Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain

Exodus 20:7 “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.

So the people of God try to follow this mandate by not saying phrases like ‘Oh my God’. Only we need to really look at what this commandment means because it encompasses so much more than that. Attaching God’s name to our opinion is what it means to take the name of the Lord in vain. When we attach his name to a statement we had better be sure we understand his point of view before giving his endorsement.

What we do know is that he has told us not to take his name in vain. In other words we are not to take his name and attach it to our own agendas. We can’t assume to know the mind of God. We have clear direction, as we know what his word says since it’s written in the bible, but we can’t afford to second guess God as the commandment is clear that he will not hold us guiltless.

My kids love to say things to other parents like, “I’m sure my parents wouldn’t have a problem with it.” They say this in instances where they want to do something but they don’t want to check in because they aren’t completely sure we’re really okay with it. So while they say they are sure, we are not always okay with it. We tell them all the time, they need to check with us first before they agree to something in our name. This is what this commandment is saying. God is saying that we are not to add His name to things that are not of Him. Do not add His name to things you think are of Him.

How do we take the Lord’s name in vain? By professing Christianity and not living the lifestyle it takes to profess it. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says it like this:

Those that name the name of Christ, but do not depart from iniquity, as that name binds them to do, name it in vain; their worship is vain (Mt. 15:7-9), their oblations (the act of offering something) are vain (Isa. 1:11, 13), their religion is vain, Jam. 1:26.

Some of the other ways we take the Lord’s name in vain is by vows (I swear to God) that we don’t keep. Or when we lie under oath (So help me God).

Matthew Henry continues that God is jealous for his honor. Of course he would be. We all hate when people put our names on things we don’t approve of. This is why we have to be careful about what we say God is for and what he is against. Human reasoning doesn’t apply to God. In all things there is the heart factor and that is what God judges.

When Christ hung on the cross he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In other words there is grace when we don’t know any better. Does this mean that this grace excuses followers of Christ? Well, when we are ignorant of a precept, maybe for a season, but our responsibility as followers of Christ is to get ourselves straightened out in things of God so I believe that after a while there is a time when we begin to take not only the name of God in vain but the grace of God in vain as well.

From Beth Moore’s Site

http://www.inspi...rokes.com

Beth Moore had her simulcast this past weekend and she wrote the following on her blog. It bears repeating!

My Dear Sister

If Christ is Your Savior

You are the dwelling place

Of His own Spirit

You have it IN YOU

to be secure.

Every day of your life

You have a choice to make

You can live in your old defeat

Or you can turn from your unbelief

And choose life

Make up your mind

To put off the old you

And put on the new you.

Never, ever, ever forget

That the Lord is your security.

He will keep your foot

From being caught in a trap.

He will take care of you

To your very last breath.

Now, leave this place

And go out into the world

And act like a person

Who knows she’s dearly loved.

You were born to be exceptional.

So, Girlfriend, go forth

And walk worthy of your calling.

You are clothed in strength and dignity!

Now unto Him

Who can keep you from falling

Be glory and majesty

Power and authority

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Now and forever more

Amen.

So Long, Insecurity!

Get A Bigger Bully

When the bully at school took your lunch money what did you do? Some people had an older sibling they’d go to or they had a friend who had a older sibling. They would go to that older sibling and tell them their problem and the older, bigger sibling would go up to that bully and push back, and often the bully left them alone. Your solution to the bully problem was going and getting a bigger bully. I always envied the kids who had older siblings!

Well what’s changed from those days? Honestly, think about it, you have a bully that picks on

YOU all the time!

His name is Satan and he comes and tries to take your lunch money most days. Only now the situation looks helpless! Calling our older sibling seems silly as what can they really do to help us in these adult situations? So Satan keeps on picking on you and he dares you to call on your friends for backup because he thinks he can take them too.

Only you have the key in your pocket! Maybe you haven’t thought about it but the way you handled it as a kid works!

Jesus is your elder brother.

