Before we begin today’s devotion . . .
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Friday, January 2, 2015
“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
Do you care about your name? Do you like it when people slander you or say things that aren’t true about you? Have you ever had that happen? I have. No one enjoys that. We want to protect our name. The Bible says that “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
God cares about His name, too. And He tells us, “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). The words in vain literally could be translated “in an empty, idle, insincere, frivolous way.”
So how do people take the Lord’s name in vain? One obvious way is profanity. Isn’t it interesting how people use the name of Jesus Christ so often? Even nonbelievers, in their spiritually deadened state, know there is something different about the name of Jesus. We don’t hear people exclaiming, “Buddha!” or “Hare Krishna!” In a backhanded way, nonbelievers acknowledge the power of Jesus even when they’re misusing His name.
Another way people take His name in vain is by saying “I swear to God.” Jesus said, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). Your word should be enough.
Let me add another way that people take God’s name in vain that’s important for us to be aware of: Saying “Oh my God” a lot. That seems to be a popular phrase now. But it’s taking God’s name in vain. The same goes for texting OMG. Don’t do that. Don’t use God’s name in an empty way.
God cares about His name, and so should we.
Radio Program: “Angels and Demons, Part 1 — I”
TV Program: “The Gift of Christmas”
Bible Reading: Genesis 3-5, Luke 2
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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.