Respect God’s Name – by Bryan Johnston

JohnstonThe names for Jesus go on and on, I have never met someone who has so many names. The descriptions that are associated with our Lord are innumerable. So what is the name that the Lord our God prefers to be known as? I have known many people who preferred to go by a particular name. I think it is respectful to address others by the name that he or she desires to be called. I have known Michael’s that are particular about being called Michael and not Mike. There are others who like to be known by their middle names rather than their first. And there are even those who select names that are completely different from any of their birth names. For example I knew a guy named David Kinzer who was only known by the name “Whompy.”

Moses asked God this question when he was chosen to go speak to Pharaoh about releasing the Israelite slaves, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you” (Ex. 3:13-14). This is God’s name of choice. His name means that nothing and no one can ever, has ever, nor ever will change Him. He is who He is. He always has been and will be the perfect and loving God, forever! The name “I AM” was so holy that the Israelites felt unworthy to speak the name out loud. Instead they would say “LORD” in place of “I AM.” God’s name was highly respected and never spoken in vain.

One of God’s commands is “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Ex. 20:7). It is disrespectful and shameful to speak the Lord’s name in vain or to use his name as a curse. It is hurtful to hear how commonly God’s name is misused. If people say, “Oh My God” it sounds like such a cut and a slander to the holiness of God. The Lord’s name is holy. He is the great “I AM.” Let us speak his name as he selected with glory, honor, and praise. Wouldn’t you be hurt if your name was used in vain? Let us stand up for the Lord and his name so that others might know him and know of his great love.

Bryan Johnston, preaching minister, North Bend, Oregon USA Church of Christ – – comments welcome.

May be freely shared.

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