name of God 2

Treat it with respect

Names matter to me. Some are so precious to me because they belong to people I love. Being called by name indicates recognition and relationship. Psychologists say that the most important sound we hear is the sound of our own name.

Names matter to God. The third of the 10 Commandments is God’s instruction on how we are to treat his name. We are not to take it “in vain”, which most surely includes incorporating into our list of phrases to be used in case of frustration, anger, or curses. God clearly states how we are to treat his name in the Bible:

We are to call on it (Zeph 3:9), proclaim it (Ex 9:16), acknowledge it (Ps 91:14), fear it (Mal 1:14) and praise it (Ps 13:2-3). It will protect us (Ps 20:7, Prov 18:10), help us (Ps 124:8), and save us (Acts 2:21). David chose to fight against Goliath in God’s name (I Sam 17:45), and demons fear God’s name (Mark 16:17, Luke 10:17). When we endure hardships for the sake of his name (Rev 2:3) or keep his word and not deny his name we will be blessed (Rev 3:8)

I have spent some time this week struggling with how our culture treats God’s name. The Washington Redskins press conference where Robert Griffin III was asked to turn his shirt inside out because it had Jesus name on it seems to me to be a sad commentary on our increasingly self-focused culture. When did God’s name become “offensive”? If God isn’t who he says he is, why are those who don’t believe in him so threatened by him? How can we expect blessing, protection, and mercy when we are offended by his name?

God knows your name. If you chose to belong to him, yours is recorded in his Book of Life. Honor God’s name yourself; require that those around you honor it as well. That honor that you show his name will give you power and protection…refusing to dishonor his name will give us blessing.

One day, at the end of time, everyone will agree about Jesus’ name. Until then, those of us who know him need to show his name the honor that it deserves.

Phil 2:10-11 … so that at the name of Jesus ever 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.

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