What’s in a name?

I remember working at Hume Lake while the camp band was Everybody Duck. I really liked them. I still do. They have some really good songs. They do a great job of God-centered worship leading. Darin McWatters is a great guy and I really appreciated his wisdom on the few occasions when I talked to him back then. There’s one song in particular that I remember especially enjoying. I still sing it in the shower sometimes to be honest. I’m not sure if it’s their original work or if somebody else wrote it, but in any case it’s called I’m Sustained. One part of the song reads, “I know what I’m worth, I remember the cross.” I never really thought too much about this but recently I’ve run into a lot of passages of scripture that seem to refute this way of looking at the cross. Is. 48:9-11 comes to mind.

I think there may be a sort of both-and here, but it seems to say that the cross is about the greatness of God’s own name and not primarily about the greatness of our worth. It reminds me of a sermon I recently heard in which the pastor said that what God values most is exalting and glorifying God’s name. In a human, this characteristic would be supremely evil, the pastor said, but proclaiming and exalting His own name is the most loving thing God can do because there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved.

  1. #1 by Jason Moreno on March 6, 2007 - 6:36 PM

    Hey, Garrett! After I left Humboldt, I stopped reading your stuff, but I’m trying to read your posts now. I’m thinking about this idea of the “both-and” of God loving us enough to die on the cross, and loving to have His name proclaimed. I agree with both statements – I just wouldn’t have thought to ever see the two in contradiction with one another, even on a cursory reading. If there would be anything about the two, it would be a “this-and so” (to make up a term). God is life, and pointing to Himself is not evil because He is life. “This” is a valid view of God, “and so” it makes the cross even more dynamic – God’s greatness is embodied in giving Himself for His people. Loving us and giving us worth is part of this greatness of God. Though it’s too enormous of a thought for a mere comment, at least I would say it shapes Isaiah and similar passages – not the greatest contradiction, but rather the greatest clarification.

  2. #2 by G.T. on March 6, 2007 - 7:31 PM

    Thanks for your comment Jason. It’s good hearing from you again. Sorry I haven’t been more in touch with you. I think you’re 100% right. I don’t see any contradiction at all between God being motivated by His love for us and being motivated by His concern for His glory or exalted name. In fact I just reread my post and I realized I did a very bad job of saying what I had in mind. I made it sound as if I thought God did not value us much, or as if I thought that’s what Isaiah said. On the contrary God does value us enough to die. What I meant to talk about was why He values us. I think the simple way to say what I had in mind in my post is that He loves us because of who He is not because of our great worth. Or put another way, the huge significance of the cross is a testimony to the greatness of God’s love, not to the greatness of our worth.

    Thank you for your comment. It was a good catch. What I said was hasty and not really what I meant at all. Thanks for pointing out how strange what I was saying sounded.

    I edited my post so I think it does a better job of saying what I meant.

  3. #3 by shawn on July 25, 2007 - 7:58 PM

    it would be good to know who wrote the lyrics to “i’m sustained”

  4. #4 by G.T. on July 25, 2007 - 11:25 PM

    I think it was written by Darin McWatters of Everybody Duck.

  5. #5 by Christopher Randall on November 2, 2008 - 5:59 PM

    I love this song. What I believe the intent of the author was follows. Romans 5:8 says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While it’s true that we are worthless horrible dirty sinners, we are important to God. If God became a man and died a horrible death to keep us from eternal punishment, then we must have some value to Him. To God we are a great treasure. Issiah 53:11 says “He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify for many; and He shall bear their iniquities.” While Jesus knew before hand that his death would be beyond terrible, He went through it because of His great love for us.

    The bottom line is that I must be worth a lot to God if He was willing to do what He did for me.

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