I Speak Jesus
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. - Philippians 2:9
I love to speak Jesus to my own soul, and I long to speak Jesus more. The temptation not to do so can be subtle.
When I feel boredom wash over my soul, for one example, I can go first to different truths to combat my inner yawn. I might pray, “Satisfy [me] in the morning with your steadfast love, that [I] may rejoice and be glad all [my] days” (Psalm 90:14). I might consider that God will give me the desires of my heart as I delight in him (Psalm 37:4). I might warn my soul about the deceitfulness of sin, if tempted. Or I might remind my heart that the happy man is the one who meditates day and night upon the Lord’s word (Psalm 1).
These are all right and good and helpful. But they are not the same things as speaking Jesus.
O my bored and starving soul, craving for life abundantly, have you forgotten the one whose name is the Bread of life? Do you hunger? Go to Jesus. Or have you forgotten him as the Root of David, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who has conquered — he of whom heaven cries, “Worthy!” demanding wholehearted worship, commanding whole-focused praise, in whose flaming presence no being has yet yawned? Do you know him, my sighing soul, as the Light of the world, the King of glory, the one who is, who was, and is to come?
This is to speak Jesus — not just truth — to my soul.
Speak Jesus to Your Soul
Christ’s names have the endless potential to provide light and heat and strength to our redeemed souls, do they not?
Do you, Christian man or woman or child, walk through the valley of the shadow of death? Do you feel the sudden stab of loss and grief? Go to him who leads his people with his presence as the Good Shepherd.
Can you feel the warmth of sinful desire begin to rise up from your flesh? Hear again that name of Jesus that sends a cold breeze over mad lusts: his title Lord.
Do you feel sunk beneath the waters of despair? Revive at Christ as our Blessed Hope. Are you made to endure persecution or alienation from others? Fix your eyes upon the Suffering Servant.
Do you sense yourself being self-dependent and self-absorbed? Berate your pride by bringing all misplaced sufficiency to the True Vine — the one apart from whom you can do nothing. Are you covered in guilt from sin? Lift your head from the dust and behold the Great High Priest. Or do your fears of falling away seize your hope? Quiet them by considering the Founder and Perfecter of our faith.
How many tempests has this Prince of Peace calmed? How many questions does the Ruler of the kings of earth solve? How many regrets and dead hopes rouse at his name the Beginning? How many waves that toss us to and fro break upon the Rock? How many times does all threaten to fall apart, if not for our great Cornerstone?
Speak Jesus to Each Other
O saints, love to speak Jesus to each other. Point them not just to Christian truth, but to Christ himself.
The woman with the naked finger, to the Bridegroom. The unloved child, to the One who loves us. The mother who visits the grave of her child, to the Resurrection and the Life. The soldier afraid of the future, to the Alpha and Omega. The pastor tempted with envy, to the Head of the Church. The one feeling all alone in this world, to the great Friend.
His names, above all other names, are dear to us, because — we must always remind and be reminded — he is dear to us. Each provides a different angle, a different snapshot of what we can’t yet behold face-to-face. Each meets the needs of his fallen (yet redeemed) creatures. None overstates Christ. None alone captures him. All of his people will sit on the eternal shore and drink; the ocean will never empty. Always more to see. Always more to behold. Always more to know and enjoy.
The tide ever rises. Our Savior will always remain better than our best thoughts of him. But we must ever think — and speak — of him.