Respecting God’s name

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Exodus 20:7

Our names are precious to us; they identify not only who we are, but serve as a vital link to past generations; they allow us to pin point our niche in the history of our family. When we speak of our relatives, and those we love we use their names with respect. The closer we are to a person, the more careful we are in using his or her name. Such is the case among God’s people and the relationship we share with our heavenly Father.

Through baptism, God makes us his children and calls us by name. The relationship established by God is such that He reveals His name unto us that we may worship Him, give thanks and call upon Him in times of need. Just as we use the names of those we love in endearing ways, we ought to consider the ways in which we use the holy name of God.

Within his small catechism, Martin Luther teaches us that we are to fear and love God so that we do not use His name superstitiously, or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but to call upon God in prayer, praise and thanksgiving. When we pray, we may want to ask God to help us always use His name in endearing ways, to help us examine our close relationship with Him, and to use His name to bless others. Pray for the church around the world, that all may come to know God and rightly call upon His name.

Prayer: Almighty God, you revealed your name unto us that we may call upon you. Help us to use your name in faithful ways, that we may tell other of your grace. Amen.

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