August 23, 2021

The Holy Name

You shall not profane my holy Name.
Leviticus 22:32
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) tells us that the aim of the third commandment is that we neither blaspheme nor misuse the Name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. In summary, we should use the holy Name of God only with reverence and awe, so that we may properly confess God, pray to God, and glorify God in all our words and works.
I chose to quote the catechism today because it not only points out that we shouldn't abuse God's Name, but also our responsibility not to keep silent when we hear it abused. The holy Name represents God's abiding grace in our lives, and speaking it thoughtlessly or using it as a curse reflects our attitude toward the Divine. We take God's Name with us wherever we go. Do we use it as a prayer, a blessing, a source of encouragement, or a reflection of the love we feel? Or is it to us an empty shell, a meaningless collection of letters, or the threat of condemnation against those we disagree with?
Our attitude toward God's Name is nothing less than a reflection of the state of our heart and the sincerity of our faith. May we not only take it seriously, but encourage others to do so as well.

As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct.
 1 Peter 1:15
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
May your Name be hallowed in my speech, in my actions, and in the way I relate to others, O Eternal God.
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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