Weekly Writings

The Names of God

By Scott Eaton

February 17, 2021

Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.”


Honda, Toyota, Sony, Yamaha, Whirlpool, Maytag, Dewalt, Makita, Levi’s, Cole Haan... we usually associate these names with reliability. When we make a purchase, we want to know we are getting a product that is dependable. Sometimes, though, even the best of brand names can have a failure. 


Unlike any product made by man or any human relationship, our God never fails. We can place our faith totally in Him. Even when things happen that we don’t understand, He is still in control and we can trust in His Name. Scripture speaks of many different names of God. These names are meant to describe who God is in His nature and His character. Here’s a list of some of the names of our God and their meaning:


El Shaddai - Lord God Almighty

El Elyon - The Most High God

Jehovah Raah - The Lord my Shepherd

Jehovah Mekoddishkem - The Lord who Sanctifies

Jehovah Rapha - The Lord that Heals

Jehovah Shamma - The Lord is There

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will Provide


There are several more names for God, but isn’t it amazing that even though He is one God, He can do so many things! He is a BIG God! He promises to never leave nor forsake us and He is able to meet our every need. Singer, song writer Tommy Walker wrote a song entitled “These are the Names of God.” Here’s a sample:


  The Beginning and the Ending, The Creator— these are the names of God

  Mighty Warrior, Consuming Fire, Abba Father

— these are the names of God

  Lion of Judah, Firm Foundation, Our High Tower

— these are the names of God

  Gentle Whisper, Intercessor, He’s our Helper

— these are the names of God


  The Messiah, Our Redeemer, The Rewarder

— these are the names of God

  Man of Sorrows, Friend of Sinners, The Good Shepherd

— these are the names of God

  He’s the Author of Salvation, He’s our Teacher

— these are the names of God

  He’s our Healer, He’s our Shelter, He’s our Portion

— these are the names of God

  It is Jesus, Precious Jesus, Lord and Savior

— these are the names of God


Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”


Philippians 2:9-11

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

The Plan

By Skyler Smith

February 3, 2021

There are times in my life when I have a plan, and there are other times when I go into something with no plan. A great example of this is the time two friends and I decided we wanted to go camping. We got in the car, stopped by Ingles, and before we knew it, we were in the Smokies at Elkmont. Other times I have made plans and had to follow them exactly, or my team and I could be stuck for another 10 days.


When we take a step back and look at the Bible as a whole, it’s amazing to see how God has worked his glorious plan, from God’s promise to send a better Adam, to the fulfillment of that promise in the Gospels. A question I’d like to ask is: What does it mean that we are in Christ?


All of our plans are contingent. A great example is a soccer game. If lightning comes, then the teams may wait for 30 minutes or reschedule the game. Some people have this idea that God had a perfect plan, and Satan messed it up by bringing sin into the world. This is not the case! Bringing sinners into eternal life through Jesus was always God’s plan (Titus 1:2-3). We cannot forget that God is sovereign over all things. Since He is sovereign over all things, that also means He is sovereign over you and me. In fact, we were created in the Image of God (Genesis 1:26) and God chose to bring you into being. You are not an accident and your life is not a product of random chance. When sin entered the world, we see the first prophecy about Jesus: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).  God’s grace saved Adam and Eve from immediate judgment, but they soon discovered that evil unleashed from their disobedience brought devastating changes. As the people were being dispersed after Babel, God chose one man, Abram, who knew absolutely nothing about God (Joshua 24:2). God made it clear to Abram that He intended to save people from every nation. This promise was not fulfilled in his lifetime, but through One who would come much later (Galatians 3:16).


God made a promise so great only he could fulfill it, and He did so in the fulfillment of Jesus Christ (John 1:2). When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus triumphed where Adam failed. The environments were clearly different.  Adam and Eve were surrounded by trees with good fruit; Jesus was in a desert where there was no food. Satan also came looking for Eve, but Christ went looking for Satan (Luke 4:1). The greatest difference was the outcome. With Jesus, Satan was forced to retreat “until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). Christ’s triumph over sin has a great significance for us. By nature, we share in Adams failure in that we are under sin (Romans 3:9). The beauty of the gospel is this: By grace and through faith we belong to Christ who triumphed! By accepting this gospel, we are under grace (Romans 6:14). How does the cross play a part in our salvation though? 


“When they came to the place of the skull, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23:33). We all disobeyed God’s commands; then we crucified Him. God's judgment had to fall on the human race, but God diverted His judgment to another place. Christ became the lightning rod for your judgment, and forgiveness was released through His suffering and death on the cross for you. The curse fell on Jesus, He bore our sins, the weight of guilt was laid on Him (1 Peter 2:24). When our sin reached it’s full horror, God's love was displayed in all its glory. Death separates what God has joined, but Christ has went through death, triumphed over death, and came out of death. He came to redeem your life, soul, and body, and to present all of us as believers without fault and with great joy, to the Father in heaven (Jude 24). When you are in Christ, everything that is His becomes yours. His sin-bearing death is yours, His resurrection life is yours, and one day you will share in His ascension, too. 


