a church that praises Him!   Praise in your private worship!  Each day, all day.  Then as we gather as a body, may it be an incredible, joyful celebration.


  1. L. Moody said, “I don’t care where it is, what part of the world it is in, if we have a praise church, we will have a successful Christianity.” I believe that, don’t you?


So we have seen an invitation to praise.  Now let’s look for just a few minutes on the foundation for our praise in Verses 4-9.  Remember, God is El Elyon.  He is the Most High.  So first of all, we see God’s superiority.  He is high and lifted up.  He is exalted as the highest.  The heavens cannot contain Him.  He is above all imagination.  He is infinite.  He is above the sun, moon and stars.  His glory is higher than we can think or even imagine.  And here He is described as looking down, not only on earth, but on the heavens that we know.  How great and big and wonderful and awesome He is!  This, like Isaiah, remember the scene in Isaiah Chapter 6.  It should drive us to our knees and on our face.  We see the Lord, high and lifted up, holy and we are sinful, filthy creatures and laid out before the Lord.  Let us adore Him.  Psalm 148 Verse 13 says, “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted.  His majesty is above the earth and heavens.”


I love Verse 5.  This may be my favorite verse in the whole passage.  Nothing can be compared to Him either.  “Who is like our God?”  Just sit there for a second.  Think about that.  Who is like Him?  This challenge will never be met.  He has no parallel.  There is no one who could come alongside Him and say that they are high and lifted up, nor can they say that they are the all-powerful One who sustains all things.  No one.  Not the greatest king, the emperor, nation, athlete, celebrity, anyone that we can think of or call.  No one is like Him.  He can’t be compared.  He stands alone and no one is ever going to come close.  His resemblance isn’t anything that we have ever seen before.  And which is ironic because our one picture of Him is Jesus.  And in Isaiah Chapter 53 and in His coming to the earth, it is the exact opposite of His majesty.  He was despised and rejected.  He had no appearance that we should stare at Him.  He was born in a lowly manger.  He didn’t have a kingdom parade.  He came as a lowly servant.  He is Emmanuel, God with us.  He is incarnate, God in the flesh, fully God, fully man.  Praise the name of the Lord.


And what about you?  Can you think of anything in your life that can be comparable to what He has done in your life?  I would love to sit and hear the stories just in this room of you saints who have served the Lord for a long time.  I would love to hear the stories of how God provided for you.  Do youremember that time when the stack of bills looked like this and the checkbook looked like this, right?  You remember that time when you lost your job?  Do you remember the time that you got the phone call from the doctor?  Do you remember the time that you got the phone call from Mom or Dad who got the call from the doctor?  Do you remember the time that you didn’t think your marriage was going to make it and God steps in!  He is to be praised!  There is nobody comparable to Him.  No one!  He is so good.  No one can touch Him.


And then we see God’s grace and mercy in our life.  Look at Verse 6.  He looks far down on the heavens and the earth and He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy to the ash heap.  He came to us.  Here is God, high and lifted up.  And yet He saw us in our desperate need.  What king does that?  No king that we ever read about in history.  God Almighty came to us!  We see Him high.  He is personal.  He is not indifferent to your needs.  In fact, He is the God that knows how to give good gifts, every gift, every good gift and perfect gift comes from God.  So He is the most high and the most powerful.  He stepped off His throne and out of heaven and took the form of man to rescue us.  Praise His name!


Isaiah Chapter 57 Verse 15 says this: “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place and also with Him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”  At the same time, He is majestic.  He is on His throne, and yet He is right there with us in the lowest parts of our life.


Philippians Chapter 2 gives one of the best descriptions of this.  I want to read it.  I think it will be on the screen, describing our Lord Himself, Jesus.  “Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore, (I love this part) God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name so that at that name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”  Have you confessed that His name is above all name?  Has your life been changed by a God who is high and lifted up and has come to you and changed your life?


I love Romans Chapter 5 Verse 8 where it says, “God demonstrated His love to us while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”  Not, hey, once you get your life together, once you clean up your act, Young Man or Young Lady, I will come and take care of you.  No.  When we were at our lowest.  It is described here.  He raises the poor and sets them up.  What a picture!  He comes and visits the poor and needy, banished to the ash heap.  It was a garbage dump.  It stunk.  It was a place to be avoided at all costs.  It was a place for the outcasts, the unwanted.  They gathered there during the day and at night they would be warm because the sun would warm the ash heap all day and at night it would give them warmth.  He came to our need.  He knew we were disgusting and sinful in our filth and sin and transgressions before a holy God.  And He knew the eternal punishment for that.  So He came and made a way of escape and that is the cross


I am going to read another passage which I didn’t give this to them to put on the screen.  Some of you have it memorized.  “You were dead in your trespasses and sin in which you once walked, following the course of the world, following the prince, the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”  That was us.  “But God… (which is an awesome phrase in Scripture) being rich in mercy because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together by Christ.  By grace you have been saved.”


There is nobody like Him.And He is worthy of all of our praise.  We see it not just in salvation, but we also see in Scripture that He lifts people up to do His work, right?  He found Gideon at the threshing floor which was a nobody job.  Nobody cared what was going on out there.  David was a shepherd and one by one, his brothers…no, that is not him, no, that is not him, no, that is not him.  That is him, David.  That is him.  David?  Yep, David.  The apostles were fishermen, tax collectors, outcasts in society, right?  God chose to use them.  The gospel itself has been given to us, earthen vessels, right?  And then He chooses to use the weak and the foolish to preach this beautiful message to confound the wise.  God, high and lifted up, stooped to search out the needy and the desperate to give them life.  And not only that, to seat them among the princes and His children.


