Posted by: rcottrill | November 16, 2016

I Know a Name

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Words: Haldor Lillenas (b. Nov. 19, 1885; d. Aug. 18, 1959)
Music: Haldor Lillenas

Wordwise Hymns (Haldor Lillenas born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Haldor Lillenas)

Note: As a baby, Haldor came with his parents from Norway, and the family settled in America. He later trained and served as a pastor, but it’s in Christian music he made his mark. In 1924 he founded the Lillenas Publishing Company, working there until his retirement in 1950. He wrote around 4,000 gospel songs.

Brand names are important in advertising. Companies try to pick a name that is short, easy to say, and easy to remember. Whether it’s cars, computers or spaghetti sauce, when you want it, manufacturers want you to think of their brand first.

There’s a common idea that a name brand product is somehow superior to a generic or no-name one. Maybe so sometimes, but not always. And products bearing a famous name are usually more expensive. You are paying them for the privilege of advertising their name!

An interesting thing has happened with some brand names. They have become so popular they’ve taken over as a generic name for the product, no matter what company produces them. Words such as aspirin and kleenex were originally restricted brand names, though they’ve since entered our everyday vocabulary to represent similar items of various brands.

Personal names have a special significance too. If you had no name, what would people call you? How would they identify you? Rock musician Prince Rogers Nelson, known for years simply as Prince, got into a contract dispute with his record producer. To try to free himself from the contract, he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. He literally had no name people could say out loud. To talk about him, disk jockeys resorted to “the artist formerly known as Prince” until he changed his name back again seven years later.

Our name is important when it comes to our financial dealings. The recognition of our name gives us our authority to transact business. That was clearly reinforced by an experience of hymn writer Haldor Lillenas.

In the 1920’s, Mr. Lillenas and his wife were in Denver, Colorado, conducting a series of evangelistic meetings. The church that invited them provided an apartment where they could stay, but they were expected to cover their own expenses for meals. Finding himself short of ready money, Lillenas went to the bank and tried to cash a cheque, but they refused to accommodate him. He was unknown to them. The fact that he was a gospel preacher meant nothing.

But in the apartment building where the couple were staying lived a second hand furniture dealer who was willing to help them by adding his name to the cheque. The man was well known in the city, and his name was enough. Lillenas got the money he needed. And as the teller counted out the cash, this thought came to him:

“Every name has a meaning. Some are powerful because of the owner’s reputation. Others are a liability because of the ill fame of those who have them.”

It was only a short distance from that thought to a consideration of the authority and power in the name of Jesus. Months before, the musician had composed a melody for which he had no words. He simply could not come up with lyrics to fit. But with that experience in the Denver bank, he had his theme, and wrote I Know a Name, about the wonderful name of Jesus.

Jesus demonstrated divine power while He was on earth. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:30). For us today He has:

¤ Power to save us: “The gospel of Christ…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

¤ Power to keep us saved: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25; cf. II Tim. 1:12)

¤ Power to meet our needs: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13; cf. vs. 19; Heb. 4:14-16).

¤ Power to energize our service for Him: “With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33; cf. Matt. 28:18-20; II Cor. 9:8).

3) I know a name that dispels the powers of evil,
I know a name that can break the tempter’s snare;
I know a name that unlocks the gate of heaven,
When through its merits I go to God in prayer.

I know a name, a wonderful name,
That wonderful name is Jesus.

1) What examples can you think of when the authority and power of your name accomplished something?

2) How have you experienced the authority and power of the Lord Jesus in your life?

Wordwise Hymns (Haldor Lillenas born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Haldor Lillenas)


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