All you need to do is go tell your older brother that the bully down the street is picking on you. The same way you used to combat the natural bully is how you combat the spiritual bully. Call Jesus into the fight, he belongs to a whole kingdom that has an army on the ready to fight your battles. And let me just tell you a secret,

Satan is scared of Jesus.

So the next time you find yourself being bullied, don’t cry, don’t lose sleep, don’t worry or stress, and certainly don’t give up your lunch money!  Just go get a bigger bully!

Yes And No

http://www.selbunett.no/ atberg?id=61/

Suze Orman said something great! “You say yes out of fear versus no out of love.” I loved this statement and it hit my heart so powerfully that I wanted to share it with you.

When she was talking it was in terms of financial decisions but it really does apply in all areas of our life doesn’t it? Those of us who are mothers usually know the answer to our children’s questions of us, but because we often are afraid of the confrontation, and because we don’t want to hear the whining and the crying, and God forbid they get mad at us, we tend to say yes out of fear of what may happen or because it’s just easier.

When it comes to our spouse or boyfriend we say yes out of fear that he’ll be disappointed or angry or won’t let us then do something we want to do. We are scared to say no even when we know it’s the right thing to do.

When it comes to ourselves, we say yes to things we don’t really want to do because we are afraid of what others may think of us. So to protect our reputation with others we are willing to lose our reputation with ourselves. Is that crazy or what? We say yes out of fear rather than no out of love even when it adversely affects our life!

Isn’t it interesting that our yes out of fear is more important than our love for the other person? The fact that we are willing to compromise what we know is right to do to appease others, when if LOVE truly reigns in our life, then it would show up in our firm NO truly says a lot about us.

How many times in our lives have we said yes instead of facing the fact that we really didn’t want to? How many times have we said no to something we’ve really believed in, only to cave in because the other person got mad? It hit me that maybe we don’t love as deep as we think we do. It hits me that maybe how we are perceived is more important that our moral standard.

This isn’t just something in the big picture items; these belief systems erode in the little things first. Michele Cossey, a mother, who was charged with buying her minor son weapons and pleaded guilty a few years ago, just wanted her son’s depression to ease and she wanted to make him happy. Maybe we aren’t buying guns but we are trying to buy ourselves out of confrontation of unpleasant things.

Think about your yes and your no answers. Were they truly lead by your heart? Were they led by the selfish flesh part of us? We say to each other, “Tell me what you really think”, but the fact is we don’t really want to know. What we are truly saying is, “Tell me what I want to hear”. So then in turn we tell others what they want to hear.

Today challenge yourself to examine yourself realistically. Ask yourself; do you say yes to things out of fear when you know that you should say no out of love? If you do, why do you do it? I am going to consciously pay attention to what my heart is saying about a situation without thinking about the confrontation that may come along with it. Then I am going to pray and ask the Lord to help guide me to the proper response! How about you?

Change

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/alshepmcr

There are usually three reasons that people change.

The first reason is they are inspired to change. Inspire means to affect, guide or stimulate through action. In other words, the person wakes up to the possibilities in their life, and they determine by prompting or through guidance to change an aspect of their life either in a positive way or negative way as change goes both ways. They determine that the place they are in is not where they want to stay and they make a decision to change rather than get stagnant. This is the least painful kind of change because it means there is a true agreement with change. It doesn’t make it the easiest as change isn’t easy, but it makes it the least painful.

The second reason someone changes is because they learn enough to change. Just as we went from big fat crayons in Kindergarten, to pencils in first grade, to pens in third grade, we learn to change. This is not an adaptation but rather a concerted effort on a person’s part to change. This means old habits have to go. Forming new habits can be a difficult thing. As we learn, we grow, and hopefully change. This is my inspiration to continue to read and access new thought processes because I know I can make things easier on myself. I love discussions with others on what works in their lives because as I learn I can adapt those new ideas to my life. This is the best course for change because if what we are learning is positive. then the change becomes positive as well.

