Let me share a wonderful passage. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
You are familiar with the name of John Newton. He was a pastor in England who wrote the very popular hymn “Amazing Grace,” but during his time as a pastor he wrote several hymns, and with his dear friend William Cooper, created the Olney Hymns collection. A hymn that is not as popular as “Amazing Grace” is “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” using the Song of Songs 1:3 as inspiration.
When Newton was eighty years old, he was quite deaf and almost blind, but he still continued preaching in his church. For his final messages, Newton had an assistant next to him at the pulpit; this person would read the next point of Newton’s sermon outline, and then Newton would expound on that point.
On one particular Sunday, just a few weeks before he died, the assistant read the first point and Newton said to the congregation, “Jesus Christ is precious.” He paused and waited until the helper read the second point. Newton said again, “Jesus Christ is precious.”
The assistant reminded Newton that he had already said that. “Yes, I said it twice,” the old pastor replied, “and I’ll say it again! Jesus Christ is precious.” Then he asked the congregation to sing this lovely hymn, “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.”
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer's ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
and drives away our fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole
and calms the troubled breast;
'tis manna to the hungry soul,
and to the weary, rest.
O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend,
my Prophet, Priest, and King,
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
accept the praise I bring.
How weak the effort of my heart,
how cold my warmest thought;
but when I see you as you are,
I'll praise you as I ought.
Till then I would your love proclaim
with every fleeting breath;
and may the music of your name
refresh my soul in death.
In His service,