I love Psalm Chapter 40.  It says, “I waited patiently for the Lord.  And He inclined and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in Him.”


You want to do a good study?  Ready Chapter 5 of the book of Numbers.  The first few verses where he talks about the lepers and how they were banished to outside the kingdom, outside the camp.  They weren’t allowed in.  And then you go and study the book of Hebrews and you see Jesus as He comes and He takes His cross.  Guess where the goes?  He goes outside the camp to die on the cross.  He goes to where the need is.  And praise God, you and I were stuck in our sin and He came to us.  And not just that He comes out there to die for us and to rescue us, He then takes us and sets us as co-heirs with Him.  Do a study from Romans 7 to Chapter 8 and see Paul’s progression.  At the end of Chapter 7 he says, “O wretched man that I am,” and by the time you get to the middle of Chapter 8, he is seated with Him as a co-heir.  Praise God!  Only God can do that!


And then the last thing we see in Verse 9, He gives a barren woman a home.  In the eastern culture and even in this time that we are looking at, the birth of a child was a great and honorable thing.  And we experience that today even.  But in this time, to be barren was looked on as a curse.  And this verse is the climax of God’s mercy.  Not only does He stoop and come to rescue us and sit us in the kingdom, He gives us a home and a family and He makes things complete.  And this time, a woman’s purpose couldn’t be complete unless she had a home and she couldn’t have a home unless she had a baby.  And look at what it says, “Making her the joyous mother of children,” not a begrudging one but a joyous mother.  This shows God’s miraculous power in Scripture.  There are several other instances that we know of, right?  Sarah, Rachel, Rebekah, Hannah and even the Lord’s cousin, Elizabeth.  God is good to leave heaven and bestow His grace and mercy on us, who are undeserving and unable to save ourselves.  There is no one like Him, no one!


There is a story told of Fiorello LaGuardia, who was mayor of New York City in parts of the Great Depression and World War II.  He was called by adoring New Yorkers, “The Little Flower,” because he was about 5’4” and he always wore a carnation in his lapel.  He was a colorful character who used to ride along on fire calls, police raids.  He would even go and take entire orphanages to baseball games, which was probably a Yankee game, so…I mean.  He would go on the radio, if the newspapers were on strike and read the funnies so the kids would have some entertainment.  One bitter cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at court that served the poorest ward of the city.  LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself.  Within a few minutes comes this old woman, tattered, was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread.  She told LaGuardia that her daughter’s husband deserted her.  Her daughter was sick and her two grandchildren were starving.  But the shopkeeper from whom the bread was stolen refused to drop the charges.  “It is a real bad neighborhood, Your Honor, and unfortunately she has to be taught a lesson.”  LaGuardia sighed and turned to the woman and said, “You know what, he is right.  I have got to punish you.  The law makes no exceptions.  Ten dollars or ten days in jail.”  But even as he pronounced the sentence, the Mayor reached in his pocket, took out his own wallet, took out a $10 bill and laid it down.  “Here is a $10 fine which I now remit.  And furthermore, I am going to fine everybody in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread for her grandchildren to eat.  Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines from everybody.   And then give them to the defendant.”  So the following day, the New York newspapers reported that $47.50 were turned over to this bewildered lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren.  50 cents even came from the shop owner.  What a beautiful story.  Here was a mayor, the judge that night who took care of the need.  And praise God, we have a God who left heaven and came to our need and our rescue.  Praise His name!


And as we close this morning, I have a few walking points I want us to think about.  If you are here today and you’ve never accepted the invitation of God’s call to salvation, the Bible says in Acts Chapter 4 Verse 12, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved.”  You can’t save yourself.  You can’t join the church and be saved.  You can’t be baptized and be saved.  You can’t be a faithful attender from now to the end of your life and be saved.  You have to be saved through the cross, through the blood, through Jesus’ free gift of salvation.


Then I want you to recall all the incredible things in your life that God has done.  In fact, today may be a good day, this week may be a good week to get a piece of paper and a pen and write…just start writing down.  God, I remember when I was a boy and you did this in my life.  God, I remember when this happened and you came to my rescue.  Have a week of praise.


Then I want you to think about, as you face things in your life today, this week and the near future and if you think you are not going to, you are fooling yourself.  I want you to think about David.  David was a shepherd boy and here he goes out and now he is about to face this giant.  This giant comes out and he meets him.  David takes his sling and a few stones.  And here comes this giant.  And this giant is mocking him.  And David stands and he says, you know what, you come to me today with a javelin and a spear, but I come to you today in the name of the Lord.  He is worthy of our praise and He is there to help us.  But you can’t do it on your own.  It has to be in His name.


And then the last thing I want us to think about.  One day, we are going to stand in His presence.  In Revelation Chapter 2 Verse 17 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, the one who conquers, I will give him of the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone with a new name written on it that no one knows except the one who receives it.”  Not only is His name to be great, He has got a special name for us.  Praise His name forever because there is no higher, there is no one comparable.  He left heaven and came to us with His grace and mercy.  Amen!

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