The third reason we change is because we hurt enough to change. This is the most painful way to change and yet often it’s the only one which motivates us to change. We’ve all heard about that man who through work and outside influences neglected his first wife to the point that she left him. He then finds and marries the second wife and treats her like a queen. He wasn’t inspired to change and he didn’t learn to change, he hurt enough to change. Sometimes things have to just fall apart before we determine that a change needs to take place. Human nature is interesting because there are clues all around us to provoke the change, and yet we continually ignore the clues thinking they aren’t really going to happen, but deep down knowing they will. The human mind rationalizes things very well.

Change in any of these three ways is never easy. It requires diligence. Change is also inevitable if we are going to move forward in our lives so it must happen periodically. The key is to change those things in your life that are needed so that we can grow and move to new levels in our lives. We all know people who get left behind in a thought process because they haven’t adapted to the new climate and atmosphere in their world. Let us be diligent to examine ourselves and to if not embrace change, be open to the possibility that it may be necessary.

May you always be inspired, through learning, to make the necessary positive changes in your life!

The Image

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I was in a discussion with others recently and we talked about how there are people in our life who run around saying they are Christian, but their talk doesn’t match their walk. We all know those people who love to tell unbeliever’s what they need to do, and who believe that it’s their place as a Christian.

When I was a new follower of Christ I was happy when our company hired another follower. That joy quickly waned when he took the time to correct others without seeing his own fault. He was critical of the owner (an unbeliever) of our company and the way he chose to run his business. He complained about everything, and when he found out I was a follower of Christ he said pompously, “Don’t even talk to me about Christianity until you can explain in detail what you believe about the trinity, pre-trib or post….” I tuned out at this point. I don’t even think I knew what pre-trib and post meant at that point. It was crazy stuff for me in that time and space.

This would all be funny if those of us who are followers of Christ don’t constantly have to fight this fanatically image. If we didn’t hear of so much abuse of perceived power in the body of Christ. Yet, I am reminded that if we were looking for a power trip prior to our salvation then we will be looking for one after our salvation. We somehow miss the part about being a new creation.

However,

The Image has to match the things coming out of the mouth.

In the early days of my Christian walk I was a closet Christian often because of these types of representatives. I didn’t want to be included with “them”. There is a t-shirt that depicts Jesus walking among the throngs of people and the caption read, “Jesus save me from your people.” Although it was made with an anti-Christian campaign in mind, I identified with it on some levels. I knew what it was talking about. It was talking about those people who yelled at others for not being Christians. The Image unfortunately continually perpetuates as we don’t learn the lessons of love. Jesus drew people to him by his ability to help others. The only harsh words I see him speak is to the religious. So, rather than point the finger at the world who really doesn’t believe what we believe, or know what we know or what we are talking about, we need to be more introspective with the finger pointing. Only that would reveal those flaws we want to mask with The Image.

Ouch!

The bible says of those of us who follow Christ;

John13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

WHERE’S THE LOVE PEOPLE?

A True Friend

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/jakerome/ 74578802/

Pastor Doug preached once on what it means to be a true friend versus a well-wisher. It really has me thinking about my friendships. I pray for my friends, I call them, I send an email, and check on them from time to time, but does that mean I am a good friend?

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ

This was the scripture in my devotional today and it caused me to think about the sermon and my friendships. His sermon was based on the bible passage of the man with palsy (Luke 5:18), and what friends are willing to do for one another. When put in this perspective it makes you take a look at your friendships.

Do you have friends that if you were paralyzed would go and get you, carry you and your bed to Jesus, climb a ladder, cut a whole in a roof, and then lift you and your bed up and over into that cut hole and lower you in front of the feet of Jesus? Or would they merely say they will pray for you? Hoping you’d get better? It’s a powerful question.

Luke 5:18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

More to the point are you that kind of friend? Are you the kind of friend who bears the burdens of another? Maybe our friends aren’t physically paralyzed but maybe they are emotionally paralyzed in pain over their divorce or their breakup? Maybe they have another kind of loss or pain and they need you, their friend, to go and get them! Are you whom someone would consider a true friend?