Monday, February 1, 2010

Why does it matter how I treat God’s name?

Why does it matter how I treat God’s name? Matthew 6:9 – Jesus teaching on prayer said ‘“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’

HALLOWED be Thy Name. Hallowed… In Latin, that phrase means ‘sanctified by Thy Name’. The song of the Seraphim in Isaiah 6, where they cried out HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. When the Angels announced the Birth of Christ, they appeared before the Shepherds singing ‘GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!’.

We set apart His name from common flippant use because He is Holy and He is worthy. From eternity past to eternity future, HE IS GOD!

They very God-ness of God means that He is separate from all things that are not Godly. That’s why we need Christ! Our sin separates us from God and the only hope we have of being restored in relationship to Him is through Jesus Christ!

He is in a class all by Himself. He is completely and wonderfully Holy! 1 Samuel 2:2-10 - “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 3 “Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 4 “The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. 5 “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes. 6 “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 “The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. 8 “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them. 9 “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 10 “Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed.”

He is incomparable! His Holiness is utterly unique. It determines all that He is and all that He does.

His Holiness is what He IS as God. Which no one else ever has been or ever will be! So we esteem His name higher than anything else and only speak it with the reverence and respect that it deserves. Not because He told us to… but because He’s Worthy! He shouldn’t have to tell a Christian to use high language about Him. Because a Christian ought to esteem Him high above all things.

What should we do to honor and sanctify His name?
1.) Pray that God create in you a sound knowledge of Himself. – Take view of His excellencies as revealed in Scripture, His Holiness, His Goodness, His lovingkindness, His wrath.. The angels know God better than we do and so they constantly praise and honor His name. Let us strive and labor to know Him more and more to be God!

We may dread Him as Judge, but dreading His judgments will only produce legalism and self-righteousness if we don’t know Him as Father. We can’t honor Him as Father until we know Him as God!

2.) Pray that God would develop in you a sincere love for Him. A love appreciates and has in view the price that was paid on the cross for your sins. The Blood of Jesus’ that was shed so that you could be forgiven! All your sins washed and you are washed white as snow! You cannot honor Him if you don’t love Him!

When the seraphim proclaimed that the whole earth is full of His Glory it was because they could see clearly His Glory! Our view is limited by our foolish pride and inclination for self-gratification… Because of our sin, our view of God’s Glory is limited.

But He reveals Himself in His Word, and He shows us His Glory there. The trumpet will sound and God will one day turn away everything that competes for His Glory. And He will make His Glory known in awesome splendor to every creature.

Now, it is always wise to follow what Scripture says and frequently examine yourself to be certain that you are in the faith. It’s the method prescribed in 2 Corinthians 13:15. And one of the ways that God has taught me humility over the years has been for me to take whatever text I’m preaching and turn it on myself. Sometimes I might feel that I have a certain thing down pat and I’m just going to preach it and relay that word to the audience.

So I did that with this. I knew I wasn’t involved in these deceptive oaths. But the question kept ringing in my head. Do I esteem His name?

I sat in my office… thinking over and over… I need to esteem His name higher. I need to esteem His name higher… I… Me… then it hit me… I CAN’T!

I CAN’T LIFT HIS NAME HIGH ENOUGH. I can’t! I can’t lift His name High enough and I can’t make enough of who He is. I certainly can never make too much of the name of Jesus Christ of the Glory of God! I could list off every single word used in Scripture to describe the magnificence of God and still my human words, marred by sin, wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the fullness of His glory!

But it gets worse for us than that! We can’t even honor His Name at all without Jesus Christ! If it were not for the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ on a bloody Roman cross… if not for the nails driven through His Hands and feet. If not for His being the substitute for my sin and His resurrection from the grave… If not for the Christ, I would not only have no hope but if not for Him I would have nothing but a vile and wretched black heart that did nothing but pour out venom and contempt upon the Holy Name of God! Contempt on His name with my blasphemy. Contempt on His Name with my lust, with my lying, with my stealing, with my hatred and covetous desires.

Don’t leave here today thinking that YOU can esteem His Name higher, leave here KNOWING that you need Him to teach you to Honor Him!

You need to pray and plead and agonize over His Word. Beg Him to reveal Himself to you and just like Jacob, do not let go, do not stop until He does it! Until the filth of your sin held up to the Beauty of His Grace leaves you in a puddle of tears of your own tears shed because you are beginning to see just how Great the cost was for Christ to pay for the sins of those who would repent and put their trust in Him!

And then cling to Him! Cling to the Savior! Because HE IS HOLY!

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