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Friday, May 20, 2011

Song Series: Your Name High

Living to Make
Your Name High

Read: Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners – Isaiah 61:1

Our church likes to use the song “Living to Make Your Name High” as a call to worship or opening song on Sundays. It is a song of celebration, hope and victory. Many of our members come from a place of brokenness and despair. They intimately understand the need for a Savior better than most. Poor lifestyle choices led them into dark places they never intended to go. Like the woman who anointed Jesus feet with perfume, many in the Palms Community fellowship felt unfit for inclusion in common social circles; may-be they even felt excluded from some of our bay area sister churches. None the less, they love Jesus so much that they just had to find a place to serve Him. Christ honors them as true lovers of God as, “Those who have been forgiven much [and who now ] love much” – (Luke 7:47). In the words of our bass guitarist, when talking one night about our worship team, he said, “Man, we sure are a motley crew!” I laughed and said, "Yes we are, and I'm glad we are, who we are!" Yet, we are the very people God is talking to in Isaiah 61.

You may recall that Isaiah 61 was the passage of scripture Jesus read from the day He was asked to teach in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:17-21). Originally, the scripture brought a message of hope of coming deliverance for the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. However, Jesus brought Isaiah’s prophesy forward to the people gathered at the synagogue by saying, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). In agreement with this passage, Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, to let the hearers know that He was speaking prophetically. He was anointed, which meant that He was actually sent by God and set apart for that moment. He wanted the listener to know that He came as healer of broken lives and deliver from the chains that so easily held God’s creation in the dungeon of despair. Jesus came to destroy sin’s despair, to make paupers into princes, to shake free the shackles and prisons of the past. Jesus wants us to know that, in Him, we may not be society’s choice, but we are God’s champions (1 Peter 2:8-10).

As God’s champions we are challenged to indeed make His name high. A great way to accomplish this is by sharing what the world cannot offer. Freedom from the penalty for sin (Romans 3:23), a new way of life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), abundant life here and now (John 10:10), and eternal life here after (John 14:3) In Christ we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Now, that’s something worth calling God’s people together to sing about!

By Joel Houston

We are living to make Your name high Jesus
Living to make Your name high Jesus
You gave what the world couldn’t offer us
Say what they want, say what they want!
Your Name on High

As heard on This Is Our God. Words & music by: Joel Houston. For more information, visit:

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