Honoring His Name

  Exodus 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."  Every commandment that gives us guidance on how not to live has a positive correlation in how we are to really live. Our God is the one and only God (first commandment), who alone is to be worshiped (second commandment) and is to be worshiped by how we speak of him and to him (third commandment).   
In Exodus Chapter 3, God told Moses through the burning bush to go to the most powerful man in the history of the world, who ruled the biggest empire that had ever existed and thought that he was god, and tell him to let my people go, the people who had built his economy through their slave labor.  Moses responded with a question that he tries to ask respectfully, “Well, who should I say has sent me?” And you wonder if Moses is really thinking, “You want me to walk up to the most powerful man on the earth and say, ‘The bush is very unhappy.’ I'm not sure that will get the result you are looking for.”Then God told Moses God's name: I Am Who I Am—Yahweh. And he said, “Say to this people of Israel, I Am has sent you.”
Thousands of years later, Jesus Christ began his ministry here on earth. In John 8, the Jews asked Jesus, "Who do you think you are?"  Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus was in his thirties at this time, and yet he said he is older than Abraham. Abraham had been dead for thousands of years, and they were probably thinking, “That’s a lot of candles on your birthday cake."  So they said to him, “You’ve seen Abraham?” And Jesus responded, “Before Abraham was I Am.” Jesus is before Abraham because He is God, the eternal, preexistent, eternally existent God. The people realized Jesus was claiming to be God so they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus slipped away.  They eventually did kill Jesus, but three days later, he rose and said, “I told you so.”
Jesus isn’t dead; he’s alive. Then what should we do? The answer to the third commandment is to honor the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Philippians 2:5–11 tells us who Jesus is and how we should respond to him. "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, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 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."
Jesus is eternally God. He didn’t remain in heaven and say, “I deserve glory, not humility." He let go of his rights and became a like a slave. God became a man. When we make much of the name of Jesus, we are honoring a humble, loving, serving, forgiving God.
Most amazingly, when we take the name of the Lord in vain by our false promises, false pretenses, false platitudes, or false prophecies, we deserve punishment. But Jesus goes to the cross and humbles himself; he who is without sin dies in our place for our sins and says, “Father, forgive them.” That’s our Jesus. That’s why we like to talk about him and sing about him, because there is no other god like him.
People hike mountains because they want to feel small. That’s why people go outside in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere to gaze at the stars, because it reminds them that they are not the center of the universe or even this world and life is not all about them. And when we feel small and we are in the presence of something greater, we feel free because we now see ourselves in the place that we truly are-servants of the Most High God.

In Him,
Pastor Boyd

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