Using God's Name

Most are aware that God takes very seriously the way in which his name is used. The third commandment stated it clearly: “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, NKJV).
One way in which the command has often been violated is by the use of oaths. Someone not known for his honesty will affirm, “I swear to God!” Instead, God’s people are to be known for their integrity. Their word should be their bond, as Jesus made clear in Matthew 5:37.
A more common violation of the sanctity of God’s name is its use in outbursts of anger. When something happens to arouse our wrath, it’s not unusual for some to use “God” as a preface to a four-letter word. The phrase suggests that we desire God’s condemnation on the person or thing against which it is directed. But is that the way God’s people should think or speak? Some may defend their words by saying, “It just slipped out — I didn’t really mean that.” But again Jesus cautions us: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:38).
As you can see, using God’s name in vain ways is a serious matter. The more conscientious Jews came to the point where they would not speak or write God’s name at all for fear that they might improperly use it.
There is an alternative. Rather than avoiding the use of God’s name altogether, we can use it in ways that will bless others. God spoke of this in Numbers 6:23-27: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”‘ So they shall put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
I wonder if God’s desire for his priests today (1 Peter 2:9) is any different? Do you not suppose it is still his wish for us to put his name upon others in a way that will bless them?
Child of God, does the name of God fall from your lips in thoughtless and sinful ways? Pray for forgiveness, and seek his help to do better. Determine today that you will strive to put the name of God upon others in ways that will lift their spirits and lead them toward everlasting life.

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