What happens when the Holy Spirit delivers God's promise in a person who repents and believes? First, you have now been born again (1 Peter 1:3, 23). When the Holy Spirit regenerates you, He changes your soul so that with a new mind and a new heart you love Christ, trust Him, and follow Him freely. Behind all believing is this miracle of God’s regenerating grace. This also means you have been justified. God presents Jesus as the propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:26). That means when Jesus was on the cross all the anger and hostility that God has towards sin was poured out on Him. Faith unites us to Christ, and when we are in Christ God counts all of our sin as His, and all His righteousness as ours. Third, we are to grow in sanctification. Sanctification is the progressive work of the Holy Spirit in a believer by which we grow in the life God is calling us to live. Finally, when we have been fully sanctified, we will be glorified. Not only will you be in Christ glory, but His glory will be in you. Paul says, “I consider that the present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” Romans 8:18. All this belongs to those who are in Jesus Christ. The promise is for you and for your children and for all those who are far off. Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. By believing you will have life in His name (John 20:31).

Decide to Know Nothing Except Jesus

By Josh Moyers

January 28, 2021

I enjoy learning new things. There aren’t very many things that I’m good at, but I like to piddle around in lots of things. I have enjoyed horticulture, interior and exterior remodeling, learning various instruments and recently tree house building. Like I said, I’m not good at any of it… but I can act like I’m good at it. I had the help of a friend in building my daughters a tree house recently. If you were to look at it, you would think it was done by a professional and I am not the professional.


A person can hold a guitar and look like a guitar player. A person can hold a hammer and look like a contractor. A person can wear a suit and look like a business person. We can sometimes talk and act like we know a lot about many topics and there are in fact some people who can pick up just about anything and be excellent at it.


In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul writes to the church of Corinth and tells them in paraphrase, “I’m not going to come to you and make you think that I’m someone I’m not. I’m not going to come to you and talk above you to make you think I’m smarter than you… I’m actually coming to you knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.


How freeing it would be for all of us to be like Paul and say “I want to show you I’m weak. I want you to know I’m afraid of things. I don’t have my life together. I don’t have all the answers. You may think that I’m some hero of the faith but I’m not.” (Again, I’m paraphrasing.) But we can see that what Paul does is simply point his readers to Jesus.

Can we as followers of Jesus do the same thing? Stop acting like we know the best answer to everything. Stop talking like our opinion trumps everyone else’s opinion. Stop treating people as if they are less than us. We as Christians have a tendency to act like we have life figured out. Like we know how to build the tree house (even though we don’t). Like we know all about gardening, but we don’t.


The interesting point about this passage is that Paul decided to know nothing except Jesus. He made an effort to not be above others. He made an effort to show them love so that nothing in life would be a distraction and the Gospel of Jesus could clearly be seen through his actions and words. May we today decide to know nothing except Jesus. May our effort towards others be such that they would not be intimidated by us, turned off by us or feel less than by us. May we simply point others to Jesus.

An Inaugural Request

By Dr. Sid Webb

January 21, 2021

As the United States has turned over its federal leadership, I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul told us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

It seems to be a universal truth that humans will devote themselves to gossip long before they’ll devote themselves to prayer. For every sentence spoken in prayer there are probably hundreds of sentences spoken in a non-edifying way. There’s something about humanity’s fallen nature that drives us to gripe rather than to praise, encourage, or build up.

Every four years, approximately half of Americans are specifically challenged as to their prayer lives; namely, can they follow Scripture’s mandate and pray for the candidate (now President) that they disliked so much? They are faced with the questions, “Can I recognize this candidate as my President? Will I pray for him?”

I am not so naive to think that all candidates will do all things to the public good and the glorification of God. I know that they won’t. Even if they were to have the best of intentions always, they wouldn’t get everything right. And if their intentions are evil . . . well, we better pray that God stays their hand.

It’s always struck me that Paul’s command to pray for public leaders was given in the context of the Roman Empire, when an emperor had the power to take a person’s life. That’s what happened to Paul a few years after he wrote 1 Timothy; Emperor Nero had him decapitated in AD67.

And yet, a few years before his execution, Paul told us to pray for those exact leaders who would terminate his life.

Paul couldn’t have made it more clear that we must pray for our leaders. In case there was any doubt, he painted with a broad prayer brush, using several of the common words for prayer. Supplicate. Pray. Intercede. Give thanks. Using four words back-to-back for prayer? That’s rare. Paul is getting our attention and telling us:

We cannot evade our responsibility to pray for our political leaders, even if we despise them.

And to drive home the clarity, he makes sure that Yes! We are to pray for political leaders: For kings (those in the highest office) and for ALL officials in high positions. It wouldn’t be off course for a Christian to pray for every key official in an administration, every Cabinet secretary, every Joint Chief of Staff, and every Supreme Court justice BY NAME.

And we pray for these leaders not just for their benefit but so that we may lead peaceful, quiet, godly, dignified lives. So that we are allowed to prosper and so that our relationships with our government are constructive and beneficial.

Please join me in prayer that our new administration would be righteous, godly, peaceful, loving, dignified, and just. And that those blessings would roll down upon We the People like a mighty wave.